No bulls for Cerrone

October 25, 2012

MMA Junkie reports on Donald Cerrone and his inability to participate in bull-riding due to his current contract with the UFC.  The contract clause reflects the need for the UFC to protect their fighters and its investment.

The issue came up recently when Cerrone made an appearance at the Pro Bull Riders tour final in Las Vegas.  Cerrone had expressed an interest in pursuing career in bull riding but any dual sport aspirations have been nixed by Dana White.   Standard UFC contracts include a clause about participating in “dangerous activities” according to MMA Junkie.  Like other professional sports, the UFC looks to minimize the risk its athletes have in other areas.

Recently, Terrell Suggs of the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens came off of the injured reserve after tearing his Achilles this past offseason.  While Suggs contends that the linebacker was injured in “offseason conditioning,” it was reported that Suggs injured it playing in a basketball tournament.

Suggs is not alone in professional athletes hurting themselves doing things outside of their sport (and perhaps outside of their contract).  Notably, former Laker Vladimir Radmanovic had to sit out games due to a separated shoulder he injured while snowboarding.  Adding insult to injury, Radmanovic was fined $500,000 for violating his contract.

Ben Roethlisberger was injured while riding his motorcycle.  But, Big Ben did not have a clause in his contract about riding motorcycles

Speaking of motorcycles, Featherweight Champ Jose Aldo had to delay his October title defense due to a motorcycle accident.

Payout Perspective:

While bullriding may be second nature to Cerrone and a hobby that would not cause injury to the Cowboy, the UFC cannot have one of its fighters hurt from a non-related MMA injury.  With the rash of injuries causing cards to be shuffled, reshuffled and sometimes canceled, it makes sense that the UFC would prevent and contractually bar its athletes from participating in risky activities.  It protects its investment and inventory of fighters.  Cerrone need only look to Radmanovic’s fine as a reason to stay off of a bull.  While the UFC might not fine Cerrone to the extent the Lakers did Vlad, it could.  And, it could void his contract for violating its terms.

Another reason to stay away: insurance.  It’s likely that Zuffa-sponsored insurance would not cover injuries not related to MMA training.

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