Benavidez goes at it alone without an agent

May 23, 2015

MMA Fighting reports that Joseph Benavidez has fired his agents at MMA, Inc. citing the looming Reebok sponsorship deal as a reason for the departure.  The news is another example of the changing landscape of UFC business.

Benavidez’s managers at MMA, Inc. represent some notable UFC fighters Paige Van Zant, Urijah Faber and Chael Sonnen.  The article also states that UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw also left MMA, Inc.

If you count his WEC time of service plus his UFC fights, it which would put him in the $15,000 range under the Reebok sponsor pay scale.  Benavidez is a fan of the Reebok deal stating that he has not received $15K in sponsors since his title fight against Demetrious Johnson in December 2013.  Thus, the Reebok deal, for Benavidez, would be good for him.

Benavidez has not closed out future representation but like everyone else in the industry, they are waiting to see the results of the new deal.

Notably, UFC fight managers were set to meet this weekend to discuss UFC business.  The meeting was set up by Benavidez’s now ex-managers at MMA, Inc.

Payout Perspective:

Benavidez leaving his agents to go at it alone is a direct result of the Reebok sponsorship deal.  It’s clear that fighters realize that the sponsorship market is changing and are not clear the worth of an agent at this point.  Based on this, it reveals that the primary service an agent does for fighters in MMA is obtaining sponsors.  Aside from that, fighters like Benavidez believe that they have sufficient support to go at it alone.  Obviously, Benavidez is a veteran and belongs to a fight camp that provides the support needed for a fight.  The future of the agent in the UFC is uncertain.  It will be up to agents to show that they add value for a fighter and not just through fight night sponsors.

6 Responses to “Benavidez goes at it alone without an agent”

  1. tops E on May 24th, 2015 2:13 AM

    Of course with little money to be made in the ufc…u dont need an agent hahahahahaha

  2. d on May 24th, 2015 7:51 AM

    I guarantee topps is under five foot.

  3. BrainSmasher on May 24th, 2015 1:17 PM

    Smart move. Take the reebok deal and wash your hands of dealing with sponsors or and agent taking a cut of your pay. Atleast until you are in a better position to be marketed. His current position doesn’t have much value to sponsors or agents. If he gets the belt or a bigger fan following there is more reason to have agents out there pulling in sponsors. Until then he was just giving up a chunk of pay the agent didn’t secure.

  4. saldathief on May 25th, 2015 9:40 AM

    Yea really why pay a percentage! Besides the UFC is really the agent anyhow.

  5. Brian Wright on May 28th, 2015 4:11 AM

    The smart athlete doesn’t need an agent to deal with the UFC, they need a lawyer to review contracts and an accountant to review the financials. Agents come into play outside the Octagon due to the Reebok deal virtually eliminating all performance based sponsorship.

    Ronda isn’t making money because she is the prettiest or due to her acting ability. She has a strong team of agents and publicists that have created a narrative that have made her very attractive for media, entertainment, and corporations. Her fighting ability got her foot in the door but it is the team of professionals around her that made her famous and wealthy.

    Kenny Florian thought well beyond the cage too and possibly 1st. That is why he is on Fox making more money talking about fighting than he ever did getting punched in the face. He is an intelligent guy that recognized his career would only be so long fighting and he needed to create strategic relationships to prolong his career within MMA beyond his fighting days.

    Being successful in the cage does not guarantee anything outside of it. Get a lawyer, a good accountant, and a team of agents plus publicists if you want to take your career to the next level.

  6. godscountry on May 29th, 2015 8:45 AM

    The whole idea of a agency is for them to put money in your pocket.My guess is he will lose some of his fight card sponsors to Reebok,so it just not worth it.If I’m correct they can still use there sponsors outside the fight night.

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