Talent agencies CAA and WME battle once again in MMA

November 4, 2016

The Hollywood Reporter ran an article on Thursday on the ongoing war between talent agencies WME and CAA continuing in mixed martial arts.

CAA has signed many UFC athletes including Cain Velasquez, Rory MacDonald and T.J. Dillashaw.  It has repped GSP for some time.  Of course, its rival, WME, acquired the UFC.  Thus, the uncomfortable scenario of the two agencies negotiating against each other.

Per the article, CAA signing on UFC fighters occurred prior to the purchase by WME-IMG.

The Hollywood Reporter mentions 90 UFC fighters have come together to try to create a union led by Professional Fighters Association’s Jeff Borris.

Last week, Bellator’s VP of Digital, Eric Burak was featured in the Sports Business Journal.  In the interview he indicated that there is further growth MMA citing the fact that CAA represents a “handful of stars.”  While Burak mentioned “major agencies” were getting involved in MMA, he did not specifically mention WME.

Payout Perspective:

The Hollywood agency battle between CAA and WME is ongoing and has happened in various arenas in sports and entertainment.  MMA is just another one of those areas.  The interesting note here is the behind-the-scenes work that each agency may or may not be doing related to the current state of MMA.  The fight to unionize UFC fighters would impact both WME and CAA as to how the management and representation of MMA fighters goes in the future.

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