Good files lawsuit against supplement maker, Vitamin Shoppe

October 24, 2017

Lyman Good has filed a lawsuit against Gaspari Nutrition, Richard Gaspari, Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals, Jared Wheat and Vitamin Shoppe as a result of a failed UFC drug test.  Good alleges that a vitamin supplement he took was not properly labelled and contained a banned substance.

The target supplement is Anavite according to the lawsuit which was filed in New York by his attorney, David Fish.

Good was suspended for violating the UFC Anti-Doping Policy after he failed a random test.  As part of the process, he learned that the drug that may have caused the failed test was Anavite.

Good is requesting restitution, damages, injunctive and other equitable relief.  Good believes that Gaspari Nutrition misbranded the products as “dietary supplements” to defraud consumers into the believing it had superior “dietary supplements.”

Vitamin Shoppe was sued for (among other things) breach of warranty for selling the products “despite assurances of product quality and control.”  The store claims to have safety measures to ensure that the products its sells are of quality.  Good claims that it has failed to provide such safeguards based on the product he purchased from the store.

Upon learning of the flagged USADA test, Good had provided USADA with unopened packages of Anavite to examine at a lab regarding the contents.  The results confirmed Andro in the product.  Andro is a banned substance per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and considered a steroid.  Thus, Good has sued the supplement maker, its owners and the store that sold the product.  The lawsuit indicates the harmful effects of steroids and the fact that Andro is such a substance

The lawsuit embeds a picture of the product and its contents which is listed as a “dietary supplement”.  Andro is considered “adulterated” and misbranded according to Good.

There are several causes of action in this lawsuit including products liability, fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Good was taken off the New York City card last November as a result of the failed test.

Payout Perspective:

This is a first of its kind lawsuit under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy and perhaps MMA.  Good can show he was damaged due to the fact that he relied on the representation of the label that Anavite did not contain Andro as it was not on its label as a content and was listed as a “Dietary Supplement.”  He is making a claim against Vitamin Shoppe since it claims to have superior knowledge of these products and should have investigated this product.  The defendants will likely claim a tainted product and that overall, its products do not contain the banned substance.  Moreover, it will claim that there are no damages incurred by Good despite serving a six month sentence.

In products liability cases (lawsuits where the claim is that a product is defective), there is a higher standard on the manufacturer or seller to ensure that the user is not harmed.  In this instance, one could argue Good was not harmed in the sense of physical injury.  He was harmed since he had to ensure he did not ingest a banned substance per the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  This will make a very interesting case as it continues.  MMA Payout will continue to follow.

Bellator 185 draws 476,000 viewers

October 23, 2017

Bellator 185 drew 476,000 viewers on Friday night on Spike TV according to Nielsen via ShowBuzz Daily.  The event featured the debut of former UFC middleweight Gegard Mousasi as he defeated Alexander Shlemenko.

Payout Perspective:

The ratings are a modest boost from the last Bellator show but you would have expected a little more considering the debut of Mousasi.  But, the MLB game between the Yankees and Astros on FS1 which drew over 8.2 million viewers probably had something to do with it.

McGregor caught using homophobic slur on camera

October 23, 2017

Conor McGregor used a homophobic slur at a UFC over the weekend which will test the UFC as to how to handle the situation with its biggest superstar.

Cameras caught McGregor using the slur when talking to Artem Lobov.  Videos showing the slur were deleted from official accounts.

McGregor has been vocal for equality when the question of same sex marriage arose and supported a referendum in favor of it.

This past summer McGregor used the term “boy” when referring to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. during their press tour which drew a stir about the racial insensitivity of the remark.

Earlier this month Fabricio Werdum was admonished by the UFC and ordered to do LGBTQ outreach for homophobic remarks made during a UFC press conference.

No word from the UFC if there will be any repercussions.

(h/t:  MMA Fighting)

Payout Perspective:

The obvious difference between McGregor’s remarks and Werdum’s was that the UFC heavyweight made the remarks during an official UFC event while McGregor’s were intended to be private.  Still, that does not absolve him of the insensitivity.  But, the UFC will have to make a decision on what to do since it has sponsors that it does not want to offend.  The slur by McGregor is one of those “locker room” remarks that is no longer acceptable.  In fact, it should never have been acceptable but for ignorance.  One would expect McGregor and the UFC to comment with an apology soon.

UFC Fight Night 118 attendance, gate and bonuses

October 21, 2017

Darren Till made a splash today by stopping Donald Cerrone in the first round of the main event from Gdansk, Poland.  Till led the bonus winners for Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 event.

Till, Jan Blachowicz, Brian Kelleher and Damian Stasiak earned $50,000 bonuses.  Blachowicz earned a performance bonus for his second-round submission of Devon Clark.  Brian Kelleher and Damian Stasiak earned fight of the night.  Kelleher pulled out a third-round TKO of Stasiak.

The event in Gdansk, Poland drew 11,118 for a gate of $677,000. The event took place at the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.  It was the first event the UFC has ever held in Poland.

Payout Perspective:

A nice turnout in Poland for a UFC Fight Pass Only card.  With a relatively low gate for the number in attendance, the figure represents that the UFC should likely return to the area with a bigger card.  The performance by Till makes it likely that he may headline another card in the country.

Sterling latest to question role of MMA manager

October 20, 2017

The role of an MMA manager may seem very simple as far as the job duties may entail.  But, there are many facets to it.

MMA Junkie recently posted an article which questioned whether a manager was necessary for fighters.

From reading the article you might infer that the negotiating process with the UFC does not seem like a negotiation at all.

It was an interesting read featuring Aljamain Sterling as he no longer is represented by management.  Previously, Sterling was represented by Malki Kawa.  As you may know, Kawa represents Jon Jones as well as several other top tier fighters.  He also has a couple NFL players.

The article talked about Sterling and his decision to manage himself deeming it a raise since he would no longer have to pay Kawa his 10 percent.

Sterling was a sought after free agent not too long ago and his free agency was chronicled in interviews.  In the end, he re-signed with the UFC.  He indicated that the UFC’s offer was “more lucrative” than the original 20K and 20K he received.  He noted that the then World Series of Fighting came in second and then Bellator.  Sterling’s deal doubled his last payday of $14K to show and $14K to win as he was given $30K and $30K by the UFC.

But since Sterling re-signed with the UFC in February 2016, he has gone 2-2.  The previously unbeaten and media darling Sterling lost some of the shine his undefeated record had provided him.

Sterling’s win over Renan Barao at UFC 214 this past July revealed he makes $33K and $33K which is just $3,000 more than where he originally started after the new UFC contract.

Sterling notes in the Junkie article that he does not receive any sponsorships (due in part to the Reebok deal) or any ancillary activities.  Kawa indicated that the phone was not ringing for Sterling and his matches were essentially decided by the UFC matchmakers.  Without much outside business, Sterling decided that it was time to part ways with his manager.

The issue of fighter management in the UFC is an intriguing question.  Obviously, Sterling’s perception of a manager is limited to just negotiating contracts, securing sponsorships and the handling of promotion which usually is via social media.  Previously, the landing of sponsors for fight nights was the main role of the manager.  But, with the Reebok deal, the Octagon patches of a few years ago are gone.  Only a small portion of UFC fighters are securing outside the Octagon sponsors or in-person appearances.  There are other duties of a manager based on the fighter relationship which may encompass everything from handling travel to logistics questions in training prior to a fight as well as media relations.

The article does talks about the need for a manager when negotiating a new deal with the UFC and/or the possibility of providing counsel to a fighter when dealing whether to take certain fights (e.g., taking fights on short notice).

Then there is the question of what to do if a drug test is flagged by USADA.  Recently, Lyman Good’s manager David Fish, also an attorney, filed a lawsuit against several supplement manufacturers after Good was flagged by USADA.  It appears that Good took a supplement that did not reveal all of its contents.  As a result, Good was flagged for testing positive for a banned substance and received a six-month suspension.  It is in these instances, where counsel is needed for the athlete to determine the facts in assessing what to do if a test is flagged.  There are cases like in Good’s scenario where a tainted vitamin supplement might have caused the failed test.  But, it would seem that a manager would help assess the situation and piece together a plan to address the issue with the regulators as well as the media.

Aside from the above scenario, the question that must arise for the dominant demo of UFC fighters not named McGregor is what value add does a manager have in their career.

Earlier this year, Demetrious Johnson was upset with how he was treated by the UFC as he lashed out at the company.  Soon thereafter, he hired Kawa as his manager.  Notably, he indicated in an interview that he did not know if he would be paid for UFC 215 after Ray Borg had to bow out due to illness.  Fortunately, the fight was easily rescheduled for UFC 216 but no word if Johnson was compensated for having to train for UFC 215 only for it to be cancelled.

The manager question is not just limited to Kawa but the examples reflect a question of worth to a fighter’s career.  The utility of a manager is questioned in other sports as athletes have just retained attorneys to look over contracts and paid less overall.

We will see if Sterling’s decision to represent himself is a trend or an anomaly.

UFC Heavyweight accepts USADA’s two-year sanction

October 20, 2017

Carlos Felipe has accepted a two-year sanction for a violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  The 22-year-old Brazilian Heavyweight’s UFC career is suspended before it ever began.

Felip tested positive for stanozolol metabolites, 16β-hydroxy-stanozolol and 3’hydroxy-stanozolol.  Per the USADA release, “Stanozolol is a non-Specified Susbstance in the category of Anabolic Agents and is prohibited at all times under the UFC Anti-Doping Policy, which has adopted the World-Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List.  Stanozolol is sometimes used to lose fat while retaining lean body mass.

Felipe was set for his debut fight in the UFC card in Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 28th but an out of competition test on July 29th was flagged by USADA.  Prior to the UFC, he was 8-0 in his pro career.

Payout Perspective:

It’s a stiff penalty but at 22, Felipe can still return to the UFC (if they will want him) and still have a long MMA career.  Accepting the penalty likely meant that he did not have a good reason for the flagged test and it was better than attempting a lengthy legal battle.



Little Nog notified of potential USADA violation

October 19, 2017

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira has been flagged for a potential violation of the UFC Anti-Doping Policy.  The light heavyweight’s upcoming fight against Jared Cannonier has been scratched with The Killa Gorilla awaiting for a replacement.

The UFC released its standard statement regarding these matters.  A portion of which reads:

The UFC organization was notified today that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has informed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira of a potential Anti-Doping Policy violation stemming from an out-of-competition sample collected on September 27, 2017. Due to the proximity of Nogueira’s upcoming scheduled bout at UFC FIGHT NIGHT: LAWLER vs. DOS ANJOS in Winnipeg, Canada on December 16, 2017 against Jared Cannonier, Nogueira has been removed from the card and the UFC is currently seeking a replacement.

Payout Perspective:

If Nogueira cannot absolve himself of this wrongdoing, it could spell the end for the 41-year-old’s career in the UFC.  This would be Nogueira’s first violation which would be a 2-year sanction unless he is able to mitigate the case with USADA.

TUF 26 Episode 7 draws 316,000 viewers

October 19, 2017

The Ultimate Fighter 26 Episode 7 drew 316,000 on FS1 Wednesday night.

The fight of the telecast featured Melinda Fabian taking on Rachael Ostovich.  It was Ostovich that came out victorious.

Notably, the MLB Playoff game between the Astros and Yankees preceded TUF and scored over 5 million viewers on Fox Sports with the post-game on FS1 drawing 2.8 million.

Payout Perspective:

The good news is that this is the highest rated Live + SD this season.  The bad news is that its only 316,000 viewers.  The last two seasons of episode 7 drew 372,000 viewers.  Realistically, this is a good rating for TUF since it took last week off due to the baseball playoffs and went up against it and the first full night of NBA action.

McGregor doc set to make U.S. one night debut

October 17, 2017

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that the Conor McGregor documentary from U.K.-based Trafalgar will be released in the United States on November 8th in movie theaters across the country.  Conor McGregor: Notorious is limited for the one night on Wednesday, November 8th as it coincides with an exclusive interview with McGregor.

The interview will be from the film’s world premier in Dublin.  The documentary was shot over a four-year period and details the story of McGregor’s rapid ascension from apprentice plumber and aspiring MMA fighter to making millions this past August when he fought Floyd Mayweather, ,Jr.

Payout Perspective:

Maybe the rumors of a potential fight with Paulie Malignaggi are just a way to keep McGregor’s name in the news as his documentary is set to be released.  The “one night only” access is interesting since it’s mid-week and does not give Conor fans the opportunity to see the documentary if they can’t get out to see it.  Of course, with a niche audience, perhaps theatres only wanted to limit the showing so it does not take away from other movies at the theatres.

Showtime Boxing event Saturday peaks with first two fights

October 17, 2017

ESPN’s Dan Rafael reports that Saturday night’s Showtime card had its best viewership prior to the main event.

Erislandy Lara’s win over Terrell Gausha drew 399,000 viewers and peaked at 476,000 Showtime subscribers according to Nielsen. But the Jermell Charlo Erickson Lubin fight averaged 495,000 viewers and peaked with 537,000.  The first fight between Jarrett Hurd and Austin Trout averaged 430,000 and peaked at 555,000 viewers.

Payout Perspective:

The Showtime event aired after PBC on Fox.  The ratings are unusual as one would expect that viewership would increase as the telecast goes on but in t his case, the viewership peaked during the first two fights.

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