Dodson will not be paid after Munhoz fails to make weight

February 2, 2018

John Dodson will not be compensated for traveling to Brazil, making weight and being ready to fight Pedro Munhoz Saturday after the Sao Paulo native did not make weight.

MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz confirmed with UFC officials that Dodson will not be compensated.  Munhoz was unable to make weight for his fight at 135 pounds.  According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the hotel that Munhoz was staying at ran out of hot water which prevented him from cutting the necessary weight.

Regardless of the reason why Munhoz missed weight, the issue of the other fighter has surfaced once again.  Last month Vitor Belfort was not paid due to the fact Uriah Hall had to go to the hospital due to complications with weight-cutting.  The UFC did not compensate him.  It was noted that they attempted to get him a replacement or a fight on a card the next weekend.

Here, Dodson traveled to Brazil for the fight, had to pay for a fight camp and perhaps some of his coaches.  You might recall that UFC heavyweight Tim Johnson set up an online fund so that his full coaching stuff could travel to Brazil.  So, it’s a huge financial undertaking for the fighter if they are to fight in another country.

Payout Perspective:

I’ve always wondered why UFC contracts do not allow for the fighter that makes the weight to obtain their show money.  It could be that the contractual language allows the UFC to terminate the contract if one side fails to fight for whatever reason.  If that were the case, it would create a huge issue for fighters since the contract would favor the UFC who may unilaterally pull the plug on a fight and not have to pay anyone.  Also, if another fight were to be offered, it would seemingly force the fighter to make weight to have to take the match even if they did not want to do it.  We will see if the UFC addresses it from a PR standpoint and compensate Dodson for traveling to Brazil.

Belfort asks for pay after Hall pulls out of UFC St. Louis

January 15, 2018

MMA Fighting reports that Vitor Belfort has asked the UFC to pay him for being ready to fight at UFC St. Louis but it appears that Dana White is claiming that due to the fact that he turned down replacement fights, he will not be compensated.

Belfort’s opponent, Uriah Hall, was unable to weigh-in on Saturday before Sunday’s event and the fight was cancelled.  White blamed Hall for not being able to fight as he claims that he was not taking training seriously.

On social media, Belfort asked for his pay as he trained for the bout and made weight.

Antes de qualquer coisa só gostaria de dizer OBRIGADO! Obrigado a todos! Todos que me acompanham, torcem por mim e minha família! Mas hj especialmente quero fazer um agradecimento especial ao colunista @chicobarney pela matéria q publicou no Site uol.com.br Lendo o q escreveu me fez lembrar de cada momento descrito no texto. As críticas, meus sentimentos, sonhos, ideias etc… Em um momento como hj, em q o agora não me faz muito sentido… Difícil entender depois de tanta dedicação e sacrifício. De ter me preparado psicologicamente para me aposentar de um esporte q basicamente ajudei a criar… e simplesmente isso não ter acontecido…Tenho sentimentos conflitantes a respeito do q aconteceu… Mas como disse, lendo a matéria também me lembrei de q muito do que fiz, muitas das ideias e muito do q disse anos atrás, não faziam pleno sentido para mim. Eu simplesmente acreditava q daria certo… Q o Vale Tudo na época se tornaria um esporte. Que nós lutadores, não éramos bárbaros se digladiando e sim atletas. Que tínhamos potencial de sermos “uma empresa” de representarmos marcas e valores. Nada disso fazia muito sentido na época, mas dentro do meu coração, sempre fez … Minha luta de despedida não ocorreu como havia planejado, mas no meu coração sei q de alguma forma lá na frente, TUDO isso fará sentido. Mais uma vez, como sempre fiz e muitas vezes fui ridicularizado por isso. Entrego a minha vida nas mãos do meu Pai q está no Céu. Pq Dele sempre veio a minha paz… Bjo no coração de todos vcs. Agora uma mensagem para o @ufc . Estou à espera do meu pgto @ufc afinal de contas, fiz o que tinha que ser feito ( treinei , estive presente na semana da luta, bati meu peso….) Onde está o respeito!?

A post shared by Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort (@vitorbelfort) on

White rebutted the notion of paying Belfort by claiming that he had turned down a replacement fight and another for next week in Boston.

Payout Perspective:

It’s clear that there must be an actual policy for payment which should be in a fighter’s contract that the fighter is guaranteed at least his purse (and maybe win bonus) if he or she is able to make weight and their opponent cannot fight.  Offering a replacement is a solution but a flawed one for the simple fact that Belfort has trained specifically for one fight and is now presented with another.  Moreover, a loss would impact their ranking and earning potential.  Not to mention loss of win bonus.  From the UFC perspective, it’s the best that they can do.  But, it would seem fair that since the fighter did everything possible to fulfill the terms of the contract, there should be some sort of mechanism where they are compensation in the event the other party fails to fulfill their terms of the bout agreement.  It would seem finding a replacement would put the fighter in a “take it or not get paid” position.  I’ve been told that this scenario does not just happen in MMA but also in boxing which is unfortunate.  The solution, of course, is to push for a better deal in the bout agreement.  This is easier said than done because the bargaining leverage is skewed toward the promoter.

UK court orders Bisping to pay over $400K to former manager

December 15, 2017

MMA Junkie reports that Michael Bisping will have to pay more than $400,000 in unpaid commissions to his former management team after a Manchester court determined that soon-to-be retired former UFC middleweight champion will need to pay up per an agreement between 2005 and 2011.

The lawsuit was reported on by the UK’s Daily Mail back in May of this year.  Bisping’s former manager Anthony McGann, owner of the Wolfslair Gym claims Bisping owed him management fees dating back 10 years.  Bisping denied the claim.

After an 11 day trial, Judge Richard Salter ruled Bisping owed McGann approximately $426,313 U.S. dollars in back pay for managing the UFC middleweight.

As one might expect, this was a contentious lawsuit with rumors that the two side got into a “scuffle” outside the courtroom.

This is not the only legal issue Bisping has going, as he is being sued by a 24-Hour Fitness patron from an incident this past summer.

With the judgment, there will now be a fight for attorney costs as it appears that the prevailing party will be able to recoup fees.  More litigation to come.

Payout Perspective:

I would expect an appeal of the court verdict but I do not know the court system in Manchester.  It does seem like this battle between Bisping and his former manager/gym is one where the fighter becomes successful and moves on while the people that started with him wants their share of what they invested.  It might be that McGann had Bisping sign a contract that favored Wolfslair.  Or, Bisping determined that he could do and/or wanted better representation and refused to pay commissions.  It seems that the court favored McGann although the fight over who pays the attorney fees will be another battle.

16 for 16: No. 13 GSP declares himself a free agent

December 21, 2016

How different would UFC 206 in Toronto would have been if Georges St-Pierre made his return to the Octagon?

However, that was not the case and with his declaration this fall that he was a free agent and his alignment with MMAAA its unlikely we’ll see him in the UFC anytime soon.

In October, GSP stated that he was a free agent after the UFC breached its contract with him.  The UFC responded by stating that the former welterweight champion was still under contract with the company.  GSP’s lawyer, Jim Quinn, maintains that GSP’s contract is terminated.  Quinn indicated that the UFC has options including offering GSP a new contract or taking legal action against the fighter.

One of the contentions made by Quinn on behalf of GSP was that the UFC had not offered St-Pierre fights.

Via our post in October:

One of the issues GSP’s lawyers contend that caused a breach was the lack of fights given the St-Pierre.  His lawyers state he has never received an actual bout agreement.  St-Pierre’s lawyers gave the UFC 10 days to offer St-Pierre a fight.  According to his lawyers, the UFC responded on the final day in which it offered St-Pierre former welterweight champion Robbie Lawler.  But that did not come to fruition.

GSP’s current contract was signed in 2011 per ESPN.  Of course, the UFC has evolved since then.  Notably, as pointed out in the ESPN story, is that the UFC has Reebok as its official clothier.  Also, fighters are no longer able to have outside sponsors (aside from official UFC sponsors) to promote during fight week.  St-Pierre had (or has) a deal with Under Armour in addition to other non-UFC sponsors.

Both sides are likely still in at an impasse with the contract.  Neither party has filed a lawsuit against the other for breach of contract.  It’s not known if there is a timeline at this point but there will likely be movement in this situation in 2017.  With St-Pierre entering his late 30s, one should expect something to happen sooner than later.

UFC states GSP still under contract

October 18, 2016

The UFC has responded to claims that Georges St-Pierre is a free agent.  Not surprisingly, the UFC denies claims that GSP is free from his contractual obligations from the UFC.

On The MMA Hour on Monday, GSP declared that he was a free agent per his attorney.  His claim was that the UFC did not provide GSP with a fight and as a result his contract was terminated.

In a prepared statement, the UFC responded later in the day:

“Georges St-Pierre remains under an existing agreement with Zuffa, LLC as his promoter.  Zuffa intends to honor its agreement with St.-Pierre and reserves its rights under the law to have St.-Pierre do the same.

Payout Perspective:

It looks like we may be heading to a legal dispute over GSP’s contract.  The declaration of a terminated contract by GSP was reminiscent to Rampage Jackson’s claim that he was free from Bellator’s contract due to not fulfilling certain things within the contract.  As you recall, a lawsuit occurred and was subsequently settled.  You can bet that the UFC would oppose GSP from fighting in another organization if it boils down to it.  GSP’s lawyers seem confident that there was breach of the contract, and/or an unmet requirement within the contract which allowed for the termination.  We will see if the parties can come to a resolution prior to litigation.

GSP declares himself a free agent

October 17, 2016

Georges St.-Pierre is a free agent according to the former UFC welterweight titleholder in an interview on The MMA Hour.

Rumors of GSP’s imminent return were strong but according to GSP his lawyer terminated his UFC contract after the UFC failed to offer him a fight.

GSP’s last fight was in November 2013 at UFC 167 against Johny Hendricks.  GSP has remained active despite not being in the Octagon.  According to the interview via MMA Fighting, GSP was offered Robbie Lawler but Lawler is taking time off from fighting after losing his title in July.

Payout Perspective:

Obviously, there are two sides to each story and we will have to see if the UFC confirms that St. Pierre is indeed released from his UFC contract.  If so, this would be big news for other organizations such as Bellator.  GSP is a popular fighter despite being away from active competition since 2013.  His return to MMA would spark interest with any promotion he might land with in the near future.  Now let’s hope this does not get pulled into litigation which might keep GSP from returning.

Aldo threatens to take UFC to court

September 28, 2016

MMA Fighting reports that a disgruntled Jose Aldo is talking about taking the UFC to court if he is not released from his contract.

According to a Combate report, Aldo has talked to a lawyer about his legal possibilities.  He has six fights left on his existing contract.

Aldo was angered that the company passed him over for a title shot against Conor McGregor at UFC 205.  Instead, the UFC chose Eddie Alvarez as the opponent for the Featherweight Champion.  McGregor has not defended the title since he defeated Aldo this past December.

Dana White indicated that he would speak to Aldo and his team and would not terminate the contract.

Payout Perspective:

The prospects of Aldo suing the UFC to get out of his contract are probably slim.  Rather, the talk of lawsuit is posturing so that White and the UFC grant Aldo some concession.  Whether it is monetary or he gets to pick his next fight and opponent, I would suspect that the UFC would be willing to negotiate with Aldo rather than deal with another lawsuit.

Will Brooks signs with UFC, debuts July 8th

June 15, 2016

The UFC has signed former Bellator lightweight champion Will Brooks.  His first fight comes in less than a month as he faces Ross Pearson on July 8th at the TUF 23 Finale in Las Vegas.

Brooks replaces James Krause.  Off of a two fight win streak, Krause pulled out of the fight earlier this week.

Despite being the lightweight champion of the promotion, he was released last month.  Brooks had been vocal (mostly via social media) about his stay with the promotion.  Many perceived the fighter as a malcontent.  Scott Coker terminated Brooks’ contract and waived all negotiation rights which allowed Brooks to pursue a UFC contract and fight with the promotion almost immediately.

The last reported salary for Brooks was $36,000 to show and $36,000 to win in April 2015.  He had another fight in November 2015 although I was unable to obtain that salary.  So, he may have made a little more than the $72K total from last April.

Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see what type of salary Brooks will make in the UFC.  I don’t think he will be paid as much as Eddie Alvarez received from the outset when he began with the company.  One has to think it will be a pay cut at the start.  However, if he is truly a top fighter in the lightweight division, I would think that he would be able to ascend in salary sooner than later.

Jury hits Canelo with $8.5 million verdict

June 14, 2016

Saul “Canelo” Alvarez will have to pay $8.5 million to his former promoter, All-Star Boxing for unjust enrichment after a trial in Miami-Dade County.  Although Golden Boy Promotions was sued in the lawsuit, the jury did not assess a verdict against it.  However, per the LA Times, it stated that Alvarez will appeal the verdict.

All-Star Boxing owner Felix “Tuto” Zabala, Jr. stated that he did it for the dignity of his business and that “[y]ou must respect contracts.”  Zabala claimed that Alvarez breached a contract in which he had 3 more years left when he signed with Golden Boy.  The promotion also claimed unjust enrichment on the part of Alvarez which eventually was the reason the jury awarded the amount.

Golden Boy was sued for tortious interference with a contract.

Per BoxingScene.com, Alvarez claimed that the contract he signed with All-Star Boxing was in English and the terms to him were unclear.

The verdict ends, for now, a lawsuit that was filed in 2011.  All-Star Boxing offered to settle the lawsuit for $5 million but that was rejected by Golden Boy.

Golden Boy issued a statement that despite Canelo’s verdict, All-Star Boxing will have to pay attorney fees for Golden Boy.  This is due to the fact the jury found no contract between Alvarez and Golden Boy per a Golden Boy spokesperson.  Presumably, since the jury did not find any wrongdoing on the part of Golden Boy, All-Star Boxing must pay for the promotion’s attorney’s fees.  All-Star Boxing refutes this claim.

Payout Perspective:

As the LA Times points out, even though Canelo was assessed the verdict, it is not clear whether the fighter added an indemnification clause in his contract which would have the promotion cover expenses in legal matters.  This would probably be the reason why Golden Boy will likely appeal the judgment.  The fact pattern as it seems is an example of the reasons why the Muhammad Ali Act is in place: a dispute over a prolonged contractual obligation, a claim that a promotional agreement was signed under duress and a breach of contract.  Although this part of the dispute may be over, we will likely see an appeal.

McGregor in midst of $100M deal with UFC?

May 22, 2016

Conor McGregor told ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, in the network’s trademark “Sunday Conversation” that he is in the midst of a $100 million deal with the UFC.  In the interview, he opened up about the “retirement” tweet, the UFC and Floyd Mayweather.


Whether or not you believe this to be true, the deal is likely the biggest fight contract for a UFC fighter in the company’s history.

Assuming what McGregor is saying is true, the deal is likely for 8 fights which would amount to approximately $12.5 million per fight not including any PPV upside or other performance-type bonuses.

The interview includes talking about the “proposed” fight between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and the Irish MMA fighter.  The latest in that saga is Mayweather offering $50M to McGregor.  In his ESPN interview, McGregor proclaimed that Mayweather needs him, not the other way around.

Payout Perspective:

I would suppose that McGregor and the UFC would be working on a new contract (or revising the old one) which would mean more fights and more money.  I also think that the contract would be much more in-depth and detailed than your standard boilerplate contract with the UFC.  Namely, it would detail the terms of his promotional schedule.

The subtle thing here is that McGregor is giving ESPN’s Kenny Mayne this exclusive interview and not Fox or FS1 doing this.  Obviously, it would be more advantageous for ratings if FS1 were to do this interview rather than ESPN.  But, as we’ve seen, when big news occurs for the UFC, ESPN is the first to report.

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