THE KINGDOM OF WME-IMG/UFC & Ari Emanuel -Updated *
END OF AN ERA
Well, if you’re looking for employment in the UFC, that era might be over.
The UFC is no longer a family run business with a degree of nepotism.
Welcome to the corporate era, where a warm blanket and some thick winter UGG boots might go a long way with the storm of misfortune and neglect that has been pouring out of every window of the UFC HQ.
Welcome to the new UFC where the new bosses don’t give a ‘flu jab’ who you are and who your daddy is.. Ari Emanuel is only a name in the MMA community rarely mentioned as he stays insulated and hidden like a recluse behind glass doors refusing both media interviews (from the mma media) and fighter requests for a personal audience, because from where he is sitting upon high, you would have to be a cherubim or seraphim to get a glimpse of his majesty.
Care vs Worth
Ari Emanuel has said that he ‘doesn’t care what something costs’ but he does ‘care what something is worth’ and this seems to be his business ethos when deciding what he will go after and keep and what he will swiftly get rid of. It also explains why he and WME-IMG group were prepared to pay $4 billion for the UFC a figure that would make most people shudder and run from, but factor into this what the UFC could potentially be worth and you begin to understand how this business mogul thinks.
It is a shame to see the hall of famers like Liddell and Hughes vanish from the UFC payroll but with my hand on heart I can’t honestly say I remember when was the last time I saw Chuck Liddell do anything publicly in the promotion that furthered the brand’s name or added actual value to the promotion aside a few expos. The only pictures I saw this year was with a confrontation with Jon Jones but nothing in relation to his work as Vice President of business development, and this is probably not the fault of Chuck or Hughes but possibly the failure of the promotion in keeping the media abreast of the positive work they have been doing all year around ?
It is never good enough to do a good job well, you have to be SEEN to be doing a good job and this is where these two icons have been let down.
Perhaps, had these two icons had more of a visible role and been seen more active, there could have been an argument to see them stay and don’t get me wrong, I’ve seen the work that Matt Hughes has done with the Army troops abroad but there was very little content made of their work to feature with the fans and media in the mma community to report on. (certainly nothing featured into the UFC’s media site)
The new UFC is greater than the sum total of its fighters, however the value of the UFC is not greater than the sum total of its fighters.
Ari Emanuel believes otherwise and consequently, his distant relationship with the fighters has both enabled and empowered them to organise themselves to construct a change that threatens the current economic structure of the organisation. A change that would have never have gotten this far under the Fertittas.
Emanuel and his team were keen to be seen shaking hands with the President Elect Donald Trump and it was a clear media move to show a sense of who’s really in charge with the absence of Dana White as the UFC President.
If you thought Dana White didn’t care for his fighters, then clearly you were all wrong as i hear the lamenting, gnashing of teeth and songs of zion with sackcloth and ashes !
Moses is not coming to deliver you sons of a bitches, but you better pray for some sort of saviour because Emmanuel is keen to be the elusive face of the new organisation that people actually refer to as WME-IMG and not the UFC!
Hollywood clients vs UFC clients
Ari Emanuel knows how to treat his Hollywood clients with both a personal and professional touch however if the UFC fighters were expecting that same type of treatment then they are in for a shock as Emanuel represents the UFC as a brand and not the fighters and their individual needs. ( go get yourself an AGENT)
The finesse of matchmaking seems to have gotten lost somewhere in the corporate way of doing things and the human touch is a thing of the distant past.
You have fighters like Cole Miller who got paid a 1/3 of their show money though it was reported that all fighters got their actual show money !
With 19 fights in the UFC on his resume (Cole Miller) was supposed to recieve his full show money from his cancelled fight from October (manila card)
according to the mmahour 12th December 2016 Miller recieved $10,000 show money which represented 31% of what he should have recieved and his training camp costs were $ 9,300 leaving him with $700 !
He was then booked 2 months later for another fight, does anyone know how he was supposed to survive and pay for another camp in the meantime?
It is this corporate blanket treatment that has turned fighters heads as they now realise that things might be getting better but it is not with any blessed reassurance because nobody is addressing their fears and many questions and if you can’t get hold of your new boss because he refuses to engage with you,then perhaps an association or union maybe the new ONLY sensible way forward to address all the most pertinent issues for the future.
I would like to say as we head into Christmas that things can only get better..but all i can say is that when you reach up and can feel the bottom then things surely can only get better !
The Munchmma Team.