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White hints that the UFC is having trouble working with other gyms

UFC president Dana White’s decision to no longer continue to do business with fighters represented by the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose has been well-publicized to this point. However, during an interview with USA Today’s Sergio Non, White gave indications that the recent trouble that has been stirred up might not be exclusive to AKA.

“It’s over a lot of different things,” White said in response to a question about why the UFC elected to release Fitch. “It’s not one specific fighter or one specific thing. It’s about a lot of different things with a lot of these fighters.”

As White continued, he made a casual mention about the problem extending just beyond AKA.

“And you know what? This is more than just AKA,” he revealed. “There’s other camps out there that we’re having trouble doing business with. And at the end of the day, this is a business. We run a business just like any other business. You come in, you do your job with your company and you get paid”

White has been clear within the last 24 hours that he believes he has made great sacrifices for the betterment of the fight industry and the fighters that populate it. Additionally, he’s been adamant about his level of commitment being reciprocated. The term “partner” has been one recited a great deal by White and it will be interesting to see the fate of other fight gyms and management agencies that display any form of dissidence.

  • red says:

    If ATT is involved it will be a big blow

  • madiq says:

    You know what these gyms have in common?
    1. Multiple high-level fighters
    2. Information exchange
    3. Collective representation
    4. Brand identity

    All of these things serve to strengthen the fighter’s negotiating power, vis a vis the UFC’s typically dictatorial style. Big gyms offer strength in numbers, plus contacts with other MMA promoters, who can turn White’s “my way or the highway” threat into an opportunity. Alienating an AKA, an ATT, a Team Quest, or an Xtreme Couture gives another promoter the ability to fill fight cards with star fighters as well as up and comers, and subvert the UFC’s existing strategy of divide and conquer, mixed with brand supremacy.

  • jimbo says:

    Its sounds like its time for both sides to give in a little. Better minimum guarantees for fighters from the ufc. And maybe some financial disclosure to these managers and gyms so they can see what kind of money goes into promotion ,staff, etc.

    Im sure the big wigs are still making a ton but thats just how sports work :(

    Id love to see the contract for this video game and see what the disagreement is about especially since i assume other fighters have already signed off on it.

    It could be a typical sleazy manager move to get more money since no doubt this will cost $$$$ or put it off schedule if they have started to produce the game or even if they just have to remove his character from it.

    just my opinion

  • Bullylover says:

    This decision of Dana’s will affect both sides,mostly AKA.Still the ufc will lose many top quality & future Quality fighters from AKA especially Cain Velasquez who is a much needed contender in the heavy weight division. Hopefully they settle this bullshit & we get to see all the fighters stay in the organization.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Nothing kills negotiations quicker than personal attacks and ultimatums. As soon as those pop up, the parties make decisions based on ego and not sound business judgment. Blackballing entire gyms would be bad for MMA, bad for the fighters and gyms, and bad for the UFC. Time to grow up, think rationally and communicate calmly.

  • William W. says:

    “White has been clear within the last 24 hours that he believes he has made great sacrifices for the betterment of the fight industry and the fighters that populate it.”

    Haha, give me a break. Dana is worth $100 million at least and I doubt any sacrifice is the same as getting punched in the face over and over.

  • dualdiagnosis says:

    If getting punched in the face over and over was by itself worth a lot of money, you might have a point.

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    It’s turning into a Catch 22.
    Dana has the power,and his attitude is,you guys just focus on fighting and I’ll handle the business end of things.
    And because certain fighters do well,they have a right to work at protecting their own interests,including business on the side.
    Now that fight clubs are sort of becoming their own unions,there is a potential for the power to shift a little.
    This is still all part of the growing pains of MMA ,and it ain’t gonna end any time soon.

    To bad WAMMA didn’t have any clout to help out Fitch.
    I kid,I kid.


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