Author Archive

The Right Ways Of Trying To Get Sponsorships

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

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The first article in this series was about the wrong ways of getting a sponsorship from a company. But it wouldn’t be fair to just point out the wrong without pointing out the right. With that said, this is not a be all end all list of obtaining sponsorships correctly. What it is, is proven methods that others have used and have been successful with.

We first mentioned the random contacting of sponsors bragging about how good you are and that it should be honor for them to work with you. While that method will likely fail every single time, tweaking it, makes it work. What’s the tweak?

First you need to be humble in your communications to the company. You cannot brag or boast. No one likes someone who flaunts things in others faces, even if it is justifiably so.

Taking the example of the “best non-signed UFC fighter” let’s say you are an 8-0 fighter as a pro. A communication line would be to point out how you have remained undefeated while facing tougher and tougher competition. Explain why your competition increased in difficulty and at the same time explain why your work ethic has helped you in victory. It is ok to be honest about how good you are, but not to brag about it.

Continuing on with this same example, instead of just telling them where to mail a check to, ask who you should talk to about possibly entertaining the idea of becoming a local sponsor for them. Once you set up the meeting, again, be humble and honest. Here you need to lay the ground work for what they will get in return for sponsoring you. A two-inch patch on your shorts isn’t going to do squat for them. And once you say you are going to do something, do it.

Make sure that you go above and beyond for the company. If you show that you are interested in their product, they will in turn show interest in you. They are sponsoring you so that you can do your job better and at the same time they are sponsoring you to help them do their job better.

Another example is don’t be afraid to negotiate for product or service only in return. My favorite example of this was a fighter that went to a chiropractor after having a rough day in the gym. The chiropractor adjusted him for a modest fee and sent the fighter home not knowing who he was. The next day, the fighter called him up and was amazed at how well he felt. He then talked to the chiropractor and worked out getting adjusted at no cost as part of his sponsorship package. The fighter then referred other fighters to the chiropractor and everyone was happy.

We mentioned in the last article, and it is worth repeating. Be aware of your presence on social media. Personally, I like the rule of, if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, or to your parents, you shouldn’t say it. You could have a fantastic relationship with a sponsor, but then go off on a rant about something and they drop you.

Finally, get a good manager. There are thousands of managers out there and more will spring up by the time you have read this article. Make sure that the management company you hire to represent you falls in line with your same values and has your best interests at heart. Include an out clause for you to get out in case you don’t like something that happened so you can get out quickly. But a good manager, even if it is just for procuring sponsorships can mean the difference from getting $100 a fight to earning $1,000 a month.

Float On Sensory – A Secret Weapon Of Fighters

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Brands

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A couple of years ago, Joe Rogan posted a youtube video talking about sensory deprivation tanks.  The idea is that you float in a tank that is devoid of light, sound and the water is warm so that you are just floating.  What this does is help one visualize any number of things, be it an outcome for a sporting event, a drawing, writing a novel or anything else.

Quinn Zepeda saw this video and immediately had to try it out for himself.  Knowing that he was about to move up to Portland, he gathered some friends and they went to Float Lab.  He stayed int he tank for over two hours, barely experiencing any of the side effects that have been reported while inside the tank.  But when he got out of the tank, everything was different for Zepeda.

“I got out and immediately I was taken aback by how good I felt, how sharp the world was.  My sense of smell was increased and I remember how good the soap smelled when I got in the shower.  It awakened all kinds of senses that I’m not super tied into most of the time.”

Shortly after he moved up to Portland while drinking some beers with his best friend Graham, the two got to talking about the experience.  They scoured around Portland for a place to float and were amazed that there weren’t more of them in the area.  Graham had opened two businesses prior, and Quinn had saved up a good chunk of change before making the move.  The two sat down and really figured out numbers and decided they could open their own floating business.

In just over 150 days, the business went from concept to opening.  Everything for the most part lined up for them from getting the first location they applied for to dealing with issues they weren’t expecting to getting the permits for everything.  Their passion drove them forward and they didn’t look back.

Just days after opening, the business was operating at above daily costs.  Nothing to pay down any of the debts they took on, but it was making money.  It was then that they knew it was going to be a success.  That first week, they issued a Groupon and immediately over 2,000 were sold.  That meant that the tanks were in full capacity nearly from the get go.  And that was one of the best marketing tools they had as Zepeda says, “The best way to do anything is to get people in there, and they’ll talk about it.  They will go be your promoter.”

The only issue that they had was informing people of not just what floating was, but the benefits of it.  So the team came up with a two-page pdf that they have handed out time and time again.  To this day, over 40,000 copies of that pdf have been handed out, all in the name of informing the public what was so great about floating.

As for them getting into the MMA industry, it was much like their approach for just getting anyone in; word of mouth.

“It started with Matt Lindland coming into our spot and we comped him because I knew who he was.  He bought a gift certificate for his son after and then he spread the word at Team Quest.  Ryan Healy came in first and again, we comped him a float.  Then he brought Pat in and Pat started floating with us.  Then more guys from Team Quest and from MMA Lab came in.  And the response has been great.  I remember Pat saying his first fight after he started floating just the jitters weren’t there in a way that they always were.  He felt real calm and confident.  Some of the guys even tell us to stop getting bigger as they might lose their secret weapon.”

They haven’t worked yet with the UFC, due to UFC’s sponsorship tax, but it is something they are looking into.  For now, they are still just a local sponsor for their fighters, and they seem to be enjoying the benefits tremendously.  For more information on Float On, visit their website at www.floathq.com

Audie Attar – This is a Team Effort

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Management

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Paradigm Sports has been around since 2009 and has reached a level of success within management companies that few are able to obtain.  Some would point to the amount of experience that president Audie Attar was able to bring with him before starting the firm, others would say it was his hard work.  But Attar credits it to something different; his philosophy that it is a team effort.

Attar started in the sports management industry with a large NFL firm.  He worked his way up the ranks inside the agency representing some of the best athletes in the NFL.  He continued his quest for knowledge of the sport and went to grad school.  When it was done, Attar had decided that it was time to move on, and try to make his own impact in the industry.  But as he tells it, sports in general were a major influence on his life.

“Sports have blessed me beyond belief.  It really saved my life in so many ways.  It created an opportunity for me to gain an education and meet some wonderful people.  Then after I was done participating as an athlete, it gave me a career.”

Being an athlete through out high school and college, Attar was able to learn how to be successful from his coaches both on and off the field.  This mentality, a coach’s mentality, is how he attacks being a manager of fighters.

“Everyone has their own opinion on how to handle their clients.  We may not be the right fit for certain athletes, but this is a team effort.  They aren’t hiring you to be your best friend.  They want a certain leader to help them achieve their goals.  So you have to have the type of relationship, open and honest, where you can communicate back and forth.  You have to be able to tell them something they don’t want to hear.  You can’t be the yes man.  At the same time they have to believe that you bust your butt and your intentions are always to maximize their potential in whatever manner that is.  It is a team effort.  A professional athlete hires a coach and he’s working for that athlete, but at the same time, the athlete wants that direction from the coach.”

Transitioning from football players to fighters was all about timing for Attar.  The sport is still young and new, yet he brings with him the years of experience of managing athletes before the sport took off.  Some things are easier to deal with when it comes to fighters, others more difficult.  The biggest difference between managing the two types of athletes is pay.

An undrafted NFL player that makes the practice squad will make $90,000 a year and if you do make the 53 man roster, they make $400,000 for the year.  A fighter who signs with the UFC for the first time will be earning $8,000 to show and additional $8,000 if he wins per fight.  Typically a new signee to the UFC will only fight 2-3 times a year, so the pay is vastly different.  That difference though is what attracted Attar to managing fighters.  How a fighter manages to hold down a second job, train, stay respectful, and show the drive and discipline to push forward to be the best, is remarkable for Attar.

One thing that Attar mentions time and time again is the level of professionalism that he is able to bring to the table compared to some other companies.  His years managing football players and watching the top agents do their job, some for 30-40 years, all was brought with him to Paradigm.

And it is something that he stresses with his clients.  His focus isn’t just about the singular next fight that could be coming, rather a stress on how to best maximize their clients’ potential as an athlete.  What can they do to help them grow as businessmen?  There’s a life after sports as Attar is well aware of, and part of his job is ensuring that his athletes are able to have one when they hang up the gloves.

Some fighters that Attar manages, such as Michael Bisping, have started adopting this new way of thinking.  He’s very aware of not only his actions on social media, but also when it comes to press conferences.  It is not uncommon to see Bisping show up in a suit, while his opponent is in a t-shirt.  Of course some fighters are contractually bound to wear the t-shirt and Attar is aware of that.  Sometimes that means he pushes a little, even if it means shaking up how things were done in the company previously.

The hardest part for Attar and his team is showing fighters the path that they are going to be on and take.  Even in discussing this topic, Attar makes it sound like it is almost easy.

“I think with any athlete you have to manage expectations keep their drive and that energy controlled so we’re channeling it effectively towards their progression.  Sometimes an athlete wants to be now now now.  They wouldn’t be where they were if they didn’t have that drive.  I am the same way.  It’s a Type A personality.  As you get older, you learn to control that so you become more effective in whatever you are doing.”

As Attar stated, it is a team effort.  Even if the outcomes aren’t the ideal ones or the envisioned ones, everyone has to give their all for each other.

“They’re training their ass off three times a day.  They leave everything they got in that gym.  I better leave everything I’ve got in what I am doing.  That way, if the end result isn’t what we wanted, it is still the honest one.  I know that I can look them in the eyes and say here’s the best we could do.”

Paradigm Sports manages the likes of Michael Bisping, Christian M’Pumbu, Court McGee, Jake Shields, Ben Saunders, Mike Pierce and many more high level fighters in the UFC and Bellator.  For more information on Paradigm visit them at www.paradigmsm.com

Mark Slater – Colosseum Combat is Family First

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Promotions

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Stories surround many promotions in the state of Indiana. Some good, some bad. Many promotions have come and gone quickly, others took their time and either died a slow death or have managed to thrive. Mark Slater who owns Colosseum Combat was doing well enough that it was worth his time and energy.

All looked well for Slater after putting on twelve shows but then after the twelfth show, the building he rented to put on Colosseum Combat was no longer available to him. The president of Ivy Tech who oversaw the outside use of the building had decided that MMA was no longer something he wanted associated with his school.

And it was no surprise that after Slater got the news that he felt like he had done enough and considered walking away. The story quickly became a hot topic amongst the Indiana MMA community forums and was propelled to the national stage with interviews on Inside MMA.

The numbers were obvious, the show was of serious value to the small town of Kokomo, Indiana. Without the venue, the question was could the show go on or not? And if not, what happened to the hundreds of thousands of dollars that were being brought in from not just across the state, but out of state as well?

It was the community that then rallied behind Slater to get him to continue putting on shows. It was because of their faith and trust in what Slater was doing that they got behind him and convinced him to carry on.

So what lead to the community to come together to help Slater out and have him put on his thirteenth show? Well one has to go back to the beginning, when Slater first took over the promotion.

In 2009 Slater had been sponsoring some local fighters for various promotions and even had a fight under his belt. He was contemplating a second bout but saw a lot of the shady side of the business. At the time MMA was still unsanctioned and the wrongs were clearly defeating the rights in the business.

So Slater contacted Jay Martin who owned Colosseum Combat at the time and said he was only going to fight for his promotion as he felt they were the only ones doing the right thing. Martin then convinced Slater that he should purchase the promotion from him and do something with it that he wasn’t able to do.

Just two months later, and sanctioning coming to the state of Indiana, Slater put on his first show at the National Guard Armory in Kokomo, Indiana. The show featured a very un-intimidating crowd of just over 250 fans. And the show he learned a valuable lesson about MMA in the state.

“I tried to hire a couple of match makers for the first show I did. It was kind of the good old boys. They gave me a lessoned learned of who to trust and who not to. After that, I opted to be my own matchmaker and put my own cards together. I would drive to each of the gyms, meet with the guys and have them sign a contract in person. It was better than faxing because it made it easier to figure out who to trust and who not to. Without that welcome to the industry on my first show, I doubt I would have the success I have now.”

Slater pressed forward, wearing all the hats possible for an owner of a promotion. He was the matchmaker, marketer, sales, sponsor seeker and more. He moved the show to the Ivy Tech Events Center which was still in Kokomo. For Slater it was a no-brainer to stay in Kokomo. After all he grew up there and as he tells it, there isn’t much there.

“Chicago and Indianapolis you can see professional sports and any kind of entertainment on every weekend. If I’m not doing a show every 2-3 months, there isn’t a whole lot as far as entertainment that comes through here. Part of it is giving back to the community.”

And that community is something he brought together. After the show that had 250 fans in attendance, he knew he needed sponsors to help bring in the talent that he wanted, while still showcasing local fighters. So instead of looking at the big national sponsors, he went local. Looking at any poster for a Colosseum Combat, the poster is filled with sponsor after sponsor, all local to Kokomo.

The economical impact that he had on them was astounding. When word got out that he was considering shutting things down, the numbers started to come out. Quality Inn which has played a major role for the promotion has stated that without the Colosseum Combat show, they would be out over $25,000 a year.

But it wasn’t like Slater just said “Hey I am putting on a local show, give me some cash to help do it.” He had to prove his show was worth investing in. For him, it is that he runs a good, clean show that fans and fighters want to see. He’s had very few fighters get out of line either before or after their fight and several of the high profile professionals that have fought for him didn’t just fight a single fight and leave, they fought multiple times.

That level of respect that he treats his fighters with, he expects in return. And it trickles out to the crowd in attendance at an event. If you took a snapshot of the crowd at a Colosseum Combat event, you would notice something different about it versus other shows. Kids. And lots of them. The show caters to families, and not the rowdy beer guzzling obnoxious fans. The reason for that is simple, Slater has his family at every show.

“My parents are at every event as are my children. I don’t want to put anything out there that would embarrass my folks or anything I wouldn’t want my kids to see. I think that locally people have seen that. Even our DJ is aware of this, and while every now and then a song gets by him, if he knows there is a curse word in the song, he pulls the radio edit version.”

So because of the family first and the respect Slater treats everyone involved, it was no surprise to see the rest of Kokomo get behind him. While the Ivy Tech Events Center was able to house upwards of 1,000 fans, the Armory where he did his first show is only able to hold 700. They are maximizing the number of seats available, but for a show that has routinely sold 1,000-1,200 tickets, something had to give.

Thankfully, the local sponsors that Slater had gone to time and time again, were willing to step up and do more. They realized the impact his show had and together they have increased their sponsorship level to help offset the costs from the lost ticket sales.

And while the Armory doesn’t have the capacity, it does have one distinct advantage; get on the approved list at one Armory, you are approved for others. That means being able to put on a show in front of 2,000 fans in Indianapolis at the historic Tyndall Armory which has played home to the Golden Gloves.

Slater in the past has sacrificed expanding his show to a larger venue to keep the show in Kokomo, but now the focus seems to be on using a larger show to promote Kokomo. Slater says that he will put on 2-3 smaller shows in Kokomo, while promoting a large show in Indianapolis. But the fighters who fight on that big card? Likely to be the same ones from Kokomo.

Anyone who talks to Slater knows that he is a family first guy and it clearly shows. It is this mentality that has helped him not only be successful, but also get people to rally behind him when he was at his lowest point and thought about tossing in the towel.

Ask MMA Recap Reminder, Win A Free Art By JMC Print

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

Jose Aldo - drawn by Justin McAllister

Jose Aldo – drawn by Justin McAllister


Last week, David from New York asked about the UFC adopting UFC rankings and won a free Art By JMC print. What will the question be this week that wins another print from famous Sharpie Artist Justin McAllister? The prints include some of the best UFC fighters including GSP, Anderson Silva, the Diaz brothers, Cain Velasquez and more.

To enter, simply post a comment either here or on our facebook page with your MMA related question. It could be about a specific fight and why it was signed, or it could be about who the top contenders are in the divisions or even what strategies to use in forming a promotion.

The deadline for the submission is every Friday at 10pm and the chosen questions will be posted on Sunday.

Win Two Tickets To UFC on Fox 6 In Chicago

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Contest

UFC_on_FOX_6Here’s your chance to win two tickets to see the UFC live in Chicago on January 26th. The event takes place at the United Center and will be headlined by Demetrious Johnson defending his flyweight title against John Dodson. Also on the card will be a grudge match between Donald Cerrone and Anthony Pettis, Erik Koch taking on Ricardo Lamas in a potential featherweight number one contender matchup, Clay Guida making his featherweight debut and both Mike Russow and Mike Stumpf competing.

To enter the contest, simply take the seven question survey via the link below. One person will be chosen at random on Friday, January 11th at 8am CST. The winner will be notified via email that day that they won and must follow directions in order to claim prize.

Please note that this is for tickets only to the event and no other expenses will be covered by MMARecap. All travel, hotel, food, etc… is on the contest winner. Tickets will either be mailed out the WEEK OF or handed out in person during the week’s events. There will be no transfer of tickets to another individual.

Click here to enter the contest

CTRL Industries – The Name Says It All

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Brands

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A difficulty some people have when starting a new company is coming up with a name.  After all that name is the first impression and more often than not, the domain is likely taken.  And trying to get that perfect name can sometimes be a struggle.  But not for Blayne Barlow of CTRL Industries.  And his company’s name CTRL, short for control, likely has more meaning for him than even he realizes.

To tell the story of CTRL and where it all came about one has to go back to 1997.  Yes the company was formed in 2011, some fourteen years later, but the true origin of the story dates back to the late nineties.  Back then, Barlow and his brothers were just messing around and training.  They were introduced to jiu jitsu from their cousin who showed them UFC 2.  They watched in awe as Royce Gracie just dismantled fighter after fighter, all with nothing more than controlling where the fight was and where his opponent was.

So the brothers set out to train, but unfortunately the combination of the small town and lack of jiu jitsu schools lead them to the one place that was always open; their living room.  They would just practice doing what Gracie did for hours on end.  While it didn’t teach them a lot about jiu jitsu, it did teach them enough of the basics.

In 2005 Barlow joined a gym and fell in love with the sport even more.  Since then he has been to the gym at least three times a week, sometimes as much as eight times when time and life permitted and was recently rewarded with his brown belt.

To hear Barlow tell the story of the name it is all focused on control in not just jiu jitsu, but martial arts in general. “There wasn’t really any heavy thought into any other names. It was CTRL. I kind of came up with it early on, and I settled on it because it was so relevant to any fighting arts. First with jiu jitsu. My passion’s with jiu jitsu, so with jiu jitsu everything is about control. You’ve gotta control the grips, you gotta control the space between you and your opponent, you gotta have control on your passing, you gotta have control on your sweeping, when you’re submitting. I think it was Damien Meyer who said once, “If you have five hundred attacks in jiu jitsu, but If you don’t have the proper control, you’re not going to finish any of them.” I thought that was kind of a cool quote that was so relevant to what we were doing. If you think about it, everything comes back to how much control you can get, and I thought it was so relevant and so perfect for what we were doing. And I used the abbreviation CTRL: it’s like computer geek for control, and it’s something that people know. People are familiar with that abbreviation. But I use it in a different context. I used it towards fighting, MMA, jiu jitsu, and even with boxing. When you’re boxing you’ve got to control the distance. With muay thai you gotta control the clinch. I think that pretty much everything comes back to how well you control the situation you’re in. That’s why the name works out so well for the brand.”

But that isn’t the full story of the company.  It might be the story of the name, but there is more than just coming up with the name.  What lead Barlow to create the jiu jitsu brand was life throwing him a curve ball.  His wife became severely sick so much so that she was required to stay in a hospital while she recovered.  The time off from her job lead to her losing her job while she was still recovering.  It isn’t unreasonable to think that a family in this situation would have gotten angry and thrown in the towel, but Barlow decided that this was an opportunity for the two of them.

With his background in artistic design and his passion for jiu jitsu, he wanted to launch his own jiu jitsu brand.  And with his wife out of work, he approached her and laid out the game plan on how the company would move forward.  It all hinged on her being up for it as he knew that he couldn’t focus 100% on it but she could.  She went for it and she was able to devote her energy into the company full time while Barlow focused on the designs outside of his regular job.  What he did, was he took control of a bad situation and made it a good one.

Moving forward with the company Barlow had an advantage or a disadvantage depending on how one looks at things in the fact that there is a cross over from jiu jitsu into MMA both with practitioners and with fans.  Barlow sees it as both and works hard to overcome the obstacle.

I think the guys that are strictly MMA brand have a huge advantage over jiu jitsu brands. Because, with the MMA market, the actual consumer maybe 90-95% of the time they don’t practice any martial art. They’re more of fans that watch MMA. They’re more followers of MMA than actual practitioners of MMA. So they’re able to market to people that don’t actually train. And with jiu jitsu, it’s like all of our stuff has to be so much geared toward the practitioner. And it has to be geared and relevant to the things the practitioner understands. So we have things, like I have shirts that only a jiu jitsu guy would get, you know? A lot of times only something that a jiu jitsu guy would understand. They have a major advantage in that way, but I still think we’re kind of a niche market.We’re kind of, I guess you could say, a little bit underground because the consumer is actually the practitioner. So it’s kind of an almost exclusive market. The exclusivity is kind of nice for the consumer, but not so much for business.”

That niche market maybe smaller, but there is no doubt that the fans are talking about his product.  And because it has been built by fans of jiu jitsu, social media has been a huge deal for Barlow.  He has advertised in many different spaces ranging from print magazines to social media, but he feels that social media has created his brand’s awareness.  It allows people to see the product and some potential designs before it goes to market.  He can get feedback from the fans and make changes.  All in a matter of real time.  And because of that his favorite marketing technique is using social media and running contests to give back.

I do a lot of contests on Facebook. I think that’s one of them. Some of them, I try to put a twist on, to make them unique. There’s a lot of other companies doing contests too, but I think it helps a lot. When people see free stuff up for grabs, they always want to jump in and try to get at it. That’s one of the things we’ve done is try to give away a lot of things. It’s partially for our own promotion but also to give back to all the people that support us, all the people that follow our pages on Facebook and Twitter and all these things.”

Again, it goes back to controlling what he can.  Putting product in people’s hands, letting them realize the quality of the product, having fans take pictures and post them with the product, it all helps.

One thing that has helped him was getting the support of Renzo Gracie.  Barlow a huge fan of Renzo reached out on twitter.  The two were able to share stories as Barlow is from the Relson Gracie team and Renzo immediately showed support.  Barlow repaid the favor by creating a “Renzo Knows” shirt and it is in that spirit that many of the shirts have been created.

But at the end of the day it goes back to control and how much you have over everything.  As Barlow says, without the fans, he wouldn’t be here and as such, he focuses a lot of his time on the customers.

I think is real important is the people, the customers. The followers, the fans. I think they’re pretty much the main focus of everything, and that’s what I try to do. I try to be on top of my customer service. I always try to be involved, whether it’s their purchasing process, whether there’s a problem. I try to go above and beyond the problem, go above and beyond correcting it the best I can. I try to interact with them because interaction with them really helps a lot to tailor a product to their needs. And being a practitioner of jiu jitsu I know there’s a million body types out there, so you gotta design a million different sizes of gis. And I haven’t really expanded into that, but I’m working on it. So there’s things like that. I think the main thing of any business is the consumer, and that’s what I try to do is focus on them a lot and give them what they want and satisfy them. That’s the main thing I try to do above anything else.”

Ask MMARecap – What About UFC Rankings?

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Ask MMA Recap

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The absolute hardest thing that can be agreed upon by members of the media, promoters, fans and managers are rankings. And that’s what makes this week’s question from David in New York so interesting. He writes, “How do you feel about the UFC adopting an actual ranking system for their fighters?”

He goes on to explain why he thinks it is a good idea not just for each weight class but for a pound for pound citing guys who fight in multiple weight classes. There’s good logic behind his question and now it is time to break this thing down.

First let’s dismiss one part of the rankings, the pound for pound. This is a ranking that I personally hate with a passion. The argument is that if all things were equal, who would be the better fighter. The problem is, all things aren’t equal. Comparing Jose Aldo to Jon Jones is just ridiculous. The only way that this works is by comparing the competition that each has faced and how well they have done and not their skill set necessarily. Weight classes are a real thing, and a much needed thing. I HIGHLY doubt that if we still had the open weight tournaments that we would see someone like Aldo enter it just due to how much weight is given up. So for the question of the UFC adopting a ranking system, pound for pound is out.

Now to the real meat of the question and what it would give us the fans. If the UFC developed a way to rank the fighters we would always know who is number one and who is number two. This is a given. We would also know how important a single fight could be for a fighter if we had the full listing of where everyone stood. It also would make it much easier for the fans to keep track of who is fighting next for the title assuming that we go in numerical order and there aren’t injuries.

Before we dive deeper into this, as an editorial note, anyone remember when Demian Maia fought Anderson Silva? He was a replacement for Vitor Belfort at UFC 112 and was touted by the UFC as a “top 6 middleweight”. Translation, he was ranked number 6 at the time.

Back to the UFC and if they should take a hard stance and create a ranking system. Should they? Probably. Will they? Not a chance.

Personally I believe that they have an internal ranking of each fighter for multiple things including their weight class, their cost to the company, the income they bring into the company, ease of working with, etc… Any number of metrics there is someone in the UFC’s offices who is keeping track of everything every fighter is doing. But publicly they won’t disclose this. And it is these other factors that are reasons why the UFC keeps several fighters after multiple loses (think Dan Hardy, Leonard Garcia).

But publicly should the UFC release a ranking system? The answer is no. Unlike all the other major sports that are televised where there are simple formulas that help us determine who is number one and who is number five, there isn’t one in the UFC. We have one measuring stick for who is number one and who the rest of the group is and that is the championship belt.

The argument for having these rankings is that it would force a champ to fight the number one contender. The downside is that it would sometimes leave us without a fight we want to see. Sure the argument could be made that without the rankings we aren’t seeing some fights either and we will get to that in a bit.

The UFC is a profitable company. It is exists, not to put on fights, but to make money by putting on fights. For that reason there are times when every champion has to take a fight that has people scratching their head.

A perfect example is why Frankie Edgar is getting the title shot at Jose Aldo in his first fight at featherweight after losing not one, but two fights in a row to Ben Henderson. Yes they were close fights, but at the end of the day, he lost. So why is Edgar stepping ahead of Ricardo Lamas and Chang Sung Jung? Money and marketing.

Aldo isn’t near as big a household name as he should be. Throw Edgar in there and the PPV is likely to see a much bigger buy rate than if it was Lamas. Not taking anything away from Lamas as he is deserving of that shot, but his name recognition isn’t out there. But the UFC is working on that recognition. They are putting Lamas on a Fox card with MILLIONS of people watching. The lowest UFC on Fox ratings had 2.4 million people watching it. The highest UFC ppv had 1.6million purchases and that was with Brock Lesnar on it.

2012 was a horrible year for the UFC. Nearly every main event was changed due to injury as well as several fights on the rest of the cards. Never in the history of the UFC had they had so many injuries. As such, PPV buys went down, and the vault with gold coins in it, isn’t near as high as it was projected to be.

The biggest snub of a division with potential title challengers is middleweight. Several names for the past 18 months have been screaming as loud as they can that they are deserving of a title shot and that they have what it takes to beat Anderson Silva. But at UFC 155 those same guys all lost. Tim Boetsch lost to Costa Philippou who has been quietly getting wins in the UFC but stated he knows he isn’t ready for Anderson Silva. Alan Belcher couldn’t counter Yushin Okami’s grappling game and got smothered in a unanimous decision loss. Both Belcher and Boetsch were saying they were at the top of the echelon of fighters. But now with those losses the question not only is are they still, but were they ever to begin with.

Now there are a few guys who are deservedly number one contenders and are being snubbed, Chris Weidman and Johny Hendricks come to mind but they will either win their next fight, or get their title shot.

The Wrong Ways Of Trying To Get Sponsors

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Education

wrong-sponsorsOne of the hardest things of being a fighter is obtaining a sponsorship. We all know how important they are, and if done right, they are important to both sides of the party. Ideally the fighter is successful enough both in and outside of the cage to bring some attention to that brand and at the same time, the brand is successful enough to get eyeballs on their fighter. It should be a reciprocal relationship.

But instead of talking about what an ideal relationship is and what should be expected from both parties (let’s save that for another article), let’s talk about the wrong ways of trying to get a sponsor.

My favorite, and has a nearly 100% shot down rate, is sending an email to a company with some variation of the following.

Yo! I’m John Doe and I am the best fighter not signed to the UFC yet. You should be honored to work with me and give me $XXX and in return I will put your logo on my shorts. Here’s my address to mail the check to.

Seriously? I’ve read some good variations on that line, some likely to be even done in jest. But telling someone you are the best unsigned fighter doesn’t mean squat. To quote Brent Weedman from an interview we did, “That’s like being the tallest kid in the third grade”.

So don’t do it. Another one of my favorites is when I see a fighter post on facebook saying “I’m fighting in 30 days. Hit me up for sponsors”. Yes that is an actual line that I have seen, and truth be told, the inspiration for this article.

The biggest issue here is that he is saying hit him up for sponsors, meaning he has them and is looking to sponsor people. I am just as guilty of poor grammar as the next person, but when the goal is to get people to give you money and not you give them money, it’s kind of silly.

Additionally on top of it, this is probably the laziest approach ever to trying to get a sponsor. You might as well go into the local mall, stand at the center and shout “Hey someone give me money”. With the speed that we read and disregard facebook posts, this mall method might have a longer life span.

Being that you are on social media more than likely, make sure you don’t do something stupid on it. While a single non-important post on facebook or twitter is going to be brushed off, a mis-guided or bad post will live on for a lot longer. Think of Forrest Griffin with his “joke” about rape on twitter. Think a local company wants to deal with that?

Finally don’t over-estimate a company’s worth when asking for money. Just because they appear to be a huge successful company, doesn’t mean that they are. If they tell you they can only give you $200 for a fight and you demand $1000, they might walk. Not because they don’t want to work with you, but because they cannot afford to. One sponsorship company that used to be around at all the local shows went under after sponsoring a fighter for 4x what they could afford. The fighter didn’t sell a single shirt and all of their resources were dried up in a matter of weeks.

Ultimate Knockouts DVD Winner Announced

Written by MMARecap Staff on . Posted in Contest

UFC Ultimate Knockouts 8 DVD Cover

UFC Ultimate Knockouts 8 DVD Cover

Congratulations to the Gothard Brothers of Lemont, Illinois. They entered our contest to give away a copy of UFC Ultimate Knockouts 8 and were selected at random to win. The contest was open for a week with nearly thirty entries submitted.

Next week’s contest is a big one as we will be giving away two tickets to UFC on Fox here in Chicago. Be sure to read the rules of the contest before entering, as we would hate to disqualify you for breaking any rules.

Once again, congratulations to the Gothard Brothers!