Alleged $30 mil UFC pirate says he is destitute, suffers mental illness


Last week UFC parent company ZUFFA filed suit against Steven A. Messina, 27, who lives with his mom and dad in Great Kills, NY.

Among the allegations in the suit is that:
•Messina attempted to operate anonymously under the name Secludedly.
•Uploaded 141 UFC events to sites like Piratebay.
•Called himself the “Provider of Best MMA & Boxing rips online!"
•Asked viewers to “Help Me Cap PPV!” through his PayPal donation account, called “MMA Capping Fund!”
•Messina and associates “are intent on becoming the most well known pirates and infringers on the internet by making their mark on the major torrent websites available on the internet."

The suit seeks up to $150,000 for each act of infringement, up to $110,000 for each illegal use of UFC content, up to $60,000 for intercepting UFC content, and lawyer’s fees for a sobering total of $32,000,000.

In a recent interview, Messina said he was the last to know, receiving papers two days after the story broke in the NY Post.

“A relative recognized my name in the New York Post and word got to me through phone, and people were wondering if it was me," said Messina. "Now, I’m rarely out of my house, ever. I’m sick. So I am like, ‘How the hell can I be in the Post?’ I decided to look it up, and hello, there I am. Then the Internet started going crazy about it, and everyone is getting all this information that I have no clue how they are getting, most of it totally wrong!”

“There were no police involved, no criminal actions taken. I’ll be honest, I don’t understand the laws and all that around this type of thing, so I’m a little lost here and overwhelmed. I don’t even know what is going on. I think people on the Internet know more than me.”

Stories had made light of Messina living in his parent's basement, but as he tells it, the truth is not a joke. Messina says he suffers from a number of psychiatric conditions including agoraphobia, panic, anxiety and bipolar disorders, and spent four years without leaving his bedroom.

“Most of the time I barely had enough to cover an event’s cost after donations and would use my own money saved for medication and doctors. In total, I’ve probably made no more in a year than $450-$550 in donations. But just that helped me pay for a few months of medical expenses, as well as maybe four or five fight cards. I always ended up paying out of my own pocket though, as I’ve had money from my previous job saved in my checking account.”

“It’s always the one you love the most that can hurt you the most. I love the UFC. I love MMA. I want the world to know of it and acknowledge it as a legitimate sport and I want it to be famous. I don’t want myself to be famous. That’s an oxymoron for me, don’t you think? An agoraphobe seeking attention? I want to be left alone and continue living my horrible life with what little I have, and that’s my family and MMA.”

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tags: UFC   ZUFFA   Piracy   Steven Messina   

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Recent Comments »

GripnRip site profile image  

5/14/14 6:22 PM by GripnRip

No, youre just saying im wrong and restating the opposite position. Somebody with an economics degree from the UFC thinks oh theyre streaming because its easier or cheaper. Somebody with a real economics understanding says so many people are streaming because its free. This is proven with the simple fact that PPV buys INCREASED along with the rise of streams, in fact it was the steams that fueled the buys. Now, PPV is down but since we have no stats on how many people watch streams, people say oh its bcuz theyre all watcing streams. Wrong, the product has become watered down and less appealing and my guess is the amount of people watching the streams has declined recently right along with the PPV numbers. This is supported by the fact that the major steaming sites are offering less feeds with every event than they were a few years back.

dubate site profile image  

5/14/14 5:40 PM by dubate

That's actually not true. As options are removed, people will pay for it. There are very few people who can afford to pay for the PPV that wouldn't if they couldn't find a stream of it. That does not mean everyone, it just means that the overwhelming majority of people who get an illegal copy of something would pay for it rathet than not watch it.

GripnRip site profile image  

5/14/14 4:59 PM by GripnRip

The fucking econimic reality zuffa and co. need to accept is that anyone using a stream WOULD NOT buy the ppv if they couldnt stream it...its such a clear fucking fact that it makes their witch hunt such a fucking headscratcher...did the fertitas inheret their seed money because this lack of basic business sense is so ridiculous, could it be possibly that the UFC is as stupid as they look?

dubate site profile image  

5/14/14 12:41 PM by dubate

Yes for the vast majority of people (I believe the study showed something like over 85%) it's not a financial crime, it's a crime of convenience. The people downloading/streaming/torrenting can afford to pay for the PPV, but why would they, when within two clicks you can have the show? The legal way would have you get out your credit card, call your cable company, type in the info (repeat 4x because it didn't get the number correct), and then eventually transfer you to a person. People pirate because it involves fewer steps.

DP Grand Prix site profile image  

5/14/14 12:28 PM by DP Grand Prix

Used to order every event during 2005-2009 or so. Would fill my basement with like-minded people and have a blast. Ordered a pay per view like any other time and about 15 minutes into the event an error comes up telling me to call my provider. Took most of the 3 hour event to get in contact with my provider (Rogers, Toronto area)and they fixed it instantly but we had missed everything but the main event.This happened the next 2 events as well so I gave up and never ordered a PPV since. Clearly an issue with my provider, however just wanted to give an example as to why someone may not pay for the PPV.. my service provider literally wouldn't let me :(

Card site profile image  

5/14/14 12:04 PM by Card

Look's like he plateaued at $500.00

noisebully site profile image  

5/12/14 4:52 PM by noisebully

well said. almost forgot about fight pass. it will be entertaining to see how they move forward with everything.

Fly Rodder site profile image  

5/12/14 12:23 PM by Fly Rodder

Financially? I don't know. But as a method of content distribution it's a relic of the 70s and 80s. The UFC is on cable. They originally used PPVs because they couldn't get on cable. Why should the UFC continue to split revenues 50/50 with a distributor if the UFC is funding the production?Anyway, that's a smaller issue in the larger environment of digital content reproduction. Production companies used to own the artist, the media, and the distribution channels - so they could charge what they liked. Now, the internet isn't owned and anyone can function as a distribution channel for pennies. It's a much messier world and while some companies are embracing the ability to control their own production from cradle to consumer (e.g., the WWE), other companies are attacking their customers to lock up every dime to preserve an outdated model.

Stea1th site profile image  

5/12/14 12:06 PM by Stea1th

They need to stop fragmenting events and go with everything accessible via fight pass. Even if they charged $20 a month or $10 a month a month a year agreement.

dannyapodaca site profile image  

5/11/14 9:42 AM by dannyapodaca

Wtf are you talking about? There were 4 free MLB games on basic cable yesterday. All free to their fans. 2 NBA playoff games free. NASCAR race free. No ppv for any of them.