Aaron Riley: Fighters don't need a manager

by Aaron Riley | source: mmajunkie.com

Burgess Meredtth stole Rocky. And the movie doesn't know a manager from a trainer. But the question remains, does a fighter need a manager?

In a guest editorial at MMAJunkie, Aaron Riley, whose career spans nearly the length of the entire sport, details his difficult record with five managers, right up to today, where his latest manager has yet to disburse sponsorship checks from a fight against Tony Ferguson at 2011's UFC 135.

Riley ultimately decides that managers are not necessary. Riley argues that the UFC payscale is inflexibe, that sponsorship is just the icing on the contract cake, and that sponsor money often doesn't show up anyway.

I've felt the sting of mismanagement several times. I've had 44 professional MMA fights over 15 years and have seen managers come and go. I frequently resorted to negotiating fights and sponsors on my own because a manager failed to come through with lavish promises.

 made the decision to do business with these guys, so anything that comes out of it is my own fault. This is a short manifesto for young fighters to learn from my mistakes, which hopefully enables them to take charge of their own future before they go through the same painful process that I did.

•First and foremost, read the fine print before committing to a manager.
•Be ready to go to court when things go south.
•Don't let payments drag on forever.
•Hold managers to their promises.
•Go through other fighters to get a sense of how trustworthy a manager is.
•Interview your manager, not the other way around.
•You don't have to have a manger in your zip code, but familiarity is key.
•Most importantly, ask yourself if you really need a manager at all.
•Don't let him take credit for something he didn't do.
•Obviously not every manager lives in the moral gray area. There are plenty of mutually beneficial fighter-manager relationships.
•My final piece of advice is simple: Do it yourself. You don't need a manager. You just need someone you can trust.

Read entire article...


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Recent Comments »

soldave site profile image  

3/12/12 5:17 AM by soldave

one thing id add as well a lot of fighters are delusional when it comes to their skill sets. They are warriors and will take a fight with anybody, you need somebody imo to impartially look at you and choose to take that fight or not

soldave site profile image  

3/12/12 5:11 AM by soldave

his last ruleyou don't need a manager just somebody you can trust?so basically you need an unpaid manager.....

mrwhipple site profile image  

3/12/12 4:18 AM by mrwhipple

Aaron's right but this really only applies to mma and the UFC specifically. In the other major sports a manager, or agent, is going to be able to negotiate between multiple teams to get his client the best deal. With the UFC there is really no negotiations, no leverage for most fighters, so whatever the offer is the market rate - becau they are the market.

KrzyBnzJnz site profile image  

3/12/12 1:18 AM by KrzyBnzJnz

^^^ that is 100% accurate

fightsfan site profile image  

3/12/12 1:06 AM by fightsfan

Aaron Riley is a warrior as a fighter if their ever has been. He broke his jaw twice cause he was throwing and trading bombs.

KrzyBnzJnz site profile image  

3/11/12 11:10 PM by KrzyBnzJnz

^^^ Only two ufc fights have ever been stopped by a doctor for a broken jaw and it was him both times. I will continue to call him gentle jaw. I like watching him fight. Don't be so fucking sensitive.

TeamPrimal site profile image  

3/11/12 10:55 PM by TeamPrimal

 Go watch some of his wars and then feel free to call him gentle jaw if you still feel the same way.  Its amazing how jerk offs like yourself feel the need to talk stupid.  Show some respect!

GregBell  site profile image  

3/11/12 10:52 PM by GregBell

Riley knows the ends and outs guy has a ton of knowledge

jaytrainwreck site profile image  

3/11/12 10:51 PM by jaytrainwreck

Heed taken

Fly Rodder site profile image  

3/11/12 10:47 PM by Fly Rodder

All rookies in the big four sports go through mandatory financial training. Some kids, however, arent the classroom type. And some end up learning too much and resort to scams like Dykstra. If it were me, I'd just get a decent lawyer and have him/her review any contracts.