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2/14/12 1:56 AM
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Mauricio "Shogun" Rua recently split from his long-time manager, saying in part "the UFC has made it clear that we don’t need a manager; all negotiations are conducted by the athletes themselves."

Alex Davis, who is rapidly becoming the conscience of the sport, details how managers still have a role to play.

"As I watch the severing of ties between some prominent athletes and their longtime managers – and feel the scrutiny that management comes under because of the media attention that these breakups are getting – many things become apparent," Davis told MMAjunkie.com. "First off, fight management is something that is very poorly understood by most. The reasons that brought these recent breakups have nothing to do with the scope of fight management in general. They are specific reasons, particular to the parties involved.

"Although you might have cases where an individual fighter can manage his or her own career successfully, those will be few and far between. For the most part, both the fighter and the promotion need help in this area."

"Let's go back to the point when a fighter starts his career and begins progressing up through the ranks. At that point, it will be very difficult for a guy to accomplish all of his goals without the guidance, contacts and experience of someone who has been in the game for a while and understands the ins and outs of our specific world.

"Many promising careers have been ended prematurely because of non- or improper management. We have also seen this happen recently, when successful people in other walks of life have attempted to enter the game at a high level, and without understanding what they are doing, hurt otherwise successful careers."

"Some people will say that once a fighter reaches a level where he enters the UFC, he doesn't need management anymore, but usually a manager has worked very hard to get him to that point without ever getting properly rewarded for his efforts. Only once a fighter is at the top can a manager have a chance at making something in the deal, which is only fair. Not only that, but its not like, 'Hey, great, now I am in the UFC. My problems are over!' Far from that. Things get way more complicated.

"More paperwork is needed. Deadlines must be met, and the young fighter at the same time must invest more of his time into his own training in order to perform, and if the time that he has outside the mat, ring or gym, has not been spent resting but handling the many other issues that are part of a professional fighter's career, his performance will suffer, and so will his career."

"The UFC does not pick a fighter's manager and does not meddle in that relationship. The UFC will deal with whoever the fighter wishes, and if the fighter wishes to do it himself, the UFC will not have a problem with that. But I know for a fact that it would be a far more difficult process to go it alone for the simple reason that fighters fight. They train for fights, they understand fighting, and that's their walk in life. That is where and when the they are the most intelligent at what they do – experts in the field, so to speak – but in the vast majority of cases, take them out of that world, and they are completely lost.

"Additionally, I think people sometimes don't understand the multitude of things that go on behind the scenes. Contracts to sign – not to mention abide by when it comes to sponsors – schedules to arrange and follow, medicals to be completed, travel to consider, diets to maintain and on and on an on. All of these things fall under the manager's responsibility, and if they weren't on the case, the UFC and every other promotion would find themselves with a whole new set of headaches."

"Speaking only for myself, I know I get irritated at feeling my job and hard work will come under some kind of scrutiny caused by ricochet from other people's problems. I know how hard I work at this, how much the responsibility of someone's life and career weighs on my shoulders, and how much I have been involved in different athletes' success.

"I have been doing this for more than a decade. I have been a part of many men's lives and careers. I have always tried my hardest to do the best for them and have only sought to make what is honest and fair from them – in many cases even waiving moneys that I could have lawfully claimed because I could see what a particular fighter was going through in his life at that particular moment and decided to reinvest that percentage in him. But that's just me. There are other people out there like myself, but the majority are out there for other reasons. Ego? Money? I see cases where a manager simply sucks a fighter dry and others where he is nonexistent until the camera and success shows up!

"This is a complex subject, and the truth lies deeper then one or two big names. Specific problems are different in each case and cannot be generalized. MMA is a very complex sport and becomes even more so as it grows, and the simple truth is that a successful  fighter will need more and more specific help in different areas – management being only one – if he is to become and stay successful."

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2/14/12 4:46 AM
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2/14/12 5:30 AM
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Matt Phillips
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 There is absolutely a need for managers. I've witnessed fighters getting screwed over by promoters on a local level. Without management to guide fighters through shark infested waters like that, there would be no talent reaching the UFC level untarnished and jaded.

2/14/12 5:39 AM
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FightAddict11
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You think Nick Diaz would be able to handle his shit without a manager?

Shit, I'm not a pro fighter, but I smoke a shit ton of weed and I'd love a manager.

God damn. Phone Post
2/14/12 5:40 AM
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The sad thing is that some fighters are going to get to the UFC and then give up their managers to keep more of a cut of what they make. It'll come back to bite them in the ass though since with fewer managers their pay won't increase the way it would if they had managers.

The only way it could work is if there was complete openness in how much everybody is making including PPV and locker room bonuses. But obviously it's in the UFC's best interest to keep that information as hidden as possible.

Do they really want Condit and Diaz making the same PPV cut as GSP? Without a manager GSP would probably be making a couple hundred thousand a fight and be thinking he's making great money.
2/14/12 5:51 AM
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fabes
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I've seen some Managers get their fighters WAY more sponsorship money then they would've gotten without them. A good manager is most certainly worth the price.
2/14/12 7:10 AM
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AJDavis
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To the lay person, seems that a fighter shows up, weighs in, fights the next day, wins or loses, and goes on to the next one. Everyone sees the action, but few see everything that happened to get those two guys up into that ring. Looking at it like that,a Manager become a villain, just sucking off a fighters efforts. But thats simply not reality, couldnt be farther from it. What you are watching, is the result of a conjunction of efforts, of input by various people into those 2 guys, so that they could get into that ring and give it their best, with no distractions.
I know all these guys, I know the Managers, I know the fighters, and I know the reasons that things went south between them. It kills me when things get generalized! What do otther hard working people have tto do with these particular partys problems?
As I have been doing this from almost the very dawn of the sport, and I have seen just about everything, except for Cows flying, I enjoy writing, clarifying and educating. To me, its such a privileged to be part of this sport at this level, and I love sharing with everyone!
2/14/12 7:16 AM
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fabes
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Good to have you here Alex. Thanks for the response.
2/14/12 8:16 AM
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Tad Ghostal
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I think there are some fighters that don't need a fight manager and are better served by a media/marketing company(e.g. UFC champs). I don't know what Blackhouse does for Anderson now that 9INE handle his sponsorships etc.
2/14/12 8:38 AM
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AJDavis
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There is one main reason for having a fight manager, apart from relationships , guidance and other things, its what I call the yes and no reason.

If a Promoter come up to a fighter, and says: Well, Ide like you to fight Godzilla! The fighter will say, well, thats a tough fight! And the Promoter will say: Whats the matter, you dont think you can beat him? You scared or something? And what will the fighter say? I am not scared of anyone! Of course I can beat him! And, the promoter just cornered the fighter into taking a fight, in which the risks and benefits had not been properly considered!

There needs to be someone in between, who will give the fighter a chance to consider his options. Fighters are instinctive, emotional beings, and being so, they will act on those emotions. There has to be some one who can separate things for them: Hey, maybe Godzilla is not the right fight for you right now!
2/14/12 8:41 AM
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AJDavis
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Fabes, thank you for the kind words!
2/14/12 8:47 AM
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Tad Ghostal
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AJDavis - There is one main reason for having a fight manager, apart from relationships , guidance and other things, its what I call the yes and no reason.

If a Promoter come up to a fighter, and says: Well, Ide like you to fight Godzilla! The fighter will say, well, thats a tough fight! And the Promoter will say: Whats the matter, you dont think you can beat him? You scared or something? And what will the fighter say? I am not scared of anyone! Of course I can beat him! And, the promoter just cornered the fighter into taking a fight, in which the risks and benefits had not been properly considered!

There needs to be someone in between, who will give the fighter a chance to consider his options. Fighters are instinctive, emotional beings, and being so, they will act on those emotions. There has to be some one who can separate things for them: Hey, maybe Godzilla is not the right fight for you right now!

Would that really work with the UFC? E.G. If Anderson says he won't fight Chael would they even offer him another fight?
2/14/12 8:52 AM
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Kirik
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 Honor to have you on the page Alex. MMA is much greater for your presence.
2/14/12 8:53 AM
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I wish Eduardo would chime in but unlikely.

Thanks for your input Alex. Phone Post
2/14/12 8:54 AM
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Tad Ghostal -
AJDavis - There is one main reason for having a fight manager, apart from relationships , guidance and other things, its what I call the yes and no reason.

If a Promoter come up to a fighter, and says: Well, Ide like you to fight Godzilla! The fighter will say, well, thats a tough fight! And the Promoter will say: Whats the matter, you dont think you can beat him? You scared or something? And what will the fighter say? I am not scared of anyone! Of course I can beat him! And, the promoter just cornered the fighter into taking a fight, in which the risks and benefits had not been properly considered!

There needs to be someone in between, who will give the fighter a chance to consider his options. Fighters are instinctive, emotional beings, and being so, they will act on those emotions. There has to be some one who can separate things for them: Hey, maybe Godzilla is not the right fight for you right now!

Would that really work with the UFC? E.G. If Anderson says he won't fight Chael would they even offer him another fight?
Different scenario entirely. Phone Post
2/14/12 8:54 AM
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AJDavis
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No, in the UFC it doesn't really work. in the UFC, you have reached a level where you are good enough to fight anyone on the roster. But when it comes to the bigger names, who have leverage, trust me when I tell you, that even in the UFC, fights will be declined by the names, because the risk reward ratio isn't right. How long have we seen Anderson creating difficulty's for that re match for example?
2/14/12 8:54 AM
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panic686
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I do think managers are pretty dam nimportant. Add in a family and a fighter's time really is very very limited.
2/14/12 8:57 AM
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Tad Ghostal
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AJDavis - No, in the UFC it doesn't really work. in the UFC, you have reached a level where you are good enough to fight anyone on the roster. But when it comes to the bigger names, who have leverage, trust me when I tell you, that even in the UFC, fights will be declined by the names, because the risk reward ratio isn't right. How long have we seen Anderson creating difficulty's for that re match for example?

Do they all just ask for Anderson Silva money?
2/14/12 9:02 AM
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AJDavis
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No, if you want to ask for " Anderson Silva $", you have to have performed to deserve that. The majority of fighters will have on and off days, will win, and will lose. How will they ask for anything more, if they have not strung and impressive row of wins together? And that is not easy to do! And when they do, my experience is that the UFC will compensate them. Anderson is a genius, by any standards! That doesnt mean he cant be beaten, but what he has done inside that Octagon, stretches the imagination of what is possible!
2/14/12 9:20 AM
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Tad Ghostal
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Haha, I was joking. I was referring to the big names that have leverage, instead of turning down a fight asking for more money. I doubt they would do that now, considering how Dana reacted publicly.
2/14/12 9:29 AM
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GMUNIT
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I don't know how anyone would want to do what a manager does on their own. Most of the guys dropping their management are being duped IMO, all they are seeing is the money they are "saving" but their careers will suffer because of it


slamming - I wish Eduardo would chime in but unlikely. <br><br>Thanks for your input Alex. <img src="/images/phone/apple.png" alt="Phone Post" border="0" style="vertical-align:middle;"/>


he commented on the first thread that was made about this

i think it was even on the first page
2/14/12 9:33 AM
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AJDavis
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Well, Dana is a promoter, he needs to put on the fights that the fans will pay to see. Not always the fighter will agree to that fight, maybe the guy is a friend, maybe the fighter doesnt like that fight. So you will end up with those situations.
2/14/12 9:59 AM
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zedlepln
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AJDavis - There is one main reason for having a fight manager, apart from relationships , guidance and other things, its what I call the yes and no reason.

If a Promoter come up to a fighter, and says: Well, Ide like you to fight Godzilla! The fighter will say, well, thats a tough fight! And the Promoter will say: Whats the matter, you dont think you can beat him? You scared or something? And what will the fighter say? I am not scared of anyone! Of course I can beat him! And, the promoter just cornered the fighter into taking a fight, in which the risks and benefits had not been properly considered!

There needs to be someone in between, who will give the fighter a chance to consider his options. Fighters are instinctive, emotional beings, and being so, they will act on those emotions. There has to be some one who can separate things for them: Hey, maybe Godzilla is not the right fight for you right now!
I think it's more than just a given matchup, too. Fighters fight, as a rule, and sometimes that means taking fights when they shouldn't or under conditions they shouldn't, or at least they should consider those extenuating circumstances before accepting the offer.

A fighter will fight, even if he is not yet fully recovered from an injury.

A fighter will fight, even when his personal affairs require more attention than he can devote while training.

A fighter will fight, even if he isn't given adequate preparation time for an unusual opponent.

A fighter will fight, even if he isn't given his due slot in the lineup (e.g., undercard).

Having a rational voice can make for better decisions. Every fight intersects two critical aspects of a fighters future: his health and his career. 
2/14/12 10:05 AM
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AJDavis
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Very well put!
2/14/12 10:44 AM
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Authority Figure
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I dunno. I think I could trust some casino owners to have my best interest in mind.

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