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Article of the Day: Sam Caplan on how to build an MMA promotion

By Zach Arnold | September 26, 2008

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Reading material that will generate a good amount of reaction.

Runner up AOTD: Rampage thinks Michael Bisping can beat Dan Henderson and eventually beat Anderson Silva.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, UK, Zach Arnold | 15 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

15 Responses to “Article of the Day: Sam Caplan on how to build an MMA promotion”

  1. David says:

    Rampage also thinks he hears God talking to him. After a year of therapy I will gladly listen to his opinions and thoughts.

  2. zack says:

    Isn’t Caplan with Wamma? LOL

  3. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Caplan is the chairman of WAMMA’s ranking committee, yes. I don’t know if that’s a paid or unpaid position.

    Then again, pretty much all the major bloggers and writers about the sport (with the exception of a certain Yahoo sportswriter and our esteemed hosts here) are on that committee.

    They really should get rid of the committee structure and go to a general “writer’s ballot” structure similar to what is used by most of the major sports for halls of fame or MVP voting. I don’t think they’re particularly interested in being reputable at this point though (take a look at their heavyweight rankings).

    When did Rampage and Bisping first hook up? I seem to remember Rampage training there in the couple weeks running up to the “Champion vs. Champion” event, but this could go farther back.

  4. Mateo says:

    I am glad to see SC added that you should use a cage in his list. I can’t watch MMA in a ring. It’s not right.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    I am going to get absolutely beaten to death about this, BUT…. I agree with Rampage. Michael Bisping is the next UFC Middleweight Champion.

    There, I SAID IT!!! Beat me, torture me, throw me out to the garbage like the WFA and Bodog!!! hahaha. I actually don’t mind if people disagree with me on this one. I have little basis for my opinion. I just think he is going to do it and shock the world. I thought this the first few seconds he entered the Middleweight Division.

    As for Caplan, he is missing one major point. Don’t spend money on pointless stuff. Don’t spend on websites. Don’t spend $50,000+ on undercard fighters. Don’t pay a fighter more then double what they were receiving in the UFC. Spend some extra money to get those stars, but don’t spend anything more then you have to.

    Get talented fighters to build your company around. When you have to protect your stars, it quickly becomes evident and only discredits your company. So does getting a lot of former UFC fighters, which only makes the company look like UFC-Light or UFC-Cast Off.

    And lastly, marketing isn’t as important as getting the fans to know the stars and getting the fans to pay for them via PPV.

    Zuffa stumbled onto something with TUF. They built stars on the show, while at the same time building a mystique about Randy Couture & Chuck Liddell. The casual fans were hooked on Griffin/Bonnar and Diego Sanchez. But they were forced to spend money on Liddell/Couture 2.

    With Kimbo Slice, EliteXC has given their most important asset away for free. It is hard to ask people to people for it once you have done so. And sorry, but Carano/Cyborg is not going to sell a PPV. Kimbo/Shamrock might, but that is for free.

  6. Kelvin says:

    “If you want to compete with the UFC, have a bankroll of at least $50 million”

    ^Pfft…not competing with them is almost worth more than having the bankroll of 50 million.

  7. The Citizen says:

    Bisping is a jobber.

  8. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Maybe two rules to be added are:

    A. Don’t compete with UFC.
    B. Have one of Dana’s friends involved in your operation.

  9. David says:

    Affliction is not made out of dummies, considering they have built their clothing brand to be pretty big (in Los Angeles a lot of younger people wear Affliction, however I see it as out of fashion similar to Ed Hardy, which everyone wears, kinda lame).

    They probably have made some significant deals with the fighters as to the terms of their sponsorship and preferred to put it on paper for the fans and Dana White to see, at least I hope he did that as part of a bluff… I like Tom, he is a good face for Affliction and I really really hope they can pull of another dope show, with no fake blood on the camera, as per poor video production.

    I loved their first event and know they can put on another huge one if they market their cards heavily and continue to attract the 18-34 demographic.

  10. Zack says:

    Bisping won’t get past Leben unless it goes to decision and the Zuffa hired judges hand him another gift.

  11. Ivan Trembow says:

    There’s no thread on it, so this is off-topic, but I just wanted to say that I thought Friday night’s ShoXC event was a very good show. Reis vs. Cullum, in particular, was five rounds of excellent ground fighting.

  12. Ivan Trembow says:

    Also, regarding Quinton Jackson’s claims about Juanito Ibarra, other than Tito Ortiz and Quinton Jackson, has anyone ever said these things about Ibarra? Given that one of those two men has thought on more than one occasion that Jesus was talking to him, and has made the choice on more than occasion to fast for several days at a time despite bad consequences, I don’t know how much stock I put in what he says. Didn’t Quinton Jackson also have a nasty split with his previous mentor/trainer, Colin Oyama, and hasn’t Oyama trained and mentored numerous other fighters without problems?

  13. b.d.w. says:

    i would add 2 things to caplans list. 1.exclusive contracts! 2. make sure mma IS all you do. take atencio for example. he’s trying to be a fight promoter, a clothing apparrel salesman, and a rock promoter. i remember that video of him floating around on the net were he could’nt even remember josh barnett’s name! the guy fighting in his main event for crying out loud. thats why dana is so successfull, he does one thing and one thing only and thats mma. could you imagine dana white ever forgetting any fighters name that he has under contract. i doudt it.

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    A lot of the clothing industry is pure luck. Sometimes a certain style just happens to catch on. A lot of fashion companies have a very hard time staying anywhere near the top for a long period of time.

    One day Champion Sweatshirts are selling for $30…. Then the are discounted for $10. Hence the fashion industry.

  15. GassedOut says:

    And lastly, marketing isn’t as important as getting the fans to know the stars and getting the fans to pay for them via PPV.

    Isn’t that the entire point of marketing? Getting the fans to know the stars and pay for them via PPV I mean? That’s one interesting statement…


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