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« | Home | »

Affliction takes off gloves against M-1 in court

By Zach Arnold | November 30, 2009

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Backstory: Text of lawsuit filing between Fedor & M-1 versus Affliction

After Fedor & M-1 filed a lawsuit against Affliction over what they claimed were damages they suffered after the promotion collapsed and failed to run their third event on August 1st, Affliction filed a motion to dismiss the case in November in court. Please read this motion.

At the end of the motion, you will find a link to contracts that Affliction publicly filed with the court — including their fight contract with Fedor and their consulting agreement with M-1. In the text of the lawsuit that Fedor & M-1 filed against Affliction, you’ll recall that they said that they tried to contact Affliction for legal permission to release information regarding contracts they wanted to bring forth as evidence but allegedly did not replies from Affliction on. Affliction’s response is basically the equivalent of a document dump — with a lot of details.

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT

MICHAEL BASSIRI (SBN:191808)
bassiri@afflictionclothing.com
1799 Apollo Court
Seal Beach, California 90740
Telephone: (562) 598-0299
Facsimile: (562) 598-3824

Attorneys for Defendants Affliction Entertainment Group, LLC erroneously sued herein as Affliction Clothing and Affliction Entertainment, LLC

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

FEDOR EMELIANENKO, an individual; M-1 NEDERLAND b.v., a Dutch limited liability company,

Plaintiffs, vs.

AFFLICTION CLOTHING, a California business entity, form unknown; AFFLICTION ENTERTAINMENT, LLC, a California limited liability company, and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive,

Defendants, Case No.: CV09-07865 MMM (MLGx)

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO DISMISS COMPLAINT

Date: January 25, 2010
Time: 10:00 a.m.
Courtroom: 780
Judge: Margaret M. Morrow

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION

TO PLAINTIFFS AND THEIR ATTORNEYS OF RECORD:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that on January 25, 2010 at 10:00 a.m., or as soon thereafter as the matter may be heard in the above-entitled Court located at 255 East Temple Street, Los Angeles California 90012, Defendant Affliction Entertainment Group, LLC, erroneously sued herein as Affliction Clothing (hereinafter “Defendant”) will and hereby does, move pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) to dismiss the Complaint against Defendant by Plaintiffs Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Nederland b.v. (collectively “Plaintiffs”) on the grounds that the first through fourth causes of action of the Complaint fail to state a claim against Defendant upon which relief can be granted. Defendant’s motion is based on this Notice of Motion; the attached memorandum of Points and Authorities; the Complaint; all other matters of which the Court may take judicial notice; other papers on file in this action; and such further evidence and arguments as may be presented at or before the hearing.

MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORTIES

I. PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

Plaintiffs Fedor Emelianenko and M-1 Nederland b.v. (hereinafter collectively “Plaintiffs”) in their complaint (hereinafter “Complaint”) claim that Defendants Affliction Clothing and Affliction Entertainment, LLC have breached the contracts that Defendants had with both Mr. Emelianenko and M-1 Nederland. Plaintiffs have sued the two above entities. Mr. Emelianenko entered into the Fight Agreement with Affliction Promotions, Inc. dated April 14, 2008 (hereinafter “Fight Agreement”). M-1 Nederland entered into the Consulting Agreement with Affliction Promotions, Inc. dated April 14, 2008 (hereinafter “Consulting Agreement”). Affliction Promotions, Inc., after executing the agreements, was converted-out to Affliction Promotions, LLC on May 16, 2008. Affliction Promotions, LLC thereafter changed its name to Affliction Entertainment, LLC on May 30, 2008. Thereafter, Affliction Entertainment, LLC assigned all rights and duties under the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement to Affliction Entertainment Group, LLC, a California limited liability company in July 2008. This entity staged and promoted the two fights referenced in Plaintiffs’ complaint in which Mr. Emelianenko participated. Affliction Entertainment Group, LLC (hereinafter“Defendant”) is hereby responding to the Plaintiffs’ Complaint instead of the erroneously named Affliction Clothing and Affliction Entertainment, LLC, which no longer exists.

Rather than attach the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement (hereinafter collectively the “Agreements”) as exhibits to the Complaint, Plaintiffs claim that they could not do so for fear of violating the confidentiality provision in the Agreements. Instead, Plaintiffs claim that they have plead the essential terms of the Agreements in the Complaint. That simply is not the case.

Both the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement contain a term provision that clearly states that the term of each contract is to terminate upon the earlier of one of two events happening. The Agreements are to end on either March 31, 2009 or upon the completion of the third bout. As Plaintiffs’ Complaint clearly illustrates, the third bout did not occur prior to the March 31, 2009. It is clear that Plaintiffs have failed to include this language as an essential term of the Agreements in the Complaint because this term establishes that both the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement expired prior to any of the claimed breaches by Defendants.

It is basic contract law that for there to be a breach of a contract, there has to be a contract currently in force between the two parties. In this case, there is no question that the Agreements, on their own terms, expired prior to Defendants’ alleged breaches of the Agreements claimed in Plaintiffs’ complaint. Therefore, since the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement had terminated, as a matter of law, there could be no breach of the Agreements by Defendants. Plaintiffs first and second causes of action are based on Defendants’ alleged breaches of the Fight Agreement and their third and fourth causes of action are based on Defendants’ alleged breaches of the Consulting Agreement. Since Plaintiffs have failed to show that Defendants breached either of the Agreements, Plaintiffs’ first through fourth causes of action should be dismissed in their entirety.

II. SUMMARY OF ALLEGATIONS IN COMPLAINT

A. Plaintiffs’ Complaint

Plaintiffs have asserted seven causes of action against Defendants. The causes of action are (1) breach of the Fight Agreement; (2) breached of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing – Fight Agreement; (3) breach of the Consulting Agreement; (4) breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fairdealing – Consulting Agreement; (5) breach of the letter agreement; (6) declaratory relief – fight agreement; and (7) declaratory relief – consulting agreement and letter agreement. Plaintiffs have asserted the first through fourth and sixth causes of action against Affliction Entertainment, LLC and the fifth and seventh causes of action against Affliction Clothing.

B. The Parties

The Complaint states that Plaintiff Fedor Emelianenko is an individual who at all relevant times was a citizen and resident of the country of Russia. Complaint,

1. The Complaint alleges that M-1 Nederland is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the Netherlands with its principal place of business in the Netherlands.

2. The Complaint alleges that Affliction Clothing is a business entity, form unknown, with its principal place of business in the city of Seal Beach, California.

3. The Complaint alleges that Affliction Entertainment, LLC is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of California.

C. Defects in Plaintiffs’ Causes of Action

Plaintiffs seek redress for Defendants’ alleged breach of the Fight Agreement and Consulting Agreement. Plaintiffs, however, filed this action against Defendants without sufficiently alleging the facts necessary to make their claims. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs fail to attach either the Fight Agreement or the Consulting Agreement, claiming that by doing so, they would be breaching the confidentiality provision in those agreements. Plaintiffs then claim that they have set forth the essential terms of each of the Agreements. The problem with Plaintiffs’ claim, however, is that it simply is not true.

Plaintiffs claim that the Fight Agreement would not terminate or expire until completion of the third bout. This simply is not true. Paragraph 1 of the Fight Agreement provides as follows:

“Commencing upon Fighter’s execution of this Agreement and continuing until the earlier of: (i) March 31, 2009; or (ii) conclusion of the last Bout (as more specifically defined below) in which Fighter is obligated to participate….” (See Declaration of Michael Bassiri, 2.) Thus, the contract expired on March 31, 2009. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants did not breach the Fight Agreement until July 2009, approximately four months after the contract expired pursuant to its terms. Therefore, Defendants cannot be in breach of a contract that is no longer in force. The same is true for the Consulting Agreement. Paragraph 1 of the Consulting Agreement provides as follows:

“Commencing upon M-1’s execution of this Agreement and continuing until the earlier of: (i) March 31, 2009; or (ii) conclusion of the final Fedor Bout…” (See Declaration of Michael Bassiri, 3.)

Thus, the Consulting Agreement also expired prior to the alleged breach by Defendants. Therefore, Defendants cannot be in breach of an agreement that is no longer in force.

III. ARGUMENT

A. Dismissal Is Appropriate Where Plaintiff Has Failed to State a Legally Cognizable Claim

Dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) is warranted when the plaintiff fails to state a legally cognizable claim or can prove no set of facts in support of a claim which would entitle the plaintiff to relief. Balistreri v. Pacifica Police Dept. , 901 F. 2d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1990); accord, Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S. Ct. 99, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957). “When the court acts on a defendant’s motion to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6), the court must accept as true all material allegations in the [complaint], as well as reasonable inferences to be drawn from them.” Quon v. Arch Wireless Operating Co., Inc., 309 F. Supp. 2d 1204, 1205, n.1 (C.D. Cal. 2004) (citing Pareto v. FDIC, 139 F.3d 696, 699 (9th Cir. 1998)). However, allegations that are merely conclusory, or that are unwarranted deductions of fact or unreasonable inferences, need not be assumed to be true, and are insufficient to withstand a motion to dismiss even under liberal pleading standards. See McGlinchy v. Shell Chemical Co., 845 F. 2d 802, 810 (9th Cir. 1988); Epstein v. Wash Energy Co., 83 F.3d 1136, 1140 (9th Cir. 1996).

B. The Court May Consider the Fight Agreement and Consulting Agreement As Part of the Motion to Dismiss

Plaintiffs have failed to attach either the Fight Agreement or the Consulting Agreement to the Complaint. However, Plaintiffs reference numerous provisions from each of the Agreements. While a plaintiff is under no obligation to attach to its complaint documents upon which its action is based, a defendant may introduce certain pertinent documents if the plaintiff failed to do so. Romani v. Shearson Lehman Hutton, 929 F.2d 875, 879 n.3 (1st Cir. 1991) (quoting 5 Charles A. Wright & Arthur R. Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure §1327, at 762-63 (2d ed.1990)). Documents that a defendant attaches to a motion to dismiss are considered part of the pleadings if they are referred to in the plaintiff’s complaint and are central to its claim. See Ed Miniat, Inc. v. Globe Life Ins. Group, Inc., 805 F.2d 732, 739 n. 12 (7th Cir. 1986). Plaintiffs’ claims are based entirely on Defendants’ alleged breaches of the Agreements. As such, the Agreements are central to Plaintiffs’ claims. The Court may therefore properly consider the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement as part of Defendants’ motion to dismiss. See Venture Associates Corp. v. Zenith Data Systems Corp., 987 F. 2d 429 (7th Cir. 1993) (court did not err in refusing to exclude documents attached to defendant’s motion to dismiss; defendant attached documents which were referred to in plaintiff’s complaint, and documents were central to plaintiff’s claim, as they constituted core of parties’ contractual relationship); See also Wright v. Associated Ins. Cos. Inc., 29 F.3d 1244 (7th Cir. 1994) (court properly considered agreement’s contents without converting motion to dismiss to motion for summary judgment where employee repeatedly quoted from and referred to agreement in his complaint).

Accordingly, Defendants have attached the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement as exhibits to the declaration of Michael Bassiri, filed concurrently herewith. Therefore, the court should consider the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement to be a part of Plaintiffs’ pleadings.

C. Plaintiffs’ Failed to State a Claim for Relief Against Defendants for Breach of Contract or Breach of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

The statement of a cause of action for breach of contract requires a pleading of the following: (1) the contract; (2) plaintiff’s performance or excuse for nonperformance; (3) defendant’s breach; and (4) damage to plaintiff. Roth v. Malson, 67 Cal. App. 4th 552, 557, 79 Cal. Rptr. 2d 226 (1998). Generally a contract remains in force until it has been terminated, either according to its terms or through the acts of the parties evidencing an abandonment. Busch v. Globe Industries, 200 Cal. App. 2d 315, 19 Cal. Rptr. 441(1962) Further, there can be no actual breach of a contract until the time specified in the contract for performance has arrived. Taylor v. Johnston, 15 Cal. 3d 130, 123 Cal. Rptr. 641 (1975).

Under a contract giving a party an option to terminate, that party is not liable after termination for further transactions under the contract. However, obligations that have already accrued are not affected. Merrill v. Continental Assur. Co., 200 Cal. App. 2d 663, 670, 19 Cal. Rptr. 432 (1962). Similarly, a party who has given notice of termination because of the other party’s breach may proceed to present a claim for damages by reason of the breach up to the time of termination. B. L. Metcalf General Contractor, Inc. v. Earl Erne Inc., 212 Cal. App.2d 689, 28 Cal. Rptr. 382 (1963). Further, parties to a contract may provide therein for their respective rights and liabilities in the event of the termination thereof. Merrill, 200 Cal. App. 2d at 670.

As discussed above, since the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement should be considered to be part of the Plaintiffs’ Complaint, the Complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Contrary to Plaintiffs’ allegations, the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement provide that the agreements were to terminate on March 31, 2009, not at the end of the third bout as Plaintiffs’ allege. In the Agreements, Plaintiffs and Defendants decided that the Agreements would terminate upon the occurrence of the earlier of one of two events: either on March 31, 2009 or
after the third bout was completed.

For purposes of a motion to dismiss for failure to state claim on which relief can be granted, if allegations of complaint are contradicted by documents made part of complaint, the document controls and the court need not accept as true allegations of the complaint. Sazerac Co., Inc. v. Falk, 861 F. Supp. 253 (S.D.N.Y. 1994); See also Informix Software, Inc. v. Oracle Corp., 927 F. Supp. 1283 (N.D. Cal. 1996). Clearly, Plaintiffs’ allegations in the Complaint that the Agreements would not expire until after the third bout directly contradicts the express terms of the Agreements. Therefore, the court should disregard the Plaintiffs’ allegations and rely on the language in the actual Agreements.

Plaintiffs’ allege that Defendants did not breach the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement until July 2009. However, both of the Agreements expired pursuant to their terms on March 31, 2009. Plaintiffs have not alleged that either of the Agreements was amended to extend the term of the contract to include the time period where Defendants are alleged to have breached the Agreements. Therefore, at the time of the alleged breach, both the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement had terminated pursuant to their terms.

The law is clear that a party is not liable to the other party if the contract has terminated. See Merrill, 200 Cal. App. 2d at 663, 670. Since the Fight Agreement and the Consulting Agreement were no longer in force at the time of the alleged breach by Defendants, Defendants cannot be liable to Plaintiffs for a breach of the Agreements. Therefore, Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.

IV. CONCLUSION

For the reasons set forth above, this Court should dismiss all claims for relief against Defendants for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing contained in Plaintiffs’ first through fourth causes of action, with prejudice, for Plaintiffs’ failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

Dated: November 6, 2009
/s/ Michael Bassiri
MICHAEL BASSIRI
1799 Apollo Court
Seal Beach, California 90740
Telephone: (562) 598-0299
(562) 598-3824 (fax)
Attorneys for Defendants

CERTIFICATE OF CONFERENCE

This motion is made following the conference of counsel pursuant to Local Rule 7-3 which took place on Friday, November 6, 2009 via telephone.

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

I hereby certify that on November 6, 2009, I electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk of the Court using the CM/ECF system which will send notification of such filing to the e-mail addresses denoted on the attached Electronic Mail Notice List, and I hereby certify that I have mailed the foregoing document or paper via the United States Postal Service to the non-CM/ECF participants indicated on the attached Manual Notice List.

I certify under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed on November 6, 2009.
s/ MICHAEL BASSIRI
MICHAEL BASSIRI
1799 Apollo Court
Seal Beach, Calfornia 90740
E-mail: Bassiri@afflictionclothing.com

Mailing Information for a Case 2:09-cv-07865-MMM-MLG
Electronic Mail Notice List
The following are those who are currently on the list to receive e-mail notices for this case.
· Michelle L Carder
mcarder@hinessmith.com,lpires@hinessmith.com
· Christine Marie Emanuelson
cmclaughlin@hinessmith.com
· Marc S Hines
mhines@hinessmith.com,lpires@hinessmith.com

Manual Notice List

The following is the list of attorneys who are not on the list to receive e-mail notices for this case (who therefore require manual noticing). You may wish to use your mouse to select and copy this list into your word processing program in order to create notices or labels for these recipients.

· (No manual recipients)

MMA Memories: Affliction reveals details about their fight contract with Fedor and their consulting agreement with M-1

Topics: Affliction, M-1, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 50 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

50 Responses to “Affliction takes off gloves against M-1 in court”

  1. jr says:

    Fedor has 1,000 mouths to feed

  2. GassedOut says:

    Interesting. Someone alleges a breach of contract, and the defendant can point to the expiration date and say “What contract?” This either goes away now by dismissal or gets very interesting very quickly.

  3. Mark says:

    Let me start off by saying I am not trying to defend M-1, I don’t like them, I am just pointing out some strange points to Affliction’s defense. It could all be true, it could be all lies. I don’t know, we’re just going off of speculation and two sides to a story. And lots of points go against all of the belief system against M-1’s ruthless leeching reputation.

    If they really had a provision where a date deadline voided the contract rather than after a certain about of fights with the hand injury king then that is the strangest contract in MMA. And their press release said Fedor signed a “long term deal”, which unless they meant that as opposed to his rep of 1 fight deals (which is possible) a deal for the first fight on July 19th, 2008 through March 31st, 2009 (8 months) for three fights (that most fighters take nearly a full year to complete) in that span with rights to fight in Japan and Russia and his history of injuries makes no sense. I’m not saying it’s not true because we don’t know but it doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Especially when he hasn’t fought that actively since 2005 due to injuries and one of those fights was a gimme against Zuluzinho. By the possible fight structure: Fedor debuts in July, fights next in October, then can go to Japan on New Year’s Eve so you would have to hope he’d be ready by February or mid-March to meet the deadline. When instead he fights in July, fights in January and leaves you with 2 months to have fight #3.

    And if you want to believe M-1 are so greedy and corrupt they’d by that belief want to ride the company out into bankruptcy knowing they could pull in more t-shirt money to get Fedor another good payday. So they had no plans of ever going to the UFC (because those who believe that theory also believe Fedor is too afraid to fight UFC’s BIG WRESTLERS~!) then why would they agree to what would be an automatic out when they know their guy more than likely won’t meet those terms? They’re not getting as good of a deal with Strikeforce. So unless they were expecting a new money mark to come in (which none were on the horizon) why would they set up a deal to screw themselves?

    And by all accounts Affliction offered to compensate them with sponsorship and a Fedor line of t-shirts so if they agreement was easily voided since the company didn’t collapse until 4 months after the binding portion of the deal expired, why did they feel obligated to compensate them? Why did they co-promote the M-1 Japanese show Fedor had the exhibition with Aoki which was after the deal? And where did this leave the TV show deal that was one of their lost revenue claims? Again, not saying there aren’t good answers to support Affliction’s defense in all of this, I’m just wondering.

  4. Mark says:

    Also remember Affliction canceled the original Fedor-Arlovski fight date of October 11th due to poor ticket sales in UFC Country with an announcement to reschedule for January and that would have made the deal very hard to complete since it would have given Fedor just over a month to train for the next fight, which could be a possible counter argument unless M-1 gave their consent to cancel (which I really doubt, given their rep they would feel since they were getting paid anyway what the house drew wasn’t their problem.) But who knows.

  5. MIchael Rome says:

    The documents make it obvious why they’re not with the UFC. It’s all in the details; primarily, the international rights deals.

    The defense is flawed for obvious reasons, the main one being that they are estopped from claiming the earlier ending date by promoting a third card after that date.

    The way I see it is this is a big game of chicken. Affliction is in breach in my opinion, but they also have a lot of cards/details M-1 Global does not want publicized. This is settlement posturing; I’d be very surprised if this ever hits trial.

  6. Mark says:

    Agreed. Wouldn’t at least a small contract extension be asked for by either party (M-1 so they made sure they made good on their end of the bargain and Affliction to make sure Fedor didn’t screw them over by holding them up for money or jumping ship before the fight.)

    It could be true, but it just seems too good to be true on Affliction’s end. “We have a deal if we want it but don’t if it benefits us more.” I’d believe that if Affliction was in the position of signing power, but they clearly let M-1 have what they wanted because they needed him at all costs to get even with UFC banning their endorsements. It makes no sense under the widespread belief of M-1.

  7. Alan Conceicao says:

    I don’t think anything was really learned here. So, Fedor and Co. stand to make a lot of their money distributing their fights internationally; this is a newsflash how? Also of note – We have no idea what those deals are worth. Are they worth pennies or real money? If the rights are worth something, then it may actually make more sense for Fedor to fight for Strikeforce and collect overseas money (which the taxability of is highly questionable) rather than the UFC for his guarantee and PPV bonuses. But again; Old news is old.

  8. 45 Huddle says:

    I’m kind of hoping it doesn’t settle. It’s interesting to read all the details….

    In a way…. The UFC might be dodging a bullet by not signing Fedor…..

  9. The Gaijin says:

    Yeah, all those [heavyweight] main eventers they have right now…

  10. The Gaijin says:

    I’d be awfully interested to see if they’d signed a bout agreement for the third fight. As Mike Rome points out, they’re already estopped from using the earlier date because of promoting after that date – but if they have an inked bout agreement for a fight after that date it basically seals up any chance whatsoever of wriggling out of it.

  11. cutch says:

    Mark

    It was Arlovski Vs Barnett that was booked for October.

  12. Mark says:

    Yes, you’re right. I forgot about the early steroid test disaster that was averted.

    But still there’s an argument for tampering: Fedor was more than likely fighting on NYE (there was the belief he was facing Cro Cop who ended up fighting Hong Man Choi) until a month before the show was even going to take place they canceled it (discounting casinos buying tickets and a month’s worth of late buys it could be argued. Remember supposedly The Real Deal was going to be a failure until casinos bought a ton of tickets.) Then he’s told he’s needed in January to save the show because Arlovski-Barnett isn’t a main event people care about while Arlovski is allowed to fight for EliteXC against Nelson and is named automatic #1 contender. It still worked out very well for Affliction: he was injured against Cro Cop the last time which could have put him on the shelf until close to what ended up being the canceled Affliction show and if he lost they’d be S.O.L. that they wouldn’t get to at least promote the guy who beat Fedor as their new ace since Cro Cop would have immediately gone back to UFC if he beat Fedor. Even though he wasn’t scheduled for October it still worked out too well for Affliction for no questions to be asked.

  13. Brendan Maher says:

    With Affliction, Fedor/M-1 was to get 4.5m for three bouts (300k purse per bout to Fedor, plus 1.2m consulting fee per bout to M-1) plus Russia/Asia promotion rights. Fight Agreement, paras 3,11; Consulting Agreement, para 3. (Also kind of interesting is that there was explicitly a carve-out for a “Couture Bout” — Fedor/M-1 were explicitly free to do that fight.)

    So (i) 1.5m cash per fight plus (ii) Russia/Asia promotional revenues. Do we have any ballpark estimate of the worth of the latter?

    Brendan Maher

    P.S. I’m the law professor who posted here a month or so ago regarding some MMA research I was doing. If anyone’s interested, the latest draft of the research article, entitled “Understanding and Regulating the Sport of Mixed Martial Arts” — which some of you have already seen — is at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1496412 (click on the “Download” link to get it).

  14. Mike Rome says:

    There is a third consulting deal that is yet to be disclosed that is mentioned in the contract. It relates to M-1’s television deal; though it seems more like another direct payoff than any real consulting. No word on the value of that one yet.

    The international rights granted in the contract are not even split, they are 100% for M-1.

    I think the real story is that M-1’s existence as an organization depends on Fedor not being in the UFC. They employ quite a few people and all make a living working on all sorts of various deals that would be foreclosed to them if they did a deal with the UFC. There is no way Zuffa would ever grant M-1 and company international rights like that, nor should they.

    From my perspective there are only a few ways we will ever see Fedor in the UFC. The first is if he leaves M-1 after his current deal and gets new management. The second is if the UFC targets key M-1 players and gives them permanent,
    high-paying jobs. A lot of people’s jobs depend on Fedor not being in the UFC; Dana will have to take care of all of them to make it happen.

  15. Mike Rome says:

    On top of that, I think Dana should strongly consider hiring some key M-1 players to contracts just to go away. Who knows, put them in charge of licensing in Russia or something, whatever it takes to get the best fighter in the world in the UFC.

  16. 45 Huddle says:

    It would be easier to wait it out until he loses. Why would Zuffa want to be associated with these people under any circumstances, even if it is a dead end job they are giving them?

    And it’s not like Strikeforce has hugely benefited from signing Fedor. They have been completely quiet since their last CBS show. That is never a good sign. No major signing, no upcoming CBS show… nothing.

    There is no way one fighter should have that many people depending on his paydays. When it look smells, tastes, and feels like a leach….

    Favorite article of the day: http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/M-1-Fedor-Rogers-Watched-by-Over-25-Million-21214

    Nothing like being a glorified press agent for M-1. It’s as bad as Iole schilling for Zuffa….

  17. Alan Conceicao says:

    25 million? Oh jeez. That’s almost as awesome as the claim that UFC 100 was seen by 1/5 of Mexico off a 13.09. Apparently then Nacho Libre is a modern classic in that country, since I saw its rating was something like a 14 when it aired a couple weeks back on Televisa. But who’s counting?

    I think the real story is that M-1’s existence as an organization depends on Fedor not being in the UFC.

    At least you move away slightly from such a ridiculous claim with the followup post. Whether or not anyone likes to admit it, M-1 has territories it can help to spread the UFC brand, and a promotional system that could usurp TUF in time. Let them work on doing European events; they already are doing them across the continent. They have deals in many countries the UFC doesn’t, and the ones that the UFC does have deals in, they’re typically terrible. You should see the way DSF presents the UFC, and that’s one of the ways their big name partners works with them.

  18. brent says:

    still have not seen the live gate, the payouts or fight bonuses from the last Strikeforce show in chicago. with the ufc, you see it in a matter of a few days. is illinois a state that does not make such #s open to the public? why hasn’t any mma website posted this? is Strikeforce trying to keep this a secret i can remeber when Affliction 1rst posted it’s payouts compared to their livegate profit and it was a gasp heard round the mma internet world. could Strikeforce possibly be trying to hide something?
    ZACH ARNOLD: do you know?

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    Alan,

    Why would Zuffa want to work with M-1? If the past is any indication, M-1 is not to be trusted. Bringing them in the fold would only weaken the UFC. Many people have had issues with them, including Affliction, Montr Cox, Bas Boon…..

    No market is worth those problems. And it’s not like there is any proof of the strength of those TV deals. Is it just another EliteXC where they are buying time and selling their own ads? Nobody really knows.

    And it’s not like the UFC will benefit much from a TV deal in Russia…. This isn’t exactly a market they could even rub an event in the next 5 years. If they could have, M-1 would have done so first with Fedor…..

  20. Alan Conceicao says:

    Why would Zuffa want to work with M-1? If the past is any indication, M-1 is not to be trusted.

    Yes, Russian gangsters, blah blah blah. Its the same story its always been. Fedor wants control over himself in markets the UFC doesn’t do business in and yet won’t give up even a shred of. Follow that with copious amounts of “co-promotion doesn’t work, _pro wrestling examples_, and just look at boxing!” I’ve looked at boxing a long time. What the UFC looks like right now is boxing. Its a bunch of fights that are on PPV because they can profit off of them being there that don’t belong, and they’ll keep on running multitudes of those shows until the market begins to reject them because their business model demands it, while lots of great names sit on the sidelines over transparent or admitted contract disputes, and big fights don’t happen because of promotional conflicts. This shouldn’t be a surprise. It was destined to happen.

    And it’s not like the UFC will benefit much from a TV deal in Russia…. This isn’t exactly a market they could even rub an event in the next 5 years.

    Exactly. So you give license to M-1 to promote UFC events using the name, cage, and rules. They have to use certain judges and meet various criteria, and then they pay you for it. It would be part of the Fedor deal. UFC gains a foothold in Russia, makes money in a market they weren’t even in, Fedor fights for them, and everyone wins. Except that will never happen, and we’ll see the scenario played out in the first paragraph played over and over and over.

  21. Dave says:

    You’ll note in the press release it says nothing about the rest of the Strikeforce event being broadcast in that many homes, it just says Fedor vs. Rogers. M-1 really doesn’t do much for their partners.

    If UFC were to hire them as agents in Russia and Europe they’d have to have super-specific contracts with them, which I just don’t see happening.

  22. 45 Huddle says:

    “So you give license to M-1 to promote UFC events using the name, cage, and rules.”

    Of all your dumb ideas in the past, this is the dumbest of them all. Trusting M-1 with the UFC Brand name? God, thanks for the laugh!!

    “while lots of great names sit on the sidelines over transparent or admitted contract disputes”

    Like who? Dan Henderson is free to sign with whoever he wants right now. Roger Huerta has the right to negotiate with any company right now (but the UFC can match the offer). No fighter is being held up by the UFC at this point in time.

    Plain and simple… No system is perfect, but more big fights happen in the UFC then they do in boxing. Just look at the Top 10’s of each division in MMA and you can see most of the fighters have multiple fights against the other guys they are being ranked against. In boxing, most of the Top 10 fighters have barely fought other Top 10 guys. There are a few divisions where this is not the case, but overall it is. Time and time again Alan… You are just wrong….

  23. 45 Huddle says:

    “You’ll note in the press release it says nothing about the rest of the Strikeforce event being broadcast in that many homes, it just says Fedor vs. Rogers. M-1 really doesn’t do much for their partners.”

    Great pick-up there, and a very valid point. Wasn’t it M-1 that was pissed with their co-promoters for not mentioning M-1 enough? It’s a complete one way street with these guys….

  24. Mike says:

    The Fedor vs Rogers fight was the only one aired in Russia from the whole card.

    Timeslot was from 11 pm to 11:20!

    The UFC would be stupid to give M1 any power over their brand or share their earnings just for one fighter.

    They basically offered a lot of money for Fedor but his leeches couldn’t let him make the deal since he’s their biggest source of income.

    I don’t know how Fedor became a 20% shareholder of M1 global but it seems a good way to keep him in line and have him listen to what the management says since it is in his ‘own interest’ 😛

  25. Alan Conceicao says:

    Its not insanely tough to be able to hammer it out if they wanted to. The basics are easy. Once you can find middle ground there, the minutae will fall into place; Could M-1 use judges from Europe? Which ones? What kind of accomodations would the fighters and reps be put up in? What medical exams would be necessary? How would that be reported? How would payments be made?

    Lots of much, much larger companies with much bigger names license out their IP to markets outside of their home bases and its paid off huge. Coke did it. Disney did it. Name a Franchise in fast food: McDonald’s has 31,000 restaurants; they own 15% of them. Subway has 32,000 restaurants: they own zero of them. I’m guessing a few sketchy folks own Sub shops in the world. Just a stab in the dark.

    The point I’m making is that the deals they demand force the situations you see, and there’s no really clear benefit to why they want the deals the way they want them. They’re not in these markets. Where they are, their deals often suck. M-1 has a better TV partner than the UFC in China, for instance. Hell if you’ll see anyone ever admit that.

  26. Alan Conceicao says:

    Like who?

    Quinton Jackson, Dan Henderson, and Anderson Silva are the obvious picks. Meanwhile, Fedor/Lesnar looks less likely than Lewis/Tyson did long ago, which is incredible.

    Just look at the Top 10’s of each division in MMA and you can see most of the fighters have multiple fights against the other guys they are being ranked against. In boxing, most of the Top 10 fighters have barely fought other Top 10 guys.

    There are 17 weight classes in boxing, and a bunch of them are hardly high profile in the US. And who’s top ten are we going with? The sanctioning body? Ring? Fightnews?

    I’d say the glory divisions in boxing are about even with MMA. But if you want to go apples to oranges…

  27. 45 Huddle says:

    “Lots of much, much larger companies with much bigger names license out their IP to markets outside of their home bases and its paid off huge. Coke did it. Disney did it. Name a Franchise in fast food: McDonald’s has 31,000 restaurants; they own 15% of them. Subway has 32,000 restaurants: they own zero of them. I’m guessing a few sketchy folks own Sub shops in the world. Just a stab in the dark.”

    Franchising your company and giving your name to a promoter with a long history of shady practices are two completely different things. It’s not like one of the guys buying into the Subway Franchise can then go and open another subway shop with the Subway name on it. M-1 can open up another organization with Fedor in it.

    As for your list of fighters….

    Anderson Silva had surgery. Anything else is pure speculation at this point. Quinton Jackson is holding out on the UFC. The UFC is not holding out on Quinton Jackson. They have a fight waiting for him when he decides he wants to fight again. And it’s a fight with another Top 10 competitor. And Fedor not being in the UFC has been well documented. No organization that wants to be around in 3 years is going to give that much to one fighter.

  28. 45 Huddle says:

    I will use Sherdog and The Ring’s rankings as an example. It will only get worse if took a true compilation of Top 10 fighters competing against each other… but for the sake of saving time, I will only use the #1 ranked fighters and how many fights they have fought within the divisions current Top 10:

    Fedor Emelianenko – 4
    Lyoto Machida – 4
    Anderson Silva – 3
    Georges St. Pierre – 3
    BJ Penn – 2
    Jose Aldo – 1 (Brown still #1 in rankings, but using Aldo)
    Brian Bowles – 2

    TOTAL: 19 fights

    Compared to boxings 1st 7 divisions…

    Wladimir Kltischko – 1
    Tomasz Adamek – 1
    Chad Dawson – 4
    Andre Ward – 1
    Kelly Pavlik – 0
    Paul Williams – 1
    Manny Pacquiao – 1

    Total Fights: 9

    Apples to Apples…. MMA over doubles what boxing is doing. And like I said above, if you want to start going down to each Top 10 fighter, it only becomes more lopsided in favor of MMA.

    No system is perfect… And I have never claimed the UFC/MMA system is either…. but the MMA guys are constantly fighting top guys far more often then boxing guys are. Of the 7 boxers mentioned…. Wlady, Adamek, & Pavlik ar RINGS Champions and they combine for exactly 2 fights against current Top 10 opponents within their own weight class. That is pathetic for a sport.

    For somebody who claims to know so much about boxing, you sure can’t see the obvious….

  29. IceMuncher says:

    How does letting M-1 control those markets help the UFC? It’ll be “M-1 presents UFC”, assuming they even mention the UFC, M-1 makes a huge chunk of profit from almost no work, and I’m pretty sure once the UFC says “Thank you, we’ll take over from here” M-1 is going to sabotage them. “Oh sorry, the TV deal is with M-1, not UFC”, and the UFC is back in square one in that market.

    It’s pointless, outside of letting a company leech off of you until they turn into a competitor. Ultimately M-1 wants the same thing the UFC wants: to be the top dog. Why help them?

    Right now the UFC has a stranglehold on the markets with all the money. They’ve got everything they need, a better network on China amounts to absolutely nothing. There’s no real money in those markets, promotions only work with M-1 because they want Fedor.

  30. Shane says:

    M1 has a “better” television partner in China because they demanded less $$$ for a deal than Zuffa did. Would any network really be stupid enough to pass over UFC’s video library for M1’s at the same price?

  31. IceMuncher says:

    You’re a hater Shane. M-1 has inside connections all over the world, the UFC cannot go global without them.

  32. Shane says:

    Yup, UFC is missing a phone sponsor after AMP’d mobile went down. Perhaps Vadim can hook them up with these guys!

  33. MK says:

    Thats a stupid list 45 Huddle, half those guys have been jumping up in weight in the past year. W.Kltischko’s fights since 2005 were all top ten rated at the time.

    The only guy you could criticize is Pavlik for being “injured” for the past year.

    Andre Ward is a ridiculous example, he just won his first belt a few weeks ago and prior to that he was a prospect. He is also in a very competitive tournament and will face top 10 fighters in all of his next 2-5 fights.

    You picked the wrong examples for boxers ducking competition, there are much better examples out there but I wouldn’t expect you to know them.

  34. MK says:

    edit (I don’t know how to edit properly).

    Austin and Rahman were not top 10 at the time. But Austin was a mandatory (yeah, he sucked) and Rahman was a last minute replacement for top 5 rated Povetkin.

  35. The Gaijin says:

    Tough to fault Klitschkos for not facing the best – they’re facing the “best” there are and the rest are avoiding them like the plague.

  36. Zack says:

    UFC won’t benefit from Russian exposure but they plan on running Mexico and the Philippines in the near future?

    Why don’t gangsters want to deal with other gangsters?

  37. Zack says:

    “You picked the wrong examples for boxers ducking competition, there are much better examples out there but I wouldn’t expect you to know them.”

    Did you ever expect 45 to know what he was talking about? I can’t decide if it’s more pathetic to be a 40-something troll, or to be a complete braindead shill.

  38. Alan Conceicao says:

    Anderson Silva had surgery. Anything else is pure speculation at this point. Quinton Jackson is holding out on the UFC. The UFC is not holding out on Quinton Jackson.

    Its well founded speculation. As for Quinton Jackson, he is holding out against the UFC, which is exactly my point. How many guys sat out on Don King contracts? Answer: Tons. He’s playing the role of Tim Witherspoon circa 1986.

    How does letting M-1 control those markets help the UFC?

    Well Ice, let me explain it to you. Right now, they are not running events in, well, what; 180 countries? Oh, sure, there’s talk about running Abu Dhabi, Phillipines, France, Mexico, and a long list of other places that aren’t going to happen, which guys like you eat up. What the UFC could do, if they wanted, is offer licensing/sanctioning deals. You’d have promoters lined up around the block to pay the UFC, creating instant income. It would standarize rules. The UFC could make part of the deal the ability to have first rights on any of the smaller promotions fighters, thereby completely eliminating the ability of companies like Strikeforce and DREAM to acquire new young talent. Its incredibly simple. Someone in Russia is running McDonalds and Coke, they’re probably not good people, and yet they keep getting shipments of syrup and burgers. Better yet, Disneyland Tokyo has the always popular here yakuza ties through the Oriental Land Company that actually owns it. But let’s just keep referencing UWF/NJPW, amirite?

  39. 45 Huddle says:

    “W.Kltischko’s fights since 2005 were all top ten rated at the time.”

    So have GSP’s… But many of those guys are out of the list now. Like I said, I made an apples to apples comparison. Anderson Silva didn’t get credit for fighting Leitas and Aldo is new just like Andre Ward. Should I continue?

    I can make a list of the #1 fighters in each weight class and who they have fought from the current top ten. I can make a list of all the past #1 fighters from those weight classes and who they have fought over the last 3 years. I can basically take any combination, and the MMA results are far better then the boxing ones.

    Zack is correct…. I’m a loser 40 year old troll….

    “Its well founded speculation. As for Quinton Jackson, he is holding out against the UFC, which is exactly my point. How many guys sat out on Don King contracts? Answer: Tons. He’s playing the role of Tim Witherspoon circa 1986.”

    There is still no proof of Anderson Silva.

    And even football and baseball players have held out for bigger contracts. Is their system broken? Not really! Guys showing up late to training camp can sometimes be part of the negotiation process. How that is proof of the UFC system being bad is beyond me….

  40. Alan Conceicao says:

    I can make a list of the #1 fighters in each weight class and who they have fought from the current top ten.

    You’ll find more divisions in boxing and ergo, automatically more divisions where it is not true, which is why I argued the point of using glory divisions, and to compare them in whole, not just with its champions. The argument has always been that the UFC makes better top to bottom cards and puts guys in tough fights (ranked vs. ranked) more than boxing, not that the UFC champ fights more top 10 guys on someone’s personal scale than the Boxrec.com #1 fighter has fought top 10 fighters as according to Ring Magazine.

    There is still no proof of Anderson Silva.

    There’s technically no “proof” that Quinton Jackson is holding out over money either. Its just completely obvious.

    And even football and baseball players have held out for bigger contracts. Is their system broken?

    A lot of people hate that free agency has changed team sports and made it so that guys A) holdout B) no longer play for the same team their career. Depends who you ask, for sure. My point is that the UFC, for all the supposed improvements over the awful, bad, terrible, no-good of boxing, has very little to actually show for it.

  41. MK says:

    @45 Huddle

    Problem with your list is that you named 7 boxers that consistently face top opposition.

    You just read the Ring ratings without any context/knowledge.

  42. Mark says:

    Yes, you couldn’t have come up with a more awful example of fighters if you tried. You compared apples to apples but you’re only educated about one type of apple. Now let me show you about Granny Smith.

    Here’s how your list is in reality of fighters’ records from January 1st 2008 – December 1st, 2009.

    Wladimir Kltischko : 4 ( Sultan Ibragimov was WBO Heavyweight champion, Tony Thompson was ranked #9 by Ring Magazine, Hasim Rahman was ranked top 10 by the IBF, Ruslan Chagaev was #1 contender).

    Tomasz Adamek – 3 (O’Neil Bell was a Cruiserweight elimination fight and he was top 10 in Ring Magazine as a recently defeated champion, Steve Cunningham was IBF Crusierweight champion, Jonathan Banks was IBO Crusierweight champion)

    Chad Dawson – 4 (Fought Glen Johnson twice once for the WBC Light Heavyweight belt, fought Antonio Tarver twice for the IBF and IBO Light Heavyweight belts.)

    Andre Ward – 4 (Jerson Ravelo was for WBO and NABO Super Middleweight belts, Henry Buchanan was the WBO #1 contender, Edison Miranda was in Ring’s top 10, and Mikkel Kessler was for the WBA Super Middleweight belt.)

    Kelly Pavlik – 4 (Jermain Taylor was a WBC Middleweight #1 contender, Gary Lockett was the WBO Middleweight #1 contender, he lost to Bernard Hopkins but the fight was not his weightclass so like Penn losing to GSP it doesn’t count against his division, Marco Antonio Rubio was the WBC Middleweight #1 contender.)

    Paul Williams – 2 (Carlos Quintana was WBO Welterweight champion, Verno Phillips was WBO Junior Middleweight champion, Winky Wright was a superfight but I won’t count it because he was gone so long. Now he has the misfortune of waiting on Pavlik to finally fight.)

    Manny Pacquiao – 4 (Juan Manuel Márquez was WBC Super Featherweight champion, David Diaz was WBC Lightweight champion, Ricky Hatton was IBO and Ring Magazine Light Welterweight champion, Miguel Cotto was WBO Welterweight champion.)

  43. IceMuncher says:

    That’s a great idea Alan. Have a bunch of chump local shows with questionable promotional value and ethics claim to be the “UFC”.

    To go with your “franchise” examples, that would be like Coke telling some guys to go ahead and use whatever is handy to make some soda, and paste the Coke brand name on it.

    The only way the UFC would allow their brand to be used is if it was actual UFC fights with the quality they demand from themselves, and at that point they may as well cut out the middle man and expand Zuffa’s international marketing department. You don’t sully your hard-fought branding by selling rights to it to any promoter in a 3rd world country that wants to use it. This is arguably the worst idea you’ve ever had.

  44. Alan Conceicao says:

    That’s a great idea Alan. Have a bunch of chump local shows with questionable promotional value and ethics claim to be the “UFC”.

    Like all the aformentioned franchises, you would have to meet a standard criteria. What is tough to understand about that?

    The only way the UFC would allow their brand to be used is if it was actual UFC fights with the quality they demand from themselves,

    This is the problem. Don’t you see that? The UFC should have displays of their clothes and Tapout (who they own a share in) at Wal-Mart, Target, just about every retailer there is instead of the cheap knockoffs. They don’t because they’re run by a control freak. As long as that is the case, there will always be openings for competition and people will take them and the sport will be fractionalized. Period. End of story.

  45. Mark says:

    Russia is a third world country? Really? This will be news to the G8 who have included them since their economy rebounded from the fall of Communism.

  46. IceMuncher says:

    Mark, Alan specifically mentioned the 108 countries the UFC isn’t in. He wants them to build franchises everywhere, which includes many 3rd world countries. I didn’t say Russia is 3rd world, but whatever floats your boat. Interestingly, he’s gone away from arguing that UFC should use M-1 specifically.

    “Like all the aformentioned franchises, you would have to meet a standard criteria. What is tough to understand about that? ”

    The point is that enforcing those criteria takes a lot of effort, so much so that the UFC might as well do it themselves. If they found someone they like and admired enough to enter a deal like that, why not just hire the guy as a full-time Zuffa employee?

    “This is the problem. Don’t you see that? The UFC should have displays of their clothes and Tapout (who they own a share in) at Wal-Mart, Target, just about every retailer there is instead of the cheap knockoffs.”

    Gucci isn’t sold in Wal-Mart either. How will they ever make money? Why does the UFC need Wal-Mart when they get loads of people buying of merchandise from their website? I see people in UFC and Tapout shirts all the time. On one hand, you seem like you want them to sell-out more than they have, and on the other hand you seem to think they sell out too much (charging sponsors, UFC gyms, etc).

    “They don’t because they’re run by a control freak. As long as that is the case, there will always be openings for competition and people will take them and the sport will be fractionalized. Period. End of story.”

    5 years ago, the sport was fractionalized. Today, the UFC basically has a monopoly. They’ve been doing something right.

  47. Alan Conceicao says:

    Mark, Alan specifically mentioned the 108 countries the UFC isn’t in. He wants them to build franchises everywhere, which includes many 3rd world countries.

    I never stated that they should build franchises for everyone and anyone. You don’t understand the argument, clearly, and you’re hiding behind some obtuse understanding of BIZ to do it.

    The point is that enforcing those criteria takes a lot of effort, so much so that the UFC might as well do it themselves.

    Why doesn’t McDonald’s own all their restaurants then?

    Gucci isn’t sold in Wal-Mart either. How will they ever make money?

    The UFC is not a luxury brand. The UFC has replaced those retailers with nothing.

    5 years ago, the sport was fractionalized.

    The sport was fractionalized the day Ken Shamrock worked a bout with Minoru Suzuki to get the KOP title off of him. Or when Battlecade started. Take your pick.

  48. Shane says:

    Zuffa co-promoted with Marek Lieberberg for UFC 99 in Germany. So much for “control freak.” Who’s saying they’ll refuse to acquire the services of successful event promoters in the future for foreign markets?

    Maybe if the demand for UFC was as big as McDonalds (47 million customers a day) they’d consider franchising. For the time being it’s more cost effective establishing an international headquarter or three.

  49. Alan Conceicao says:

    The co-promoter in Germany was responsible for none of the matchmaking, no talent scouting, didn’t select the building, et al. They basically worked on selling the fight, which is wonderful and all, but still very different from what I’m talking about. Additionally, I’m not talking about running “numbered” events or fight nights. More like “Ring of Fire, Sanctioned by UFC”.

    Maybe if the demand for UFC was as big as McDonalds (47 million customers a day) they’d consider franchising.

    You’re right in that McDonald’s has larger demand. But other companies with that business run in fringe markets too. I’m using the example of monsterously huge brands to prove the point that companies with far more to lose in terms of image do something as “risky” or more so than what I’m suggesting.

    However, there is most assuredly the want by many of these companies to associate themselves with the UFC. The best examples, by far, were TKO/WCC and WEC, the latter of which were eventually purchased by Zuffa. I’m suggesting a larger scale of the efforts those two promotions had. Again; Do that, UFC *will* have no competitors, *will* be the dominant brand, on and on and on. If they don’t, we’ll hear another 5-6 years of “the UFC is running out of competitors!” while new ones keep popping up like they have during the entire history of the sport, even when it was unprofitable.

  50. A. Taveras says:

    My perception is that MMA divisions don’t go very far beyond the Top 10 in any case. Busted down veterans haunt ranking lists, where in boxing there are many more young & unknown competitors who are just one win short of being legit top 10. With deserved exceptions (ex. Glen Johnson) boxing vets and journeymen are where they belong (somewhere top 25) while MMA journeymen with 5+ defeats litter the top 10 lists. Also boxing top 10s across the divisions are geographically spread out, and in many cases it would be hard for a #8 from South Africa and a #4 from Australia to be a draw in Vegas or any place. MMA top 10s fight top 10s with more frequency because basically if you are fighting in America in the UFC you are almost by default perceived to be top 10 due to exposure, and your peers are in your promotion and either American or fighting in America for UFC.

    So in short, not a very sound comparison if you ask me.

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