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Report: Tapout deal with Fedor was worth $360,000

By Zach Arnold | June 27, 2010

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From Observer radio on Saturday night:

DAVE MELTZER: “What happened was Tapout had inked a deal to market Fedor Emelianenko Tapout shirts and they were going to pay him, I think the downside of $360,000 a year plus you know a cut of the shirts and somebody told them that if they did this and they did not cancel the deal that they would be banned from sponsoring at UFC and since that’s where your best exposure is with UFC, they canceled their deal with Fedor.”

BRYAN ALVAREZ: “Does that shock anyone, though?”

DAVE MELTZER: “See, here’s the thing. It absolutely, you know, tonight when that word was getting around, I mean and it kind of got around earlier even before the show, but you know I mean I have a different experience than a lot of these reporters here at MMA going through you know all those years with Vince (McMahon) and you know when I see like things like that it’s like, well, I mean, it is what it is and it’s like would Vince do the same thing? Well, he did, over and over and over again, you know, so it’s like it’s not that big of a deal to me. But, if you look at it and you didn’t go through the thing with Vince and if you look at it in a different way, it appears you know really bad that they’re screwing with guys and stuff like that but that’s… you know, I mean that’s the deal. And in this case, you know they did the same thing with, the t-shirt that Fedor had a couple of months ago, they did the exact same thing, I mean the exact same scenario happened so there’s a precedent for it. Tapout thought that they were so big that… you know and in so good with UFC, I mean UFC and Tapout are very very close, that they would be able to do this without any repercussions, that UFC wouldn’t come down on them but they were wrong.”

BRYAN ALVAREZ: “That’s not how things work.”

DAVE MELTZER: “That’s how things work. I mean, I don’t particularly like it, but that’s Dana and you know I mean that’s what it is. He’s going to do that, I mean the same reason that UFC 113 was on television tonight on Spike. You know, I mean, it’s… that’s how he fights and he’s a tough guy to go fight and until he you know walks into quicksand or something it’s going to be like this and even after it’s going to be like this, this is the way you know he’s going to do it unless he’s, there’s something so bad that gets him you know out of that position. And you know again, it could happen. Absolute power creates a feeling of invincibility and the invincibility, when you believe you’re invincible, that is when you are going to be slapped around by someone, somehow because you’re going to do something stupid and I mean I’ve seen it over and over again and Dana needs to be careful because I hope he doesn’t walk into it. I mean, that Loretta Hunt thing you know could have been worse and it wasn’t good but… I mean, you know, I give him credit. Since then he has toned down, he hasn’t done anything anywhere that silly.”

BRYAN ALVAREZ: “Unlike TNA he has learned lessons from his failures.”

DAVE MELTZER: “Yeah. I mean, he learned lessons period. He learned about drawing money. It’s like…”

BRYAN ALVAREZ: “He learned from his successes. That’s correct. Yes.”

DAVE MELTZER: “He’s learned from his successes and his failures.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 36 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

36 Responses to “Report: Tapout deal with Fedor was worth $360,000”

  1. Fred says:

    can you imagine if the ufc had actually banned tapout after putting mask lewis in its own hall of fame? how would they be able to explain that one?

  2. Michaelthebox says:

    Ken Shamrock is in the hall of fame. They were in legal dispute with him for a while. This isn’t a new scenario.

    • Fred says:

      totally different situation. shamrock sued zuffa, and he did it after definitively proving that he was washed up as a fighter. this is zuffa blackballing a company that it had previously shown so much admiration for that it enshrined its co-founder, a guy who never fought, in its hall of fame. Who knows what went on behind the scenes, or what tapout’s management is really like, but Tapout didn’t publicly do anything unscrupulous that would deserve such an ungrateful response from zuffa.

      • Michaelthebox says:

        They got in a huge and public contract dispute, including legal threats, against their hall of fame heavyweight champion.

      • Michaelthebox says:

        And the statement “ungrateful response” is completely unfounded. Companies in every business imaginable will withdraw business from organizations that get in bed with a competitor. Tapout should have known better.

      • Derreck says:

        Ungrateful? Tapout benefited from the UFC way more than the other way around.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    Why is none of the blame ever put on the advertisers? Tapout had a choice. They made that choice based on the information available to them. If they really wanted to use Fedor, they would have. End of story. Obviously their current business model makes more sense with the UFC.

    Also, were they just dumb? They saw what happened with RVCS and Affliction. Why not talk to Zuffa first before making such a big offer?

    What Zuffa is doing is not illegal. It’s strong arm tactics that ate ruthless business practices. But they are not illegal. Try are within their legal rights to do this. Tapout is the one who should be getting bashed for not standing by their contracts!!!

  4. The Gaijin says:

    Finally got the wireless working at the cottage – stupid G20.

    I go away for a couple days and the interwebz explodes! Finally got a change to catch the fight…pretty shocking – but I must admit a dirty secret, after seeing the weigh-ins and the photos I laid some money on Werdum at -425 – it reeked of a fighter who was disinterested and looking passed/not taking your opponent seriously – so at least I made some money to buy my noose!

    Anyways – I’ll put this post in this thread since it’s the most recent and I don’t have time to go through the million and one posts on here since last night. I gotta think Mr. Roadblock, IceMuncher, EJ and of course the ever infamous 45 Huddle are quite pleased as punch at the moment. You may now flame away and tell me how dumb I was now that the Brock/Carwin winner will be consensus #1 HW after next weekend.

    I think my rankings look like this:

    1. Winner of Lesnar/Carwin
    2. JDS
    3. Werdum
    4. Fedor
    5. Loser of Lesnar/Carwin
    6. Cain (he’s probably getting unfairly short changed here).

    After seeing the fight I think Fedor would probably win 9/10, but that’s mma for you – he didn’t win when it counted.

    He pretty much JDS’d off the bat ducking into the uppercut and I have no idea why when he saw that he was going to be able to have his way on the feet that he should jump into a fucking 6’4 ADCC champs guard…play to your own strenghts when you can! To me it looked like he just got lazy/over-confident/careless in his sub-defense…I mean, sure he was able to just work magic out of Nog’s guard before, but he respected it, picked his spots and never let himself make rookie mistakes. I’ve said before his lack of cross-training with world class fighters would be something that hurts him in the current landscape, but that didn’t mean he should be training sub-defense with Denis friggin’ Kang either!

    I will also say that people are delusional if they try to go back and deconstruct the guy’s resume because of one loss to a dangerous opponent and for all the – “he’s been ducking guys since 2005”, that’s total B.S. If you want to lay claim that he was “ducking” you could credibly have a leg to stand on when he signed with Strikeforce last summer…but his Affliction run was to be against Randy Couture (the same guy that gave Lesnar 75% of his credibility as a top 3 fighter) and Sylvia and Arlovski – who were still in the UFC title picture into 2007-08. Not to mention Nog, a man who he dismantled twice was the champion and at the top of the heap in the UFC until into 2008.

    If you want to pick on his Strikeforce resume and intentions, I think that’s borne to be fair game, but the rest is pretty biased hindsight. It is too bad that the loss had to happen outside the UFC and couldn’t give a true rub to the new #1, but c’est la vie.

    I think he’ll be back.

    Flame away.

    • yukkurishiteittene says:

      It’s okay; you can stop pretending Tim Sylvia and Andrei Arlovski were any good.

      • The Gaijin says:

        …or Randy Couture, Mirko Cro Cop, Gabriel Gonzaga, Ben Rothwell, Stefan Struve, Gilbert Yvel, Paul Buentello, Cheick Kongo and Antonio Nogueira?


        See how easy it is!

    • The Gaijin says:

      I should also note, that it seems almost lost on many people (myself included, at least by the content of my post) that Werdum took the most of a HUGE opportunity and as a heavy underdog and did the most he could with it, in very impressive fashion.

      I was quite impressed with him, how he came to this fight in incredible shape – I hope people realize this was a very different fighter both mentally and physically than the one everyone likes to devalue from his JDS KO loss – He came in almost 20lbs lighter than that fight and looked positively shredded. He obviously has the tools to be a sub threat to anyone at HW, though there’s a strong chance that the beast wrestlers can bully and smother him…I’d actually like to see him get another chance in the UFC’s pool as he possess a very different game than pretty much anyone there right now.

      Whether or not people want to say Fedor made a mistake or was careless, he snatched the chance and sunk in a very nasty sub on someone people considered almost un-catchable. He’s still a pretty “green-ish” guy (less than 20 fights and I’m pretty sure has only recently dedicated himself to mma full-time) who has incredible depth to his resume (GG, Bigfoot, JDS, Nog, AA, AO, Fedor, Vera when he was still considered something). If he can train with some good people to at least fill up the defensive holes in his stand-up and to deal with powerful wrestlers he can build off this win.

  5. Ivan Trembow says:

    You’d think that the Fertittas would have learned after Station Casinos was indicted by the feds a few weeks ago that they might want to stop going around reportedly threatening people. But apparently not.

    For the UFC to reportedly threaten Tapout like that, after everything that Tapout has been through in the past couple of years and after everything that the UFC has said publicly in support of Tapout and about their great reltionship with Tapout, that’s pretty classless even by their standards.

    • The Gaijin says:

      It’s a cutthroat business…they’ve set the precedent before with RVCA and Affliction, TapouT got all Icarus and felt the wrath.

      I’m honestly not sure what they were expecting…UFC would set a dangerous precedent with all of the other t-shirt companies/sponsors if they let Tapout get away with it wouldn’t they?

      That being said, they don’t want to set a long line of precedent for coercive and potentially illegal tactics – as I set out in a different post regarding the Intel fiasco. Obviously it is not a completely perfect comparison, but for anyone to say that it’s legal to use coercion and bribery to force one of your sponsors/business partners to “cancel” (one might say it sounds a lot like tortious interference) legitimate contracts with your competitors, I’d say that’s pretty open to a court’s interpretation.

      • Jonathan says:

        The UFC is going to do whatever it wants to do and f*ck everyone else.

        Nothing anyone says or writes or reports in any form of media are going to change that.

        They’re the bad guys and they do not care.

      • Oh Yeah says:

        Isn’t the UFC part owner of Tapout?

  6. The Gaijin says:

    “What happened was Tapout had inked a deal to market Fedor Emelianenko Tapout shirts and they were going to pay him, I think the downside of $360,000 a year plus you know a cut of the shirts and somebody told them that if they did this and they did not cancel the deal that they would be banned from sponsoring at UFC…”

    Any word on how this contract issue was resolved?

    If Fedor/M-1 had a binding contract with Tapout, I would have to think they’re going to have to pay an assload to get out of it…you can’t really just say “well, we sorta fucked up with Dana, so…we’re just going to rip this up and you’re not getting anything! So sorry.”

    So I mean, this probably cost Tapout a pretty penny – but that shows you just how lucrative their business deals are with the UFC doesn’t it.

    • as M-1 are wont to do – like with their deal with adrenaline mma with fedor and gegard mousasi’ contract – they didn’t sign it and return it….. this time it came back to bite them in the ass as TapOut was able to get out of the contract ….

  7. robthom says:

    I saw a picture of that shirt yesterday.

    Even for a tapout shirt that was horrendous looking.

    I think even Cung Le, the Baryshnikov of horrible tee shirts would have balked at wearing that.

    If it was Dana’s fault that that never goes into production then it was an act of philanthropy IMO.

  8. robthom says:

    “1. Winner of Lesnar/Carwin
    2. JDS
    3. Werdum
    4. Fedor
    5. Loser of Lesnar/Carwin
    6. Cain ”

    This is a good rankings for next week.

    It does seem a shame to put Cain down to 6. But unfortunately we cant have 4 dudes at #3.
    They’re all looking really good.

    It will become apparent which ones are subtly better then the others when they begin to match each other.

    But I’m not really in a big hurry for that.
    I can wait.

    Having too many good HW’s to sort out right now is a great problem to have IMO.

  9. Seething says:

    This is the type of stuff huddle45 supports..

  10. klown says:

    1. Werdum
    2. Emilianenko
    3. Lesnar
    4. Carwin
    5. Mir
    6. Velasquez
    7. Nogueira
    8. Couture
    9. Sylvia
    10. Overeem
    11. Rogers
    12. Silva
    13. Arlovski
    14. Dos Santos

    • edub says:

      Dude this is the part where your idea of just elevating for wins doesn’t hold merit.

      This is the same problem the 155 lb division had for so long. Just continuing to elevate undeserving fighters for beating people that were ranked too high.

  11. klown says:

    Dos Santos is the future undisputed champion of this division, according to my own speculation. However, as things stand, the only significant victory of his young career, from a rankings perspective, is the freak knockout of an out-of-shape, unmotivated Werdum.

    Junior’s wins over CroCop, Yvel and Struve, while very impressive, do not improve his objective standing, since they all fall below the caliber of Werdum, who had already been defeated by JDS. A victory in his upcoming fight against Nelson, while also potentially very impressive, would still not provide grounds for elevating him in the divisional ranks. Only a win against one of the Top 13 fighters ranked above him would raise Dos Santos’s objective ranking.

    The reason for Dos Santos’s intuitively odd ranking position (since his potential appears to exceed his position) is the match-making. Since his knockout of Werdum, JDS has never again been tested against Top 10 competition in the UFC. Instead, he has been fed a succession of inferior opponents from a rankings perspective.

    That needs to change and soon. I’d like to see better matchmaking for JDS so he can tear through the UFC’s top 4 Heavies: Lesnar, Carwin, Mir and Velasquez!

  12. EJ says:

    You clearly are confused, the idea that you would bump Werdum all the way to number 1 and have JDS ranked so low is insane. There was nothing freak about the knock out and all the excuses and justifications don’t change the fact that Werdum got KTFO. Dos Santos is a top 5 HW, there is no doubt about that he’s been tested plenty and not had a gimme fights unlike Werdum after he was KO’d.

    • robthom says:

      “… the idea that you would bump Werdum all the way to number 1 and have JDS ranked so low is insane.”

      Obviously he’s just being silly.
      Its a humorous zinger.

      I think its called parody or satire or something like that.

    • klown says:

      While I think the knockout may well have been a freak occurrence, nevertheless, I didn`t invalidate Dos Santos`s win over Werdum. Beating Werdum is the only reason Junior is ranked in the first place. I believe the victory put him around the 10th spot at the time. Since then, JDS has fought noone worthwhile. Meanwhile, he`s been surpassed by a number of fighters who took out Top 10 opponents.

      Fedor and Bigfoot may be `gimme fights` in your book, but they are actually ranked Top 10, unlike Yvel and Struve!

      • The Gaijin says:

        Are you kidding me?!?

        He’s been fighting divisional stalwarts like Mirko Cro Cop (since he was only ever good 7 years ago and is a top fighter from 2001-2006 – wins against him only count if you’re not Fedor), Gilbert Yvel (he’s been at top HW….never.), Stefan Struve (heh) and Gonzaga (I beg people to look at his actual wins in the UFC – and hasn’t Werdum finished him off twice?).

        Now he’s fighting Roy Nelson, who apparently was not a good win for Andrei Arlovski, but I’m sure will be (another) a “JDS has arrived on the top HW scene” win when it happens.

        Let’s not forget, I have this guy ranked at #2, but it’s always nice to do these stupid little “analyses” of fighters records.

        • It shouldn’t be a “arrived at the top” sort of win. Nelson is a gatekeeper. He’s a good gatekeeper, but that’s it. A gatekeeper.

          Let’s look at this another way: Roy Nelson, the obese brawler/wrestler vs. Fabricio Werdum, submission expert and sorta boring robotic striker. If Nelson lays on JDS and wins, does that mean Nelson is necessarily someone who should be favored over Werdum? Pfff…of course not! Werdum would probably tap him in 2-3 minutes. But that’s how it will be treated by the media, AFAIC.

        • edub says:

          “Werdum would probably tap him in 2-3 minutes.”

          I would put good money on Nelson in that fight. Much better stand up(Not great but Werdum’s is borderline horrible for a top tier HW), and no slouch at all on the ground. I would venture to say Nelson on par with Werdum in Grappling ability for MMA.

        • Nelson is a suckers bet in that fight. Big time. He’s good at getting guys down and being on top, but that is the wrong place to be against Werdum. He does gas out too, and Werdum’s tank has won him more than one fight. Meanwhile, he’s only been KOed once. You really want to bet on Nelson being only the second guy to do it?

      • While I think the knockout may well have been a freak occurrence, nevertheless, I didn`t invalidate Dos Santos`s win over Werdum. Beating Werdum is the only reason Junior is ranked in the first place. I believe the victory put him around the 10th spot at the time. Since then, JDS has fought noone worthwhile. Meanwhile, he`s been surpassed by a number of fighters who took out Top 10 opponents.

        Thank god someone else noticed. Look, beating Gilbert Yvel is fine and dandy, but its something anyone with a pulse should be able to do: See Rothwell, Ben. Cro-Cop hasn’t been at the top in forever. Struve is a nobody.

        Look at it a different way: Sonnen is now ranked by most as being above Maia. After all, he beat someone better than Maia. Why can’t Werdum be ranked above JDS?

        • edub says:

          Because it’s not the same. Sonnen beat a borderline top 10 guy in Miller. Beat the guy whose almost universally ranked #2 in Okami, and then again beat the universally ranked #2 guy in Marquard, and that was after Maia LOST to Marquardt.

          Yvel and Struve might have been gimme wins, but Crocop was not at the time. Neither was Gabriel Gonzaga. Werdum has the one good win over Fedor. Ok the one OUTSTANDING win over Fedor. other than that he’s got Mike Kyle and Antonio Silva.

        • Okami wasn’t universally ranked #2. Not even close. Same with Marqhardt.

          Gonzaga was the best fighter out of that bunch and demonstratably lower on the totem pole than Werdum. Werdum is clearly and undeniably where JDS’s legitimacy comes in from.

        • Also, I love that Gonzaga is a great win for JDS but irrelevant for Werdum, who beat him twice. Kudos.

      • The Gaijin says:

        Let me save EJ some time here:

        Rarrr PRIDE fanboys, Japan sucks, delusional haters…zzzz…BROCKLESNAR….BIZ DANA…nuthuggers…zzz

  13. edub says:

    Ok since this went to rankings I will post the same one’s I posted a couple days ago when Fedor losing was unthinkable:
    1. Lesnar/Carwin winner
    2. Velasquez
    3. Dos Santos
    4. Werdum
    5. Fedor
    and I’ll continue with my bottom 5
    6. Lesnar/Carwin loser
    7. Mir
    8. Nog
    9. Ubereem
    10.Big Foot

    Flame away. That’s why I posted em.


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