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Matt Mitrione fires his agent Malki Kawa at UFC 119 in Indianapolis

By Zach Arnold | September 25, 2010

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“Meathead” Matt Mitrione fired his agent Malki Kawa live on camera at UFC 119 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He said this on the microphone during a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.

During this interview with Ariel Helwani, Mr. Mitrione says that the reason he fired Mr. Kawa is because he made $5,000USD in sponsorships for his ‘national TV’ fight against Joey Beltran on Spike TV for the preliminary bouts. Matt claims that when he asked Mr. Kawa about sponsors and getting preparations ready for his shorts (to place the ads on), he claims that Malki told him to keep his (Mitrione’s) wife out of his business affairs. Mitrione was unhappy and felt that he should have been making more in sponsorship money.

Here is Malki Kawa’s response:

Guys, I’m not going to comment until I speak to him. I’ve called into him and I’m waiting for him to respond. Once I understand the problem, I’ll talk about it.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 20 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

20 Responses to “Matt Mitrione fires his agent Malki Kawa at UFC 119 in Indianapolis”

  1. Well, the resulting real talk about sponsorship money should be fun. I wonder if people will be surprised to hear that fighters aren’t making twice their official pay in ads? LOL

  2. edub says:

    Myth-busted

  3. Cory says:

    Mitrione has a point. I know fighters who get more than that for untelevised fights on non-UFC shows.

    • Fluyid says:

      Really? That’s pretty incredible.

      Can you give some details?

      I can’t imagine that happening too often unless some guy running some company wants to get close to fighters by throwing money their way or something like that.

  4. 45 Huddle says:

    I have yet to see anybody claim that fighters were making double for what their pay was from advertisers. I know Alan likes to think that is true, but I’ve never seen anybody actually post that.

    Most reasonable people know that non-stars can supplement their training costs through sponsors. With the right TV spot, they can basically pay for training and take the rest of the pay home. Mitrione wasn’t getting that, which is why he fired his agent. Makes sense to me. As others have said, a lot of non-televise guys can make $5,000 from sponsors. A guy like Mitrione on SpikeTV Prelim show should have been getting at least $10,000 to $15,000. And I’m sure a better agent can make that happen for him.

    But if people are going to complain about pay (UFC and sponsors combined)…. Mitrione is a bad example here. He probably made close to $100,000 after his bonus, sponsors, and regular fight pay was all added up. Even if he had $15,000 for training costs (which would be unusually high)…. The guy still had a huge payday for a guy with his 3rd professional fight.

    Hardly something to complain about…. but that won’t stop most from using this as a way to put down the sport and the organizations who run it.

    • 45 Huddle says:

      And to further the point… Mitrione made $16,000 for his win at the TUF 10 Finale. Which means over the last year:

      UFC Fight Pay: $48,000
      UFC Bonus Pay: $75,000
      Sponsor Money: $12,000 (Estimate based on bad agent)

      That’s $135,000 with a bad agent. Probably would have been around $150,000 total if he had a better agent.

      Which means after training costs, the guy made $100,000 over the last 12 months. And this is a guy who did so with a bad agent and on the first 3 fights of his career.

      This will likely be the topic of the week for people to complain about until they find something else. It’s not much of an issue really if you look at the numbers….

      • edub says:

        You’re post doesn’t make much since 45. It’s rhetoric constantly thrown out by the UFC.

        • 45 Huddle says:

          That’s not rhetoric. That’s a combination of exact numbers and solid estimates which shows a guy at the very beginning of his career making 6 figures in 12 months.

          How anybody can complain about that is beyond me.

        • edub says:

          Thats not what I said. I said That is rhetoric constantly thrown out by the UFC. Which it is. Goldberg touts all the time that this or that fighter could be making twice the amount of his purse in sponsorship money. Along with some of the media which falls into the trap of following along sometimes.

    • The Gaijin says:

      Hahaha. Yeah right – your only retort is “no one said TWO TIMES their pay”…(you might as well have used No one said they paid “dollars”, they said “doll hairs”!) – you’ve been one of the biggest “rah rah” but they make sooo much money from sponsorships and shower bonuses that we don’t even know about.

      If anyone had even an ounce of interest in it I’m sure we can go back and find dozens of comments about how much they’re getting in sponsorship dollars.

      • 45 Huddle says:

        It’s not the only retort. First, nobody has said twice the pay. Second, many fighters are on contracts like his $16,000 for a win can make up to their winning salary on sponsors. Which is why he fired his agent for not making that happen.

        Look, people complain about MMA fighter pay, but it’s hardly an issue.

        1. Olympians not making basically any money is a huge issue.

        2. Colleges making millions on college athletes and then calling them amateurs in order to keep 100% of the profits is a huge issue.

        Matt Mitrione making over $100,000 in his first year of combat sports without any wrestling or striking background (and without a Kimbo like gimmick)…. And he could have made even more with a good agent….

        Is hardly a story or issue…. The only small issue that comes out of it is how bad agents are in MMA….

    • Joe says:

      Mitrione is a smart, outgoing guy with a defined persona who was a minor star on the biggest season ever of TUF, and has now had two featured bouts in a row. he should be making way more

  5. Bryan says:

    45, where did you get the payout info for what Mitrione made for his 113 fight and any bonuses? All I could find on the web is this:

    http://mmajunkie.com/news/19060/ufc-113-bonuses-rua-belcher-stephens-and-stout-earn-65k-awards.mma

    and all I found for the TUF 10 finale was this which has his show ans win purse but no listing for any bonuses:

    http://www.mmaconvert.com/2009/12/07/tuf-10-finale-fighter-payouts-kimbo-banks-25k/

    • 45 Huddle says:

      I didn’t get any payout information from Mitrione for UFC 113.

      HE got paid $16 for a win at TUF 10 Finale. It’s safe to assume he got the same amount for his next 2 wins. Which is where the $48,000 comes from.

      He got $70,000 for his FOTN Bonus at UFC 119. I mistyped and put $75,000.

  6. Bryan says:

    Well I meant taxes the the government takes out of all our checks, but other taxes do apply such as flying your team out there, getting them hotel rooms, etc.

  7. notthface says:

    So the argument is that Mitrione is adequately paid because someone estimated he made $135,000 for 3 fights from endorsement and an arbitrary $75,000 bonus? Would he be well paid if he didn’t get the non-guaranteed FOTN bonus? And what of the other fighter in his shoes that didn’t win one of the big bonuses? After manager/agent/lawyer fee, training, and sparring partners they are looking at $40,000 take home instead of $60,000. And that’s if they get on TV and win all three their fights. And from that they also have to cover their own insurance as well as save and plan for when their limited self life as a fighter comes to an end.

  8. mma clothing says:

    it is shocking how bad some of the UFC fighters get!

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