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[UPDATED] And Now They’re Banned: All Gun, Ammo, Knife, and Hunting Sponsors

(Molon Labe)

By Jason Moles

(First off, let me just tell you that I fought the urge to use a “Business as usual” headline. You’re welcome.)

News trickled down last week that Zuffa has instituted a sponsorship ban on all firearm, ammo, hunting, and knife companies. Essentially, no more Matt Hughes. Starting January 23rd, Ammo To Go and The Gun Store, among others, will no longer be able to sponsor fighters. When contacted by CagePotato in hopes to better understand the reasoning behind the less than popular decision, the UFC said only that “These are rules set in place by Fox” — who declined to comment.

Not satisfied with that answer, I called up the man himself. And by “called up,” I mean tweeted. And by “the man himself,” I meant Dana White – not Sheik Tahnoon. His answer only raised more questions, primarily why doesn’t the UFC President know that some of his fighters will soon receive one less paycheck courtesy of FOX? Talk about bad timing, too. Wasn’t it just a week ago that Lorenzo Fertita was touting to ESPN the significant amount of money to be made in sponsorships?

According to reports by Ingrained Media, the ban applies to all Zuffa promoted events. Even if you won’t be appearing on any of the FOX Broadcasting Company’s channels, you are still not permitted to be sponsored by any of the aforementioned types of companies. We all knew that concessions were made in order to secure the FOX deal, but did we really think it would come to this? You know somewhere in the pine-covered backwoods, a lonely and shaken two-time Welterweight champion is weeping bitterly – not because he needs the extra money, but because it’s still America to him dammit.

What are we to make of all of this? Don’t even dare asking if this is ‘fair‘ or not. Would we be justified in crying outrage, pointing to the food stolen out of fighter X’s mouth? Is it safe to say that a company on the rise is distancing itself from things that are potentially lethal in order to gain mass acceptance? Before we get up in arms, let’s wait for the fighters who are actually affected by this to give us their take. In the meantime, let us know in the comments if you think this is a step in the right direction for FOX and Zuffa or if they’re shooting themselves in the foot on this one.

UPDATED 01/24/2012: A member of Fox’s media relations department responded to our request for comment on the sponsorship ban with the following statement:

“Simply put, UFC is complying with its FOX Sports Media Group contract which only applies to events and shows carried on its networks.  Beyond that, FOX does not comment on its standards and practices.”

Cagepotato Comments

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shayes99- January 27, 2012 at 4:15 am
This week's UFC Tonight show on Fuel already had blurred on Jim Miller's shorts when showing hightlights from last Friday.
Red Baron- January 25, 2012 at 5:19 pm
My Glock 19 is the great equalizer. Since I'm old and fat and not inclined to workout, my G19 is my sidekick, my rear naked choke, my anaconda and my Peruvian Necklace all rolled into one.

I don't need stand-up, takedown defense, ground-and-pound, or jitz. To defeat all those skills I just need 6 dollars worth of 115 grain jacket hollow points and average aim. Wait, I don't even need average aim, my Crimson Trace laserguard takes care of that.

So take that you jocks! You sweat and strain and workout for hours, and I can summarily undo that by setting my Route 44 Coke on the hood of my Powerstroke, draw my G19 from my Crossbreed Supertuck, and effortlessly send you to meet Evan Tanner.

Do ya feel lucky punk? Well do ya?
butlerj- January 25, 2012 at 11:38 am
Sho Nuff, the comparison doesn't matter. It's the talking down to those whom you deem to be inferior to yourself. All smug self righteous liberal loudmouths do the same thing. It doesn't matter how much below 100 their IQ is, or how big of a shit pile their life is. They always talk down to people who hold a different opinion than themselves, while almost getting sexually aroused bragging about how open minded they are.
Sho Nuff- January 25, 2012 at 10:15 am
butler, compared to you and redneck, there is nothing "false" about it.
itrainUFCtrolol- January 25, 2012 at 7:43 am
Fun fact!!! Station Casinos (Fertitta owned) just took all guns away from their security officers at all properties. Hmmmm, probably nothing but very odd.
NomadRip- January 25, 2012 at 6:59 am
@hitekredneck They ignore the million of potential revenue to make tens of millions in revenue they can make by ignoring. It's simple math. (On another note: Do you ride motorcycles too? I know someone else who uses that name)
hitekredneck- January 25, 2012 at 4:33 am
I happen to be one of those "redneck gun nuts" that a certain idiot (shonuff) talks about. While i respect the rights of Fox and the UFC to allow which sponsors they wish, i find it a shame that, due to bad press, they are willing to ignore millions of dollars that could be going to the fighters that happen to embrace the 2nd amendment.
butlerj- January 24, 2012 at 5:55 pm
Sho Nuff, there's no need to tell us your a liberal. Most people can tell by your snarky condescending tone and false sense of superiority. It's kind of like a two year old with a shitty diaper telling everyone who will listen how smart and wonderful he/she is.
NomadRip- January 24, 2012 at 4:45 pm
"Who's the Master?" Sho Nuff. He summed this all up nicely. It's just a monetary decision.
mtnthc- January 24, 2012 at 4:23 pm

Probably right, cocaine is the preferred drug of the executive types and Dana looks just like a coke fiend.

@MMAposeur, ditto, Texas - executing the innocent for over 100 years.

Although I not a gun nut or nuts for guns I really don't see the point to such a ban. Is watching a fighter in a mma event with an ammo advertisement going to send us out on a bloody rampage? In my book that doesn't pass the common sense test, but given the collective mentality in the good ole USA maybe they have a point? It will certainly cut into some fighters bottom line, but as many pointed out, if they are any decent they will probably make it up in the long run.
MMAposeur- January 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm
@"Rashad is so well spoken aint he"
Okay, I'm gonna type slow so you can understand (hopefully): the problem with the death penalty isn't the people who no doubt did the crime, it is the 1000s of people who have been proven innocent AFTER they were executed you sweet simpleton you. It's also the idiotic cost of appeals which makes it more expensive then just keeping someone locked up for life without chance of parole, again, you blithering moron.
As for abortions? More people need to get 'em. We have way too many idiots like you on this planet born to people like your idiot parents to not allow abortion.
I noticed you just disregarded the whole, inconvenient war-mongering inconsistency. I doubt you noticed it, because that would require you to think of more than 1 thing at once. But hey, who needs consistency when you've got the bible eh, Jimbro?
MediumRare- January 24, 2012 at 3:20 pm
Anyone taking bets on how long Joe Rogan lasts as color commentator?
It's just a matter of time before the UFC gets a call from a Fox exec. "Yeah, that guy that smokes week. Gotta go. It's in the contract."
MediumRare- January 24, 2012 at 3:18 pm
I get the impression Zuffa didn't realize this was in the contract until they got a call after Friday night's fights.
Ricardo Guitardo- January 24, 2012 at 2:36 pm
And so begins the end of the ufc. I can't wait for jon jones to come out with a big tampax logo on his shorts.
O Chan- January 24, 2012 at 2:31 pm
I used to do ad-sales for the Cable Entertainment networks at Fox. There S&P department is a very fickle group and from their statement, its pretty standard. Believe it or not, they could care less about making exceptions and in the past they had turned down money from advertisers due to violations of their S&P standards. One example that comes to mind was when Showtime wanted to buy time for their show the Bourgios. Despite airing in Discovery Channel, History, and other non-fiction nets, they would not allow the spot to air on the National Geographic Channel because part of the commercial has a glass of "red wine" spill that appears to look like "blood" and claimed the commercial is meant to imply that it is "blood" and not wine. Can't explain it, can't appeal it, it is what it is.
Sho Nuff- January 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm
It's not a political stand you morons. It has nothing to do with politics. Boy, I sure love that Winchester sponsored NASCAR driver, but not as much as the H&K one, what's his name? Oh wait, you mean I am mistaken and the dumbest, redneck-ist "sport" on the planet doesn't have firearm sponsorships either! Oh my god, NASCAR is only for urban liberal hippies!

It's not about politics, it's about advertiser standards set by the networks for years. Quit trying to drag a whole host of nonsense into something that's quite standard. It's not political, it has fuck all to do with the fucking 2nd amendment, it has ZERO to do with liberal/conservative BS. And just to clear the air for some of you idiots, the line isn't that GOPers love guns and liberals hate them, you are being fed bullshit to manipulate your vote. It's successful because you are easily led sheep. The line is much more urban/rural. Southern liberals (like me), love our guns as much as retarded rednecks do. The difference is that we don't make the news by accidentally shooting ourselves, our kids, pets, or neighbors because we aren't retarded.
butlerj- January 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm
Taking a political stand one way or another on an issue not relevant to MMA just pisses off half of their potential fans (and fighters). To balance things out, they can add a few adds for Big Shirley's Lesbian Sextoy and Flannel Emporium.
AndyInflammatory- January 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm
I'm sure that potential big-ticket sponsors are going to jump into this hole. The UFC will be actively looking for them, as will the fighters agents. No biggie.
holeeball- January 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm
Maybe those occupy whatever should watch more UFC lol
rlh61- January 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Right on brah. This makes me sick. I get the bigger potential payday for fighters with bigger-ticket sponsors. I also get the mass accpetance deal.

However, the crux of the issue is just as you say.

It sure seems we are on that slippery-slope to the left...and it fucking sucks. I doubt than many, if any, gun sales will be hurt, and fighters losing sponsors will pick up others. However, the overriding meaning behind this move is sickening. Pussification of our culture is right...I couldn't say it any better myself.
MediumRare- January 23, 2012 at 6:59 pm
Not as much as I do Andy.
Wanna talk about 9/11?
AndyInflammatory- January 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm
I love my conspiracy theories MediumRare
holeeball- January 23, 2012 at 6:21 pm
It's a good decision.

Why the hell advertise guns and ammo anyway?

It's a hand to hand fight.
XENOPHON- January 23, 2012 at 5:14 pm
Dammit, I knew there was a few Americans left around here.....
I remember when just a few months ago as the FOX deal was inked that I got a lot of flak over the so called "biggest news of the year inside MMA." It was a sign of the end of days cometh.
Actually the end of days happened long ago. Anyone remember when the UFC was less than $19 bucks a pop?
One day ZUFFA will lose total control, and its coming sooner than you think....
MediumRare- January 23, 2012 at 4:55 pm
won't somebody PLEASE think of the retirees
If something as simple as an effort to make people, weak, helpless and dependent on their owners is too difficult to comprehend, then you guys are too naive, and shouldn't be near a computer with an internet connection in the first place.
It's getting lame, so y'all better get your head around it.