Led by the always-outspoken Ken Pavia, a group of high-profile MMA agents have joined forces to block their fighters from being sold to the highest bidder during Showtime’s planned auction of Pro Elite’s corporate assets on November 17th. From a new press release drafted by the Pav, and signed by Monte Cox, Ed Soares, and Cesar Gracie, among others:
Individually we consummated promotional agreements with Pro Elite. These agreements were made based on a multiplicity of factors including but not limited to relationships with certain Pro Elite personnel, venues, television exposure, jurisdictional concerns, public relations support, and numerous other intangibles. These considerations are not readily transferable…
We intend to fight the lawful ability to transfer these assets, and as we believe these are personal services contracts, we do not believe there is an obligation to perform if transferred. With pooled resources we are prepared to fight this issue.
The unity of this effort is unprecedented and the message that is being sent is clear. Absent significant pre-established negotiated terms, do not bid on these contracts unless you are prepared to fight the challenge to their legality. It is our intention to honor our commitment to Pro Elite, but if Pro Elite is not able to perform in accordance with the contractual terms, the fighters should be granted unrestricted free agency with the unfettered ability to enter the marketplace.
It’s good to see business rivals uniting for the rights of their fighters, especially when they haven’t always been civil towards each other in the past. Hopefully Showtime will get the message that some of these “assets” they plan on auctioning actually represent the livelihoods of human beings.