MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Tag: Monte Cox

Video: ESPN Attacks UFC Fighter Pay on ‘Outside the Lines’; UFC Releases Unaired Footage in Response

So here’s that ESPN Outside the Lines piece that got Dana White so hot and bothered. Even before it aired yesterday morning, the segment — and accompanying feature article by Josh Gross — drew criticism for its reliance on anonymous sources (as well as Ken Shamrock, who’s not exactly unbiased), and for downplaying the reality of the UFC’s business model, in which fighters are paid handsomely for performing well and drawing a crowd. Should a new UFC prospect deserve to make as much as an NFL player simply because he’s signed to the UFC? Lorenzo Fertitta doesn’t think so: “[L]ike any other company in America…You have to perform, to be able to get compensated.” There is also some mis-representation in the UFC’s $6,000/$6,000 system of payment for prospects (skip to the 5:03 mark), which ESPN seems to believe applies to all fighters who enter the promotion.

The segment does make a couple of solid points, pointing to the lack of a Muhammad Ali Act in MMA, and explaining that athletes in other major sports leagues are so well paid because they get 50% of the leagues’ revenues — while the UFC, according to “multiple sources” (all anonymous, of course), pays closer to 10% of its revenue to the fighters. Lorenzo Fertitta disputes this, saying it’s “in the neighborhood” of 50%, but since the UFC won’t disclose exactly what they’re earning (or exactly what they’re paying out to fighters, for that matter), it’s impossible to come away with a clear answer to this question.

Check it out and let us know what you think. After the jump, some unaired footage from the interview released yesterday by the UFC, in which Fertitta explains that the lowest-paid UFC fighter earns about ten times more than the lowest-paid boxer who fights on ESPN, so suck it.

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On This Day in MMA History: A Future MMA Legend and UFC Hall of Famer Named ‘Lil’ Evil’ Was Born


(Pulver for UFC HOF 2011)

On this day 37 years ago, a boy named Jens Johnnie Pulver was born into a tumultuous household in Sunnyside, Washington.

Jens escaped from the violence and psychological abuse he, his sister, two brothers and mother endured daily from his namesake father who was a hard-drinking horse jockey, by dominating on the wrestling mats on weekends. It was there that his family would pretend they didn’t have a monster waiting for them back at their house and where they would escape from the sad reality that was their home life.

11 years ago this winter Pulver picked up and made the trek from California, where he had lived since moving out in his teens, to Davenport, Iowa with only a suitcase and a bag of change. He was put up by his soon-to-be manager Monte Cox when he showed up on his doorstep to ask the powerful agent to represent him. The Cox family took him in and treated him as one of their own children, while he set up shop training out of the fabled Miletich gym alongside some of Cox’s other marquee stable fighters like Matt Hughes, Tim Sylvia and the team’s leader, Pat Miletich.

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Monte Cox Can’t Believe New Jersey Doesn’t Want Sylvia/Mercer Shitshow


(They just don’t make MMA-themed t-shirts with the middle-aged manager’s body type in mind, do they?)

MMA agent/Adrenaline promoter Monte Cox is stunned, absolutely stunned, by the New Jersey Athletic Control Board’s decision not to sanction the proposed boxing match between former heavyweight champ Ray Mercer and owner of an unblemished 0-0 boxing record Tim Sylvia.  Talking with Ariel Helwani at Versus.com, he called the decision “ridiculous,” adding: “It must not have been as compelling as the Bonaduce-Canseco fight.”

That would have been a sweet burn…if that fight had actually taken place in New Jersey and not Pennsylvania, as Helwani points out.  As it is, it’s just a sweet burn on Pennsylvania, which, let’s not forget, only recently decided to sanction MMA.

Now that the fight has been moved to the lawless territory known as Alabama (pronounced: Al-uh-bam-uhhh) Cox is trying to convince people that it’s purely coincidental that he decided to relocate his entire event to a state with no sanctioning body:

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Sylvia/Mercer Boxing Match Moved to Lawless, Unregulated Wasteland

Tim Sylvia MMA UFC
(Unfortunately, Ray Mercer won’t be this star-struck. Photo courtesy of Land Sharks.)

When we reported that the Tim Sylvia/Ray Mercer "Crystal Pepsi" match had been shot down by the the New Jersey Athletic Control Board, you probably thought it was the last you’d hear about this strange footnote in Tim’s career. Well guess what — life’s not fair. Monte Cox has moved Adrenaline III to a different state, and the Maine-iac’s pro boxing debut will go on. As Sherdog reports:

[P]romoter Monte Cox announced the six-round heavyweight fight would be rescheduled for June 13 in Alabama as the main event of Adrenaline III. The hybrid boxing-mixed martial arts event will be held at the 17,000-seat BJCC arena in Birmingham. Cox confirmed that Alabama does not have a regulatory body to oversee the fight.

Well, that’s one way to get around the issue. There are no other bouts scheduled for Adrenaline III yet — and the league’s website offers nothing other than a link for a motorcycle helmet dealer — but if there’s no regulatory body to answer to, there’s really nothing stopping Monte from filling out the card with midget kickboxing, lesbian submission grappling, and a donkey act. Sounds like Birmingham is in for a good night.

Semi-related: Frank Shamrock also has his eyes on a move to pro boxing. In a new interview with MMA Convert, Shamrock says he might give the sweet science a try after he takes care of business against Nick Diaz, Cung Le, and (hopefully) Tito Ortiz. What, no more "Blood Brothers"?

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New Jersey Says ‘Thanks, But No Thanks’ to Tim Sylvia/Ray Mercer Boxing Match


(And you thought his career had already suffered every possible indignity.)

I never thought I’d type this sentence, but thank God for the state of New Jersey’s common sense.  The New Jersey Athletic Control Board is refusing to allow the ill-conceived Tim Sylvia/Ray Mercer boxing match to take place on the Adrenaline III card in Atlantic City on May 30.  Commissioner Nick Lembo wouldn’t say why he was denying the bout.  But we already know why, don’t we?

This is one of those rare instances where a government agency steps in to stop an incredibly dumb idea and we all end up thanking them for it.  Like when the FDA put an end to Crystal Pepsi (at least that’s how I remember it going down).  There’s no reason for formerly-serious MMA fighter Tim Sylvia to make his pro boxing debut against former boxing champ Ray Mercer, just like there’s no reason to make Pepsi clear.  (Note: whoa, now that I think about it, this might be the most perfect analogy I’ve ever made.  Tim Sylvia/Ray Mercer really is to combat sports as Crystal Pepsi was to the soft drink industry.)

The downside is that a capitalist go-getter like Monte Cox probably isn’t going to be deterred by an athletic commission telling him that a fight is too stupid to be sanctioned.  Instead he’ll likely save it for another event in a place where the commission isn’t so picky about letting ex-champs box guys with zero pro boxing experience.  Might I suggest the city of Japan?

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MMA Agents Unite to Block Pro Elite Contract Auction

Ken Pavia MMA agents
(You do not want to mess with this man. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle via myspace.com/kenpavia.)

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.

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Robbie Lawler A Free Man Soon, Perhaps Headed to UFC? Yes, Please.


(‘Sometimes I think there’s a disconnect between how I see myself and how the world perceives me to be.’)

From the sound of things, being a fighter under contract to EliteXC these days is a lot like being in a long distance relationship. You never know exactly what your status is, whether you’re free to make out with other people in bars, whether you’re still getting together over Thanksgiving, and what little contact you do have with one another is always tinged with confusion and regret. Fortunately for EliteXC middleweight champ Robbie Lawler, he has Monte Cox for an agent, and Monte knows just what to do in this situation: write a break-up letter.

Cox filed a breach of contract notice with Pro Elite last week, hoping to get Lawler free and clear of the sinking EliteXC ship so Lawler can ply his trade elsewhere, perhaps in the UFC:

“There’s a warranty clause in the contract that you can challenge if they have enough money to fulfill the contract,” Cox said. “Obviously, right now, they do not. I notified them of what I considered to be breach of contract and they have 30 days to respond. They have to prove they can fulfill it or we’re a free agent.”

[...]

“We’ve done everything we can do,” said Cox. “Now, they may fight [the claim of breach of contract], but we can’t do anything at the moment. Right now, there’s no one at Elite to even talk to us. If I wanted to ask, there’s nobody there.”

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Does a Weak Economy Make For a Strong Fight Game?

As you may or may not know, Americans are freaking out about the state of the economy right now. Something about gas prices and houses and the value of the dollar, I don’t really pay attention. I leave most of my financial planning to this really nice homeless guy I met a while back. We just diversified my portfolio to include both kinds of vodka: flavored and unflavored. Things are looking up.

Jerry Magee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (via MMA Payout) has an interesting article linking the rough economic times with a booming combat sports environment. Just as boxing thrived during the Great Depression, he says, MMA is experiencing a similar boost these days:

In periods when Americans are up against it, they crave distractions. Boxing and MMA are among them, as Armando Garcia is aware. At Pechanga, Garcia, executive officer of the California Athletic Commission, said he was rummaging around his Sacramento office and he came across a report for the fiscal year 1925 that showed the commission’s revenues for that year (from licensing fees and the commission’s share of gates) had come to just more than $100,000.

In 2004-2005, the commission’s revenues, according to Garcia, totaled $441,000. For 2005-2006, Garcia’s first in office, they reached $1.1 million. They hit $1.6 by the next reporting date. For the fiscal year just concluding, they are at $2.136 million, with boxing and MMA each having generated more than a half-million at the gates.

It’s an interesting theory. Quoting statistics on live event gates doesn’t necessarily prove it, especially since MMA has only recently come into its own as a mainstream sport with widespread appeal and acceptance, but it’s still worth thinking about. Magee’s thesis about hard times leading to a strong desire for distractions makes you wonder, what does he think Americans are doing when times are good? Staying home and staring at their bank statements?

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Jeff Monson Off 6/14 Adrenaline Card

Jeff Monson MMA UFC Adrenaline

Scheduled to face Mike Russow in the main event of Adrenaline MMA‘s debut show in Chicago, Jeff Monson has been forced to pull out of the match due to a not-quite-healed broken hand that he sustained in his Sengoku II bout against Josh Barnett last month. Replacing Monson will be Jason Guida, a Chicago-based fighter (and brother of UFC lightweight Clay Guida) who has built a record of 17-15 in various regional organizations. It’s an odd choice considering Guida has competed mostly as a middleweight, two weight classes under Russow, but according to Adrenaline honcho Monte Cox:

“It made sense for me at this point to go with two Chicago guys fighting each other. And they come from different camps in the same city and I just thought, you know what, this will probably sell me more tickets than anyone I can get on a week’s notice.”

Jeff Monson is still officially on the Godz of War card in Charlotte, even though it takes place just one week later. Saddled with a dodgy hand, the Snowman probably knew that he wouldn’t be able to compete on consecutive weekends, and was forced to make a decision — and it looks like he went with the higher-profile opponent in Ricco Rodriguez.

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Tim Sylvia Nearly Barfs on ‘Inside MMA’


(Video courtesy of my Canon PowerShot.)

Bad Indian food, maybe? Check out the 0:16 mark to see him swallow it back down. Lovely.

Oh, and about Timbo’s “huge news”: Yeah, it actually was pretty huge. Here are the brass tacks:

— Tim Sylvia has left the UFC in a “mutual separation” and is officially a free agent.

— He has signed a non-exclusive contract with Adrenaline MMA (formerly M-1 Global). Between his fights with Adrenaline, events in Japan (likely referring to Sengoku and DREAM), and “the Affliction show,” he expects to fight 5-6 times per year.

— Adrenaline plans on holding its first event on June 14th in Chicago. Ben Rothwell has also signed to the organization.

— Notable Tim quote #1: “I’m out of the UFC for a couple years, and maybe I go back. I want to end my career in the UFC…Right now, this is the best thing for me.”

— Notable Tim quote #2: “There’s a guy out there named Fedor who I’d like to fight, and I think the only way that’s gonna happen is by me leaving the UFC.”

Holy crap! Can you imagine if Tim got a crack at Fedor before Randy Couture? It seems a little shocking that Dana White would let Tim leave the UFC without putting up a fight (Sylvia had one match left on his current contract), but maybe this is just an elaborate scheme to screw Randy. Dana, you brilliant asshole!

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