(“I survived the Full Tilt Poker bust and all I got was this crappy jacket.” Too soon? Pic: WSOP.com)
The federal indictments lobbed at three top poker websites late last week – including noted fight sponsor Full Tilt Poker – continue to cause a troubling ripple effect in the MMA world, new reports indicate. You may have already seen the stories over the weekend about how much the sudden absence of such poker site dough may or may not adversely affect the bottom line of individual fighters, but notable sports business reporter Darren Rovell (who works a lot on ESPN) now says the charges against Full Tilt also mean the loss of an important upcoming deal for the UFC.
“The UFC had a huge new sponsorship deal on the table with Full Tilt that will now go out the window with the feds bust,” Rovell tweeted on Monday afternoon. This came on the heels of a story from MMA Junkie quoting agent Ken Pavia saying the poker shutdown “will severely impact fighters’ sponsor revenue, which traditionally matched their show pay for our televised clients.”
So yeah, any time big sponsors drop out (or get indicted) and their money gets taken out of the pockets of fighters and the coffers of the only important company left in the industry, we have to do the Dennis Hopper voice again: Bad things, man. For those of you who may have actually gone outside or done things with friends/family over the weekend, a short recap of the story and some reflection on what it might mean for MMA are after the jump.