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The UFC Hasn’t Forgotten About Those Merchandising Rights Agreements

(Just saying guys, my birthday is coming up here pretty soon.)

In the UFC’s efforts to capitalize more on marketing and merchandising opportunities, they’ve been trying to get fighters to sign agreements which have come under fire for being a little too — surprise — one-sided. Sports Illustrated’s Josh Gross criticized the merchandising rights agreements for clauses that require fighters to sign away rights to their likenesses in perpetuity. In other words, the UFC owns that ass and depictions of said ass, and can do what they want with it. Several fighters — and by fighters we mean fighters’ agents — refused to sign. Now the UFC is turning up the heat on them by sending letters directly to the fighters in question, something of an ethics no-no:

Multiple sources have indicated that UFC officials are now sending letters to fighters who have not yet signed the Merchandising Rights Agreement. The letter warns fighters that if they do not return the executed Merchandising Rights Agreement by the end of the week, the offer will be rescinded, and the fighter will not be included in the UFC’s licensing program.

Even more outrageous, UFC officials are directly contacting fighters, instead of the fighters’ selected agents. Fighters are told that they are hearing only one side of the story from their selected representatives, and that the UFC’s Merchandising Rights program really is a great deal. By not signing the Merchandising Rights Agreement, fighters are told they are leaving money on the table.

The guys over at MMA Payout are calling this an attempt to “dupe” fighters, and likening it to the “moral morass that is the boxing scene, and not something that MMA promoters should be mimicking.”

Funny they should mention that, since Dana White reminded us just yesterday that one advantage the UFC has is that it doesn’t have to put up with boxing’s “political bullshit.” It’s all great timing, especially with the return of Couture, who said he first tussled with Zuffa over ancillary rights. One can’t help but wonder if he signed the merchandising rights agreement along with his new contract…

Cagepotato Comments

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Anonymous- September 3, 2008 at 2:11 pm
chuck liddell eye poke action
ninja stick- September 3, 2008 at 12:11 pm
does Rampage come with a big ass pick-up with a fat tyre and 50 empty redbull cans??
Terjay- September 3, 2008 at 11:34 am
I hope that Chuck figure comes with a beergut attachment.
Dakyn- September 3, 2008 at 10:55 am
P.S. What's the point in a Dana figurine? When someone works it out post it up so that we all get it?

His model probably appeals to fans of the God Father more than MMA fans.
Dakyn- September 3, 2008 at 10:53 am
It's fine to say that fighters should leave Agents out of the mix but Agents do ALOT of work for a fighter... A fighters management team is his/her best friend, they allow the fighter to focus on training and they help prevent the fighter taking on stupid fights.

Sure some agents are money grabbing a-holes but that's going to happen, you always get bad apples. The risk of an agent mismanaging a fighter is obviously there but the chance of a fighter mismanaging himself is a lot greater. There is a lot of legal jargon you need to know and not every fighter has that many braincells.
Your moms favorite MMA star- September 3, 2008 at 7:29 am
all 3 of these jokers.. anderson silva is the UFC
Markdog- September 3, 2008 at 6:29 am
Dana White Doll: "White Power!"
Markdog- September 3, 2008 at 5:02 am
I ain't talking shit. I'm buying every single one of these dolls and opening them and playing with them!
EJ- September 3, 2008 at 4:59 am
I can't really take opinions about the UFC having to deal with agents instead of fighters too serious, look at Dion and how he's mismanaged Vera and Noons. The UFC is smart to say that if a fighter wants to work for them they should deal directly and leave alot of these scumbag agents out in the cold. We've seen way too many managers/agents get in the ear of fighters and mess with their careers and leave them in bad terms with the UFC. This way at least if a fighter and UFC have beef the can settle it themselves and leave out the middle men which most of these guy are.
Real- September 3, 2008 at 4:54 am
Everyone is talking shit like you didn't have GI Joes or Action Figures - this only expands the mma fan base to kids wanting to grow up and become mma fighters. They are fucking ugly and Chuck is not that damn ripped, but it's better than nothing.
Markdog- September 3, 2008 at 4:31 am
BTW, I like the new Face Breaker promo. The big bald guy in the center reminds me of The Natural, and the actual game cover looks like Nick Diaz is getting KTFO.
aaron- September 3, 2008 at 4:13 am
UFC is mailing stuff directly to fighters? Oh noes! Fighters will have to go to kinko's and fax a copy to their agents BY THEMSELVES!

Markdog- September 3, 2008 at 4:02 am
Oh yeah, and they need Bruce Buffinator with his crisp grey do, and Joe Rogan--but he should have a screaming pull string that says stuff like "that cut looks like a goats vagina!"

God damn it, I guess I am posting too quickly now!
Markdog- September 3, 2008 at 3:55 am
Man, these dolls are too cool! I hope they make an Arianny doll. Also, it would be cool to make a Big John Mccarthy action doll. I wonder how Steve Mazzagatti's cock eye'd face would look in plastic!
Markdog- September 3, 2008 at 2:32 am
I wonder how GSP's tights will look.

I have trouble posting on my Mac. It says I am posting comments too quickly, and I only post them every once in a while. My PC doesn't seem to have that problem. Quick little fun fact!
Damian- September 3, 2008 at 2:18 am
I can just see it now, Children will be setting up their own action figure mega fights and having their action figure Dana stand around and swear. So many kids are gonna get their asses beat when their parents here them mimicking some of Dana's dialogue!
axhed- September 3, 2008 at 2:10 am
i know what my brother-in-law is getting for christmas.
Derekrva- September 3, 2008 at 1:37 am
Wow, where is Chuck's signature paunch?

Give Todd McFarlane a call, I'm sure he is free and he makes great action figures.

"The bald guy’s Dana White. You don’t recognize him cause his mouth’s closed."
...thank you.
Markdog- September 3, 2008 at 1:13 am
Dana sort of looks like dangada dangada Bas.
CenturySam- September 3, 2008 at 12:31 am
I don't get it, why did they make the shorts so snug to the nugs? They kind of got a half spandex, half board-shorts thing going, and they picked the wrong part to make spandex. Are anyones shorts actually like that?
Anonymous- September 3, 2008 at 12:21 am
Maybe Randy better be bringing a Union with him huh?
Will Emero II- September 3, 2008 at 12:18 am
God, those are fucking awful.

Nice to see Cock Chestner still has his dick tattoo.

The bald guy's Dana White. You don't recognize him cause his mouth's closed.
Rob from inside Tito Ortiz's Massive Noggin- September 2, 2008 at 11:59 pm
That's what I was thinking. The third dude looks like Marshall Applewhite. He's the creepy-ass dude from The Heaven's Gate Cult, aka the rat poison and cyanide drinking, black Nike wearing, self-castrating, suicide will send us on a UFO ride to paradise weirdos. Wait, so yeah, that's probably Dana White.
Squid- September 2, 2008 at 10:41 pm
I see Chuck and Brock, but who's the bald dude? Dana??