If success were easy everybody would be having it.
As I looked at the fight game from guy on the outside I realized why some really good people aren’t getting the deals that a select few have. You’re in the gym not on Facebook. I get it. You got your jab down pat. Your sweep is amazing. But your manager can’t get a fight for you to save your life.
You have the heart, the skill and the drive to be a champion fighter but you can’t get a shot because nobody knows who you are. The missing link to your success in the fight game is community. You need one. You need to be known and supported by a group of people in addition to you being a great fighter.
It comes down to popularity. Promotors sell tickets. To get butts in the seats of their events you have to be marketable. You need social media. You need professional photography. You need a highlight reel. You need video. You need someone to help you grow a fanbase. That’s part of the reason I am starting this podcast and site.
I was talking to a promoter of MMA fights recently that told me that managers seldom get good fights for their fighters because its a business deal. The manager’s job is to look out for the interests of the fighter . The promotors job is to make money. A fight promoter is in charge of setting up and paying for everything involved in a boxing match and making sure all legal requirements are met at every step along the way. The promoter assumes all financial risk associated with the event, whether that means the promoter is paying for the event him- or herself or is securing a number of secondary investors to guarantee the costs are met.
Right now, with the UFC and the fight game being so new, it is the fighter that is getting screwed more than anyone else. Managers don’t know what they don’t know. Everyone with a gym is not a good “business manager.” I’m not either but I know about communities. There is power in numbers.
The promoter and the fighter’s manager negotiate the boxer’s “purse” for the fight — how much money the boxer takes home for stepping in the ring. The fighters’ respective purses are a cost involved in setting up the fight, just like supplying an ambulance and food vendors are costs. The larger a fighter’s purse, the smaller the profit the promoter takes home. So the promoter’s financial interests are best served by minimizing the fighter’s purse as much as possible, and an unscrupulous promoter will take advantage of a young, hungry fighter who just wants to get in the ring and show what he or she can do. It’s up to the manager to make sure the fighter gets a fair chunk of the pie. The promoter has no duty whatsoever to be fair.
But while a promoter is going to do everything in his or her power to minimize costs, the interests of a fighter and a promoter do align in a general way in that both of them benefit from a well-publicized fight. The biggest skill involved in being a great promoter is being a great promoter — knowing how to market and advertise a fight so that it appeals to the broadest possible demographic. It’s knowing how get the most paying customers to want to see the fight. A guy from Oregon is not going to do well in Florida without social media. A local fighter promoter is only going to look for locals with drawing power.
You ever wonder why it seems that the same people fight? They are known. They are in the loop. They have a fan base. They have a community. In this day in age, that means they have a social media profile. For the promoter, a well-publicized, expertly marketed fight means profit. For a skilled fighter, it means going from “fighter with marquee potential” to “marquee fighter.” And marquee fighters get paid.
Fighters who achieve not only success in the ring but also long-term financial success know to surround themselves with people who know the business of fighting as well as those who know the art.
Warriorcast is going to seek to help fighters that are amateurs become pro’s and pros get paid by helping them on social media through interviews, videos and growing their communities. One story at a time…
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