How much do we know about how fighter contracts work and the “business” aspect of fighter pay? If like me you’re an average MMA fan then the odds are that there is little we know for certain apart from certain items we read or have heard “through the grapevine”. Nevertheless, its one of the hottest topics at the moment!
The MMA industry is yet to mature in the MENA region which creates difficulties when fighters and promotions are trying to find a middle ground to close mutually beneficial deals. Promotions obviously prefer exclusive contracts that oblige a fighter to fight a certain amount of fights (usually in a set amount of time) for a certain promotion. Fighters though are sometimes hesitant to sign such contracts, viewing them as a form of monopoly and a way for promotions to “hoard” fighters.
Zahi Ephrem from ArabsMMA weighs in on the conundrum:
Exclusivity contracts are indispensable when it comes to building your own fighters. Every MMA promotion will capitalize and advertise its champions to gain a better exposure. The one thing promotions want to avoid is their fighters losing some of their credibility if they fight in other promotions. Picture a champion in promotion A fighting in promotion B without the consent of his promotion. Imagine that champion now losing… That wouldn’t bode well for the fighter or for their promotion. Having said that, fighter contracts have to be balanced and fair as well. Fighters should have a clear idea of how many fights they are entitled to a year and should earn enough from their purses to live decently. They are after all the reason why fans come to watch shows. It’s a balancing act
Desert Force Manager Mohammad Mirza made it clear in an interview with ArabsMMA , that fighters that do not wish to abide with their exclusive contract will not be tolerated and are not welcome at Desert Force promotion.In that same video , he mentions that Mohammad AbdelKareem from Egyptian Top Team will no longer compete in Desert Force after breaching the exclusivity contract and losing in EFC Afrika!
What do you think? Are you with or against fighters having to sign exclusivity contracts ?