Big Fight Experiences: Life of an MMA manager #2

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Good News No Drama

This is a inside joke, with me and some of my fighters. The drama factor is very serious in professional MMA. Now that there are so many fighters, and very few promotions, the “drama” factor plays a big role in getting fights.

I can not tell you how many fighters with less then five fights expect a promotion to treat them like a rock star, and usually when a fighter is like this early in his career there is nothing I can do to help them. My job as manager is to make my fighters as easy to work with as possible, and shelter the promoter from the drama.

I have several stories of crazy girlfriends, parents, and yes, jealous boyfriends for my women clients. One of my favorite stories was when one of my California fighters was fighting in Texas. There was some drama in that the fighter’s per diem was a check and he did not want to leave the hotel to cash it. The fighter’s coach called me and said if the promoter did not bring them cash for per diem they would destroy the hotel room (that the promoter had paid for).

I informed the fighter’s coach that he was in Texas and not in California, and that he could destroy the hotel room, but this is Texas and he would not have a California social worker come out and ask how he was feeling when he was destroying the hotel room, but a Texas cop that would arrest him. Problem solved. They went out and got the check cashed. NO more drama, and when the fighter asked me what I had said to his coach, I replied with the truth. But being able to deal with this drama saved the relationship with the fighter and promotion, and with me and the promotion. This particular fighter fought several times for the promotion after this drama.

I read a post recently from a small promotion comparing themselves to UFC and Bellator. They were giving career advice to MMA fighters. I am always shocked on who feels they’re qualified to give out career advice for fighters, and more shocked on fighters that take this advice.

This small promotion was telling fighters if they fight the best fighters in the world that this would help them to get to the bigger events. I could talk about this all day, but if a young fighter wants to take some advice from someone that has REAL LIFE experience on putting fighters in big show, here is some useful info to remember. The difference between a 10-0 record and 9-1 record is HUGE.

If you have to explain your record, “I am 7 -2, but my only losses were against tougher opponents” — no one listens to what comes after but, just that your record is 7-2. It’s better to make $100 and WIN, than a $1000 dollars and lose. A win on your record is a great investment on your fight career. Only take advice from people who have actually done what you are looking to do. Even with perfect advice it’s hard enough to make a career out of MMA, but with bad advice your only hope is to be a journeyman.

Lucas Martins picked up a decision win over Robert Whiteford at UFC Fight Night 86 in Zagreb over the weekend. I thought Whiteford would convert to 100 percent wrestling after he got hit by Lucas, but instead he gave a new definition to passivity by running from Lucas. At least if he would have wrestled that is still fighting. The running he did in the octagon was comical like a Tom and Jerry cartoon. I have to question whoever came up with this strategy and who would follow this game plan. How could Whiteford think a game plan like this would be good for his fight career? I would not be surprised if Whiteford gets his walking papers from the UFC, not for losing, but for the game plan he followed.

Two of my UFC vets Ben Wall and Fransico Trevino are coming off big wins. Ben won in the first round of AFC Australia’s 155-pound Grand Prix. And Fransico won at Hex Fights Australia against J.J. Ambrose.

Jonathan Martinez fights next week for Combate Americas on NBC Universo. This is a huge fight, and with a win, there is a small chance his next fight might be in the UFC. Jonathan has been training very hard and I am looking for big things from him.

I booked a very fun fight this week, HEAVYWEIGHTS, everyone loves to see the big guys fight. Chris Catala from Gold Team, he is a world champion black belt at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, he is fighting Olympic wrestler Arjan Bhullar at Hard Knocks 49 on April 22. This is a true style match up of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Wrestling. This will be a great fight to watch so don’t miss it at www.hardknocksfighting.com.

Big Fight Management‘s Wade Hampel helps manage several big name MMA fighters’ careers as well as some very hot up-and-coming prospects. Get an inside look at the life of an MMA agent in this recurring column on ProMMAnow.com.

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