by: Jack Bratcher

There’s a new article over at UFC.com that begins like this, “It’s a day many had hoped for.” Then they proceed to tell us what we’ve all been apparantly drooling over waiting for this great day to arrive. After joining together with some big-name companies to provide authentic UFC-licensed merchandise, we the loyal fans can now buy UFC Bic Lighters, UFC clothing at JC Penny, UFC action figures, UFC-branded watches, barware, bar accessories, lighting, wall d├ęcor, and billiards and darts accessories and we can even use our brand-new UFC Visa card to pay for it all! Wow! Holy smokes! Now my life is finally complete!

The first thing that comes to my mind when I read this is “you’ve got to be kidding me…..who cares.” The second thing that comes to my mind is I wonder if the fighters themselves will get any residuals off of the action figures made in their likeness. That would seem only fair right? I haven’t heard one way or the other on that although, it seems if the fighters were going to directly benefit from the sales of the action figures they would have announced that in the article. The third thing that comes to mind when I read the article is “Why?” Why does a mixed martial arts company who supposedly is interested in the promotion and betterment of the sport concerned with all this merchandising. Now if the fighters themselves will directly benefit from this, if it will lead to higher salaries for fighters in general and if the action figures will pay some sort of residuals then I guess it could be a good thing. I’m definitely interested in seeing fighters get more money and getting the respect they deserve. We all know the superstars of the sport make good money but I would love to see the day come when just your average journeyman fighter could travel around and fight, compete, and entertain the crowds and still make a very decent living even if they aren’t ranked in the top ten in the world. There’s fighters right now in the top ten who aren’t getting paid what they’re worth. And I”m not just referring to the UFC, but in MMA in general. If you’re ranked in the top ten in the world you should be making a damn good living in my opinion; especially with all the money that’s floating around out there. So if all this licensing and merchandising can help that cause of putting more money into the fighters’ pockets, I’m all for it. But if it’s just putting more money into the owners’ bank accounts I find it disturbing.

It’s pretty bad when I read something like this, “Perhaps no items have been more demanded by fans in recent years than action figures, and thankfully, those prayers have been answered.” Are you kidding me? Those PRAYERS have been answered? For Action Figures? Our PRAYERS were for Randy vs. Fedor. Our prayers were for Fedor himself. Our prayers are to see the best fighters in the world fighting each other. Our prayers are for the olympics. Our prayers are NOT for action figures.


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