Coach’s blog – promotion ethics in regional MMA

Regional promotions are the life blood of the sport.
Regional promotions are the life blood of MMA.

Don’t get tricked into becoming a silent partner.

I know guys that have been promoting MMA shows for years, we’ll call them “Friendly Promotions”, yet they buy the insurance for their shows from another promoter, we’ll call them “Liar Promotions”.

You can get an insurance policy for 10 shows for about what Liar Promotions charges other shows for one event. He isn’t doing you a favor, I’m not sure if it’s even legal. In fact, it isn’t, you have to be a licensed insurance agent to sell insurance, and it’s definitely illegal to allow someone else to use insurance that’s in your name for their event.

He uses this insurance angle to try and control Friendly Promotions. For example, he will tell Friendly Promotions that they can’t use fighters from a gym that he doesn’t like or that Friendly Promotions can’t send fighters to another show that isn’t a Liar Promotion’s show. Shop around guys, insurance isn’t all that expensive if you know where to go.

Another thing that Liar Promotions will do is send a show ran by Friendly Promotions a few key fighters and at the last moment pull his guys off the fight card in hopes that it will screw up Friendly Promotions’ show.

Friendly Promotions can report the fighters as “no shows” to the state and get the fighters suspended but from what I have seen, normally the fighters don’t even know that they were supposed to fight.

So it should be Liar Promotions suspended, not the fighter, in this case. What to do, what to do?

Liar Promotions has been known to call whoever the sanctioning body [ISKA, WKA, USMTA, Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Authority (KBWA), . . . ] is for Friendly Promotions with false claims to shut down Friendly Promotions show or just to cause Friendly Promotions shows’ problems.

Another thing that causes problems; Liar Promotions will throw a show in a town where Friendly Promotions was already running a good show and has a good following. Promoters are territorial and rightly so; it takes time and effort to build up a following in an area.

There is a code of ethics that promoters try to follow. One of the main ones is not to move in on another promoter’s territory.

I know of a case where Liar Promotions was in a town and his shows were floundering so he quit doing shows there. So Friendly Promotions waits a reasonable period of time, and then does a show in this town, in this case, over a year after Liar Promotions shut down their show there; a town in which, by the way, Friendly Promotions happens to own a school.

Friendly Promotion’s show does really well and has no problems. Liar Promotions quickly returns following Friendly Promotions success and throws a couple of shows back to back which had fights in the crowd, in the parking lot, garners MMA a bad reputation and actually manages to single handedly get ALL MMA events BANNED from the city, from the entire freaking city.

Now all the good venues in this town are kaput because they are within city limits. Liar Promotions is now holding tiny shows outside of the city limits. Friendly Promotions or any other legit promoter will not and cannot hold a show in this town because there is no venue big enough to cover the expense to hold a well done show. The fighters and fans of this town got short charged because of Liar Promotions’ greed and poor planning.

Do your research and you will see who the good promoters are and who the shady ones are. Most of the time if the promotion is throwing shows every weekend (sometimes two or more shows a weekend) they are not concerned with quality shows or about the fighters’ safety.

Do MMA a favor and support quality shows; you can learn more about MMA promoters by talking with your ISKA, WKA, KBWA, USMTA, etc. representatives. You don’t have to take my word for it. As a matter of fact, you shouldn’t.

By: Ron Dayley

Ron Dayley is a trainer, manager, promoter, and owner of SSF Submission Academy. He is the author of’s “Coach’s blog” which is published about once a week or sometimes more often if he needs to vent.