The Project Files: Name Dropping

Tachi Palace Entertainment Coordinator Jeremy Luchau with the Tachi Palace Fights girls.

“Name dropping”

By Jeremy Luchau

If there was a hidden camera in my office over the last half hour, the viewers probably would have got a kick out of my frantically pounding away on the keys, hitting the backspace repeatedly and slamming my fists against my desk.

Yes, I will admit it… typing this blog can be a bit difficult at times.

I find myself trying to tiptoe around names and or subjects, but then remember this is supposed to be about giving the readers and inside look at my life. Not the sugar coated version.

So with that, I’m going to let the name dropping begin. (In the most sensitive way I know how)

This week’s topic, which I feverishly wrote and rewrote six times already, is about two different situations that we’ve had to deal with over the past couple of weeks. Both situations, though, were very similar and I see this as a problem a lot of promoters have had to deal with over the years.

Many fighters want the comfort of that multi-fight deal, with the larger paydays, the  exposure, the opportunities, etc.

And so, often times they sign on that dotted line for the “horrific” EXCLUSIVE deal.

I know it sounds so dreaded, but in most cases at Tachi Palace Fights, exclusive is far from actually being exclusive. I can’t remember a time we ever told a fighter “NO” you can’t go fight there or “NO” you can’t move on to the UFC.

First, a few weeks back I’m an hour into my normal, early-morning routine… Sherdog, CageRadio, MMAJunkie – “John Alessio vs. Josh Neer headlines Superior Cage Combat 2 on Aug. 20 in Vegas”.

Then I think to myself, did I really just read that about my welterweight champ, who of course is under an exclusive agreement with us. My first text was to Richard Goodman our matchmaker, which at 7:00 a.m. is probably in a deep sleep.

Ultimately, I was able to get a hold of Alessio and camp as well as SCC’s Ryan Langmaid. Our discussions were never aimed at Alessio not fighting, but more about the caliber of that fight as well as the need to discuss these things with us and gain proper approval.

Alessio being the class act that he is, apologized from the start. I think he understood exactly where we were coming from on our end with our Champ scheduled for a bout mid October and taking a fight of that caliber so close to it.

Langmaid wasn’t typical of most promoters in the business, who probably would have shot me the middle finger and either kicked Alessio off the card or pressured him to take the fight anyways. Langmaid wanted to work with us and I think we came to a decision that ultimately benefits all sides – Waachiim Spiritwolf.

This will still be a fun fight for the fans, but a lot less dangerous than Neer.

And right when the smoke clears and I think I dodged one bullet, I read that my No. 1 contender at lightweight which is also under an exclusive agreement and one of the highest paid fighters on our roster, fought without our approval.

I only stumbled on this looking up results from BAMMA USA “Badbeat 2”. I’ve wanted Georgi Karakhanyan to fight for us for a while and was curious how his fight went on June 11th.

As I thumb through the results on my IPad, while I drive 80 down I5 to pick up my daughter, I spit ice tea all over my windshield when I see Dominique Robinson (7-4) won a split decision against Dionisio Ramirez (3-2).

Again my first text was to Mr. Goodman to see if he approved the fight… in fact he knew nothing about it.

This time I had to actually research the situation thoroughly. This is the first time a fighter hasn’t sought consent to fight outside of the promotion.

I re-read the agreement, I checked with the California State Athletic Commission on what he was paid by BAMMA USA, which ultimately frustrates me more.

It’s decided by the team here at Tachi, that we will release Robinson from his current agreement with us, but leave the door open for him to re-sign with us after we have a meeting with him and his manager.

I’m sure it will all work out in the end, as Robinson for the most part has always been a pleasure to have fighting for us. In the cage he is above and beyond anything you can ask for as a promoter. He doesn’t back down from a fight and takes the fight to all of his opponents.

A lot of fighters might not understand how much money is actually spent on them and invested in them. It’s far from just a fight purse.

And there are so many fighters now literally fighting for opportunities to fight in promotions like Tachi Palace Fights.

To be a fighter now days is so much more than just performance in the cage or ring. It’s now becoming a complete package like any other job in the world where performance outside the cage and ring is almost just as important, if not more.

Character and integrity does count, this by no means is a jab at either Alessio or Robinson – I personally like both guys very much and both situations will be resolved.

This just might be a good lesson to other fighters and managers though, to abide by their agreements and show some common courtesy with the fight promoters out there. We aren’t all bad guys, looking to use and abuse you.

I promise…

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Facebook: www.facebook.com/jeremy.luchau
Twitter: @TheProject23
Email: jeremy.luchau@gmail.com

Special Thanks: Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino (www.tachipalace.com), Fairtex (www.fairtex.com) and Metal Mulisha (www.metalmulisha.com).

The Project Files” by Jeremy Luchau is an ongoing weekly blog series here at ProMMAnow.com that publishes each Thursday and will give readers an inside look into the life of an MMA promoter. It is part of our ongoing series of exclusive content written by individuals involved in the mixed martial arts industry.

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