After browsing through Fedor’s Affliction contract I couldn’t help but think, why would a CEO of a company (Tom Atencio) get in the cage with anyone? We traveled to the deep south and ran into Tom at The Ultimate Chaos this past summer. He managed to grab the win over Randy Hedderick to bring his MMA record to a perfect 2-0. Dude can fight, but according to M-1 Global…he’s not paying up. By now you’re probably familiar with the lawsuit filed by M-1 Global against Affliction for not coming through with their contractual obligations. Since then, Affliction has filled a motion to dismiss the entire lawsuit claiming the litigation is ‘frivolous’. In short, Fedor was signed by Affliction to scrap a total of three times in their (now defunct) organization. He decimated Tim Sylvia at Affliction: Banned and scored that infamous KO of Arlovski at Affliction: Day of Reckoning. Dude was signed for his final fight against Barnett at Affliction: Trilogy. Barnett was caught doping on Gummi Berry juice and the entire organization collapsed and went back to being a clothing sponsor for UFC. M-1 claims that they are still owed money from the third Fedor bout that never materialized.
Since the lawsuit has been filed and information is now in the public domain, we can finally see exactly what Affliction paid M-1 Global and Fedor…and it’s pretty interesting.
–Fedor is to be paid a $300,000 purse per fight.
–The contract arranges for four first class tickets and three coach tickets from St. Petersburg to wherever the fight is. It also arranges for four first class hotel rooms for up to five nights, round trip transportation on the ground, and meal allowances.
— The contract calls for three fights under the Affliction banner, and makes Affliction the exclusive home of Fedor fights in the United States. However, the contract states that any fight between Fedor Emelianenko and Randy Couture is excluded from the contract and can take place elsewhere. It’s clear that when this contract was signed Fedor and M-1 were still shopping around a potential Couture fight incase he ever got out of his contract. This also further confirms that Affliction never had the rights to this fight.
–The contract states that it ends on the earlier of two dates: March 31, 2009 or after Fedor’s last fight, unless the contract is extended. This will be a serious litigation battleground; M-1 will argue that Affliction extended the contract by promoting a third show. I find this argument fairly convincing.
–Affliction agreed to make all efforts to feature a M-1 logo on the mat. Fedor was allowed to choose any sponsor as long as there was no conflict with Affliction.
–Fedor Emelinaenko reserved all rights to distribute and exploit his bouts in Russia and Asia. He had the right to retain all revenue from the sale, license, or any other exploitation of his reserved rights to market the broadcast. There are other specifics regarding Affliction’s responsibility to provide Fedor and M-1 with a high definition feed. The rights include streaming rights, and extend beyond Fedor’s fights to the undercard and preliminary fights. You can imagine the UFC would never agree to such a term.
There are a number of other important and interesting terms, but those are the essential ones.
–M-1 was to provide consulting on all the following topics: International bout consulting, international television, fighter scouting, location for future bouts recommendations, television-related opportunities, international sponsorships, and bout tourism.
–M-1 was also required to fully cooperate and assist in the advertising and promotion of each fight.
–In exchange for these consulting services, Affliction agreed to pay M-1 a consulting fee of $1,200,000 per fight.
–Affliction was required to promote the M-1 Global brand through promotional activities including: Articles in event programs, M-1 Global’s logo incorporated into Affliction advertising, M-1 logo recognition with event advertising, public address announcements during the bouts, the airing of M-1 videos announcements during events, and the creation and sale of co-branded M-1 and Affliction event posters.
That’s the definition of a baller contract, something that can only be funded by two billionares (Mark Cuban and Donald Trump) and one of boxing’s biggest promoters: Golden Boy Entertainment. Now you probably understand why Dana White wasn’t exactly kosher with an agreement like this. Whoever negotiated this contract deserves a friggin Nobel Peace Prize…go read it again if your tongue isn’t hanging off your desk in absolute awe. [Source]