Zuffa Puts the Squeeze on

Two stories out this morning point out Zuffa's whatever it takes approach to business.

First, Zack Arnold points out the "smart and sleazy" aspect of Dana's rant about Sirius Radio DJ Scott Farell:

...White talks about how UFC paid Scott Ferrall to come to their shows and cover the events. He further claimed that Ferrall was holding him up for more money to cover the events and that UFC balked at doing so.

I find it fascinating that UFC has no problems publicly admitting that they buy and pay off the media. And, of course, you won’t find too many MMA Media writers talking about this because, hey, the UFC is the only game in town. Get on that gravy train when you can.

And MMA Payout reports that MMA Authentic/Cagefighter has been banned from sponsoring fighters in the Octagon. Their crime?

CageFighter and other MMA Authentics brands have been banned from the Octagon and any UFC event.

The dispute is rumored to have arisen from a conflict over shelf space in Wal-mart stores. Sources told MMAPayout.com that CageFighter/MMA Authentics beat out the UFC for the valuable real estate in the nation’s top retailer. As a result Zuffa pulled the plug on MMA Authentics’ access to the Octagon in retaliation.
...
CageFighter and MMA Authentics has a impressive list of fighters who will be adversely affected by the ban. BJ Penn, Michael Bisping, Forrest Griffin, Marcus Davis, Brandon Vera, Urijah Faber, Sam Stout, Roger Huerta, and Chuck Liddell all have signature shirts available for purchase through one or more of the MMA Authentics brands.

As much as I love the UFC, I have to say Zuffa's business practices often disgust me. They're blatantly trying to create a vertical monopoly on all aspects of MMA, not just the fight promotions but the apparel too.

Call me a Teddy Roosevelt radical but I just don't dig monopolies.

UPDATE: Just noticed this comment in an earlier thread by BJJ Denver:

I train with a couple of guys from one of the major mma clothing companies. They told me before Tapout started clothing TUF exclusively, that UFC/Zuffa had invested huge in Tapout, monetarily. If true, i doubt that UFC would make any type of exclusive deal with Affliction.

Obviously this is an unconfirmed rumor, but if true, is certainly consistent with Zuffa's double dipping approach to business.

UPDATE2: rottweil2008 points out that CageFighter has a bad rep with some fighters with whom they've done business. Like Dan Henderson:

...Dan Henderson this week filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the clothing company MMA Authentics in California Superior Court in Vista, Calif.

The suit, which seeks both monetary and injunctive relief, claims MMA Authentics owes Henderson $50,000 plus undetermined royalties under a contract he signed with the Ohio-based apparel manufacturer on July 27, 2007.

 

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