A hat tip to the Bronzeville Bully for posting a link and some details from Rob Maysey's blog on seeming contradictory behavior from WAMMA officials. I had not yet read Rob's article on the history of sanctioning bodies and WAMMA's role in MMA until I saw Bully's fanpost. While long-time readers of the site will no doubt recall that Mr. Maysey and I have not seen eye-to-eye in the past his work is very good on this subject, his facts are in order and we seem to be on the same page in regards to sanctioning bodies in MMA.
After reading the article I was left feeling a touch upset at the notion that Dave Szady (WAMMA CEO) and Mike Lynch (WAMMA COO) may have been lying directly to me with their statements that WAMMA would never seek a sanctioning fee from any fighter or promoter. This is not something I take lightly and as such I have sent the following e-mail to Dave and Mike as they both said to contact them to address any rumors..etc:
Subject: Sanctioning Fees? From Brent Brookhouse of BloodyElbow.com
Michael and Dave,
I conducted an interview with you back in June for our website (BloodyElbow.com) and during that interview I asked you specifically if you would be charging sanctioning fees from either fighters or promotions in the future and you were both very steadfast in your response that this would never be the situation. Rob Maysey of MMAFA.TV contacted you more recently to ask in more explicit language if WAMMA would be charging sanctioning fees of promotions or fighters and received yet again another strong response that this would never be the case.
However, as Maysey pointed out, the materials you provided to athletic commissions at the ABC Convention stated that you will "receive revenue from title sponsors, online portal subscriptions, sale of unique digital content, merchandising, and in the future sanctioning fees."
Obviously this does not fit with what you have told myself and my site's readers. Speaking frankly this smacks of the kind of dishonest doubletalk that has made people question WAMMA's intentions from the start and harkens back to the boxing sanctioning body model that is so roundly dispised. If you can, as you have both stated, say with 100% certainty that you will never charge fees from a promotion or fighter than that language had no reason to be included in the materials presented to athletic commissions and leaves a lot of answering for your organization to do to the fans of this sport.
It is my hope that there is some sort of misunderstanding here and that you were not just telling people what they wanted to hear until you gained the necessary foothold in the sport to begin charging fees. Our readers will be expecting a statement from your organization explaining this contradiction and I will be posting this e-mail exactly as it is sent to you on our site in the interest of full visibility for our readers on our communications.
The ball is in their court now, any lack of a response will be taken by myself to mean that they are indeed acting like children crossing their fingers under the table while making promises to our faces.
MMA fans don't want to be told what they want to hear...we all just want the truth. Updates to come as I get them.
Update: Dave Szady responded (twice) both presented without any editing:
Brent. We will NOT be charging sanctioning fees. Our revenue will come from our sponsors. We will NOT ask for a percentage of the fighters purse. This was also made clear in Canada during our presentation. The literature may have had wording that was being considered early on but dismissed as not a good option. Thankyou for your concern. We want to be totally transparent, above board and an organization of utmost integrity that can help to. Increase the legitimacy of mma and ensure its longevity
Brent. The literature will be corrected. Bottom line we do not charge and will not charge sanctioning fees. We do not and will not take a percentage of a fighter's purse. Thankyou for bringing this to our attention