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I Told You The UFC Gives The Finger to Ancillary Rights

Maybe Tito Ortiz isn't so crazy after all :

However, it is also important to consider the other revenue streams not included in the above revenue estimates, including: closed circuit television, DVDs, video games, television rights fees, sponsorships, advertising, on-demand new media purchases, and other merchandising. Many of these revenue sources rely on the infamous ancillary rights clause found in the company's standard contract. Per the clause, fighters essentially sign away the rights to their likeness and are not entitled to any compensation when it is used. The clause has been a source of contention in the company's disputes with Randy Couture and Ortiz.


For the sake of comparison, in a testament to the power of collective bargaining, the percentage share of gross revenue player's receive in other major sports: 59% in the NFL, 57% in the NBA, 55.6% in the NHL, and 53% in MLB.

As this sport grows and develops, I suspect the creation of a fighters' union will happen. There will be too much money and too many opportunities for young, talented fighters to not use the law, lawyers and agents to maximize their earning potential. It's happened in other sports (now a staple) and despite some of the constraints on them given the professional wrestling business model, I suspect collective bargaining to absolutely be a thing of the future.

So while I commend the UFC for paying more than many of their competitors and producing excellent events like UFC 84, I must also say it's hard to believe Zuffa makes fighters waive their rights to their own likeness to line the company's pockets. Shameful.

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