How bad are MMA managers? | Hey Not the Face! 14

Our latest episode tackles the differences in MMA, boxing and stick-and-ball sports managers.

By: Stephie Haynes | 5 months ago
How bad are MMA managers? | Hey Not the Face! 14
Episode 14 | How bad are MMA managers?

Episode 14

Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘Self, I need to know more about MMA managers. What am I to do?’ Well, if you have, we’ve got the solution for you; a thorough explainer on what managers do, what credentials they must have, key differences between combat sports and stick-and-ball sports managers and more. If you were wondering how good or bad MMA managers are by comparison to their boxing forefathers, we’ve got that too.

Topic roots

When Dominance MMA (the largest MMA management company in the community, founded by Ali Abdelaziz) dropped former UFC flyweight contender Ray Borg from its roster this past Friday, fans and pundits were abuzz at the cruelty of the message conveyed in the press letter that was sent out. Part of that message referred to the company’s own “embarrassment” at the situation. The passage reads:

“Unfortunately, Mr. Borg was not willing or able to make that weight, resulting in unnecessary complications for all involved. Given the circumstances, as well as our own embarrassment, we can no longer in good faith represent our now former client.”

That’s pretty harsh by any standard, especially considering the odd circumstances of the fight even taking place at a contracted weight of 125-pounds. Bellator doesn’t even have a flyweight division. Why, Scott Coker, why?

Now that you’ve got a good image in your head of how the biggest management firm in MMA conducts their business, you’re probably wondering how the rest of them stack up by comparison. Is this company the standard or the exception? By the end of the show, your questions should be answered.

Suggestion box

And if they’re not, shoot us a comment here or a Twitter DM with questions for future episodes (both John and I have unrestricted Twitter DM so anyone can message us). If you have a suggestion for a future episode topic, please shoot us those, as well. Thanks for listening!


  • What is an MMA manager supposed to do?
  • Is there a difference between a manager and agent?
  • What is a fiduciary duty?
  • What were MMA managers like in the golden era of sponsorship?
  • What happened to the sponsorship procurement manager?
  • What does it mean when managers ‘maximize the platform’?
  • Why are some managers called brokers?
  • Do managers actually try or care about their fighters?
  • What happens to managers that upset the UFC?
  • Why don’t managers dissuade their fighters from signing contracts or advise them to support the Ali Act or a union?
  • Do fighters even need managers?
  • Did managers really try to form their own union?
  • Does the UFC operate as a manager with their sponsorship deals?
  • What is a boxing ‘advisor’?
  • How did Mike Tyson secure the biggest purse in boxing history fresh out of prison?
  • Why is Floyd Mayweather so unique?
  • Why do boxing promoters seem to have such close ties with their athletes?


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HNTF 14 | How bad are MMA managers?
Art courtesy of June M. Williams and Anton Tabuena

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About the author
Stephie Haynes
Stephie Haynes

Stephie Haynes has been covering MMA since 2005. She has also worked for MMA promotion Proelite and apparel brand TapouT. She hosted TapouT’s official radio show for four years before joining Bloody Elbow in 2012. She has interviewed everyone there is to interview in the fight game from from Dana White to Conor McGregor to Kimbo Slice, as well as mainstream TV, film and music stars including Norman Reedus, RZA and Anthony Bourdain. She has been producing the BE podcast network since 2017 and hosts four of its current shows.

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