MMA agents should have to pass an exam: Israel Adesanya’s manager

Daniel Maudsley manages former UFC champ Israel Adesanya and he has opinions about MMA management.

By: Tom Ward | 3 months ago
MMA agents should have to pass an exam: Israel Adesanya’s manager
IMAGO | AAP by DAN HIMBRECHTS

Israel Adesanya’s manager has opinions

When it comes to MMA management, it is time for “some sort of regulation.”

That is the view of Israel Adesanya’s manager Daniel Maudsley, who is sick to death of some of his peers holding fighters over a barrel due to a low barrier to entry.

Maudsley, together with Tim Simpson, is one of the two founders of Chosen Advisory, a boutique firm whose clients include Israel Adesanya, Leon Edwards and Jiri Prochazka. 

A lawyer by trade, he believes it should be a much harder process for those seeking to represent fighters.

“I do think that there is the need for some sort of regulation,” Maudsley told Bloody Elbow. 

‘There is no barrier to entry’ to be an MMA manager

“At the moment there is no barrier to entry to be a MMA manager. There is nothing stopping you from saying tomorrow I’m a MMA manager. I think that unfortunately there is some representation in this sport that isn’t perhaps at the highest level and I think as a result of that sometimes athletes that have had those experiences don’t understand the value that management can bring. 

“I can say with full confidence that the clients that we represent have always been very happy with the work that we provide and more than anything the value we add. With our business approach we are fortunate that we work with athletes that are the upper end of town if you will. As a result of that a lot comes with that as in terms of endorsements, sponsorships, and it gives us the opportunity to add a lot of value because there’s so much happening. 

“But yeah I think probably the common misconception is that some people struggle to see the value of managers and again I think that’s probably because they’ve had bad experiences and that comes back to the fact that there is no barrier to entry. I saw online there was some minimum standards proposed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and we would welcome something like that.”

Maudsley notes the creation of the FIFA agents’ exam in football which is something he would like to see introduced in mixed martial arts.

No fighters’ union makes things ‘tricky’

However, he accepts that without fighters coming together as a collective to force change, that could prove difficult to implement. 

“Well, that’s the tricky part, right, because there’s no union for fighters and we operate across different organisations, it’s sort of tricky to know exactly how that would look,” he added. 

“I think the best way to do it would be some sort of legislation, probably in the US, because I think it would be an overall positive for the sport if there was a little more regulation around it. It would help ensure that the athletes are protected and they’re not running into any issues and again it’s something that Tim and I would welcome with open arms whether it be mandatory contracting standards or that kind of thing. One of the things for example that they proposed at the Nevada State Athletic Commission summit was outlaw contract terms meaning the athletes can terminate whenever they want. 

“I’ve seen management agreements from other agencies that are incredibly restrictive term-wise like they basically try to lock you in for your entire UFC career. All of our contracts have been by goodwill. We don’t want our contracts to be the only reason that we’re managing you. It’s little things like that that I think would make a lot of difference. 

“A lot of it probably does go back to the fighters signing these sorts of contracts without getting any sort of legal advice on them. So I think those types of things would help clean up the industry a little bit. But sometimes I have to remind myself that it is cage-fighting at the end of the day so we can’t expect it to be completely professional.” 


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Tom Ward
Tom Ward

UFC-accredited boxing and MMA reporter

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