If you're a Zuffa employed mixed martial artist, you can no longer say they didn't tell you so.
That's because the world's largest fight promotion has been holding a "Fighter Summit" over the past couple days for both UFC and Strikeforce fighters alike.
The third annual event, held in Las Vegas each year, is designed to educate the more than 350+ contracted fighters on the issues they face day in and day out as fighters in today's world.
The chief matter at hand for UFC President Dana White, however, was money, as he explained to Yahoo! Sports:
"You'd be surprised at how much the fighter actually walks away with at the end of the day. But in a lot of cases, the fighter thinks he has $20 million and he spends like he has $20 million. But then, the next year, he gets a tax bill for $10 million and he says, ‘Now how in the [expletive] do I owe $10 million in taxes?' We want to educate these guys on a lot of things that maybe they don't know about or don't think about. They can always pick up the phone and call us, but by doing a summit like this, we can have the experts here for them and make it easy for them in a day, day and a half, to get a lot of very useful information."
The almighty dollar isn't the only thing fighters were drilled on during the multiple day affair, though. They were given a lesson in safety, rules and regulations, social media and the proper ways to deal with the media.
A brief rundown of the event:
- The UFC brought in Dr. Jeff Davidson to explain the risks of concussions and ways to avoid them, including the signs to look for in practice.
- They also urged fighters to pay attention to proper weight cutting techniques, as fighters often treat their bodies improperly and can cause serious damage to themselves if they don't employ the proper practices in getting their weight down.
- Drug Enforcement Administration agents were brought in to spook the fighters on the various issues surrounding steroid abuse and the dangers involved with the popular drug.
Tim Kennedy made note of the fact that Strikeforce fighters were told the promotion "is here for the long haul" and that "women's MMA is safe and so are the crazy Russians that fight with us." Hi, Fedor!
- There are reports stating fighters will be paid extra for added participation on social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, although those claims are unsubstantiated at this time.
- Lorenzo Fertitta apparently told Strikeforce fighters bonus awards are a possibility in the future although they haven't been decided upon just yet.
Various fighters on Twitter have been incredibly active already, tweeting pictures (such as this gem from Josh Barnett hanging and swanging with Dana White) not to mention keeping their followers up to date on all the goings on from the Summit.
Way to take direction, ladies and gents.
The "Fighter Summit" is set to conclude on Thursday, May 12. Props again to Yahoo! Sports.