Several prominent mixed martial arts (MMA) managers for fighters from various organizations are set to convene in Las Vegas next week during the upcoming UFC 187 pay-per-view (UFC) event, which is set to pop off from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 24, 2015.
While meetings are nothing to rave about, this one in particular may raise a few eyebrows, as this will be the first of its kind. Plus, the timing is quite impeccable, as the backlash from the recent announcement of the UFC/Reebok payout structure is still in full effect.
Jeff Meyer of MMA Inc., who along with his partner Mike Roberts, organized the meeting of the MMA minds and revealed to MMA Fighting how and why it all came about.
"We are pretty excited about it because this has never been done before. While the managers usually see each other independently at the fights, we've never sat down as a group to discuss common issues that affect us all. This is long overdue. This came about through a couple of unrelated phone calls between a few managers. It was suggested that we should all get together some time. Since quite a few managers will be in Las Vegas over Memorial Day, we decided to put something together. An invitation was sent out to about a dozen managers. The response was very positive and a few managers that were not on the original invitation have asked to attend as well. And they are welcome to do so."
As far as the Reebok controversy, which will essentially cost many fighters thousands of sponsorship dollars, Meyer said that is only one of the topics that will be tackled.
"Reebok is only one component of a multitude of issues managers should be talking about. There has been some speculation in the media as to the agenda of the meeting. The only agenda item is for management to get together and share insights over a variety of topics, with the hope that we can make our industry better for the benefit of our respective clients and our respective agencies. That's it."
Also, Meyer sated that the meeting is not intended to pick on just one promotion and they are not being secretive about their planned event.
"We're not trying to hide the fact that we're meeting next week, and we're not trying to pick on any specific promotion. It's just long overdue that management sits down and has a collective conversation about the state of the business. It's amazing that we haven't done this yet."
Judging by the reaction of these managers, it's safe to say a lot of the time will be spent discussing the UFC and Reebok deal.
Just a hunch.