View Full Version : UFC threatens TapOut with a lifetime ban if they sponsor Fedor

06-26-2010, 02:19 AM
Gee UFC's on a roll recently, from using fake posters to illegally advertising their wares on forums and sites, to paying piddly amounts to their fighters, and now this. No wonder Fedor refuse to sign with them...........Dan Henderson the other guy that left the UFC because of sponsoring issues has finally gotten a very big and lucky break for his clothing line (Clinch Gear).

Fedor Is Rocking Clinch Gear Tomorrow Night, But Who Wants To Know Why?
* Posted by MMA NEWS on June 25, 2010 at 6:30pm

I am privy to certain details that I just got authorization to release to the public.

Initially, Fedor Emelianenko, the number one heavyweight fighter in the world, secured a deal to sport the always growing and ever popular “TapOut” clothing line at this weekend’s Strikeforce events.

However, during my time here in San Jose, while spending time with very legitimate sources close to the situation, I was advised that certain parties within the UFC halted TapOuts participation in the event and threatened a UFC lifetime ban, if Emelianenko came out wearing their line.

Similarly, In Fedor’s last outing he came out wearing the ever popular RVCA clothing line which resulted in the UFC’s temporary ban from the Orange County based lifestyle Apparel Company. We witnessed evidence of said ban when UFC star BJ Penn did not come out in his traditional RVCA gear during his title fight against Frankie Edgar.

RVCA has since made amends and as is now Octagon worthy once again. However TapOut was apparently not willing to take on the same gamble as their Orange County counterpart and pulled the deal from Fedor, just days before Strikeforce goes live.

In an industry monopolized by the UFC, getting banned from their fighters is a huge blow to any company trying to make it to the big stage. TapOut opted to keep their relationship with the UFC intact and the Russian based M-1 management team secured the deal with Dan Henderson’s Clinch Gear.

I do not want to get into bashing the UFC; it is after all a business. As every fan knows, they run a very aggressive ship out of Las Vegas and I can understand why they do what they do.

But what about Fedor? Arguably, the best fighter of all time has now had two major sponsors black listed from working with him due to the UFC’s stranglehold on the industry. Obviously, Dan Henderson has nothing to lose from this golden opportunity, so that is exactly why Fedor will be supporting Clinch Gear Tomorrow Night.

It makes one wonder, how much money in endorsements the UFC has cost Fedor in this fight, and any possible future fights from this point forward. The buck won’t stop at RVCA or TapOut; I think it’s safe to say that as long as Fedor is fighting on a different stage, the UFC will continually go after his sponsors in an attempt to halt any UFC related brand from entering a major event with one of the largest drawing fighters in the world.

The UFC and TapOut family is a long established relationship, their history is deeper than I have time to describe, and the leverage the UFC used against one of their longest partners really proves that no one is exempt from this policy.

Sorry A-Z T-shirt companies, Fedor is off Limits!

06-26-2010, 05:59 AM
lol ****in' dana white is at it again

06-26-2010, 06:08 AM
It would have hurt them but they would have still survived. They still sell them everywhere and people will still wear it just even though the UFC wouldn't sponsor it.

***** move though. Another prime example of why Dana cares more about the Brand over the fighters. A damn shame. I mean I kind of like their style though because if boxing was all under one brand we'd get all the fights we'd love to see. So it's good and then it's bad.

Virgil Caine
06-26-2010, 07:15 AM
It would have hurt them but they would have still survived. They still sell them everywhere and people will still wear it just even though the UFC wouldn't sponsor it.

***** move though. Another prime example of why Dana cares more about the Brand over the fighters. A damn shame. I mean I kind of like their style though because if boxing was all under one brand we'd get all the fights we'd love to see. So it's good and then it's bad.
It's more like if all promoters in boxing refused to co-promote. However, boxing has different dynamics (for one thing it's bigger) so that wouldn't be feasible. It's not good and bad though. The situation is anything but good.

06-26-2010, 07:54 AM
that's a low blow by zuffa, a ***** move, the ufc will hardly lose any money at all if tapout sponsored Fedor, but what they could have lost is a trust they once had with tapout.

hilarious considering just last year dana inducted mask (one of the founders of tapout) into the hall of fame.

06-26-2010, 08:26 AM
i really hate dana white now, the amount of **** this guy talks on tv amazes me, carwin is only gettin paid 40,000 to show and 40,000 to win bonus no other extra bonuses, sponsors or anything like that, Brock on the other hand got paid 450,000 for ufc 100 and most likely in the same category or even bigger due to ppv numbers this time. It reminds me of a quote the great Heath Herring said.."Dana white had 6 ferraris, hell i only want 1"

06-26-2010, 10:50 AM
More info on this little saga. I still think that Dana and the UFC are running a dispicable act that goes far beyond nomral business. Its basically vengence and ego. The good thing is that Dan Henderson who I still think was hard done by and his clothing line can now have the opportunity to grow and expand, along with the M1/Fedor crew (who are also hard done by Dana/UFC). The best way to say F_ _ U to Dana/UFC would be to grow both companies and fighters independent of Dana/UFC.

M-1: UFC Trying to ‘Ruin’ Fedor’s Sponsorships
Saturday, June 26, 2010
by Loretta Hunt (

M-1 Global says that Tapout withdrew a potential seven-figure, one-year sponsorship deal with Fedor Emelianenko earlier this week after the UFC told the clothing company to dump the fighter or lose access to UFC events.

Emelianenko, who meets Fabricio Werdum on Saturday at the Strikeforce/M-1 Global card in San Jose, Calif., was to have worn a specially designed Tapout T-shirt during his fight entrance, according to M-1. The Holland-based management group said the shirt went on pre-sale briefly this week before it was abruptly pulled from Tapout’s Web site.

“It was our understanding that the T-shirt was in production,” M-1 Global President Vadim Finkelchstein told on Friday through an interpreter. “However, at the beginning of this week, we were told by our sponsorship representative that Tapout had received a call from (UFC President) Dana (White), which involved him saying that if Fedor signs a T-shirt deal with Tapout, then Tapout would be out of the UFC.”

Phone and e-mail requests for comment sent to Tapout on Friday were not initially returned. The UFC said it would not comment on the matter.

M-1 Global Director of Operations Evgeni Kogan said the management group was approached with the Tapout deal three to four weeks ago through its U.S. representatives. Numerous negotiations followed between the three parties for the next two weeks, said Kogan, including a conversation that specifically centered around whether there would be a problem with the UFC if a T-shirt deal was executed between Emelianenko and Tapout.

“The person from Tapout management told us that, no, there weren’t going to be any problems, that Tapout was a company that was older than the UFC and they were a company which has been in the market with fighters that don’t necessarily fight in the UFC,” said Finkelchstein.

According to Kogan, the Tapout representative told M-1 Global that the apparel brand company did have “issues” promoting other organizations outside the UFC, so a proposed T-shirt would not be able to feature the M-1 Global name or logo, to which the parties agreed. Kogan said a letter of agreement had been sent out by Tapout, but it wasn’t signed and returned before the apparel company allegedly changed its decision.

Finkelchstein said Emelianenko handled news of the soured Tapout deal the same way he handles everything -- calmly.

“Fedor isn’t greedy,” said Finkelchstein. “He’s used to these kind of fallouts from our friend Dana White, and to be honest, this didn’t come as a surprise (to him).”

Finkelchstein took a harder stance than his client, though.

“How does a T-shirt deal for fighter have anything to do with the UFC?” asked Finkelchstein, who has managed Emelianenko throughout his 10-year career. “The same thing happened with the RVCA deal we had, and this shows that there is constant pressure, that we’re constantly trying to be tripped up by the UFC.”

Finkelchstein said RVCA, another clothing company that sponsors MMA fighters, pulled the plug on Emelianenko last fall after sponsoring him for two of the three fights agreed upon in their signed contract. RVCA also had a three-year deal to produce Emelianenko-branded clothing (outside of his fight attire), said Finkelchstein, but that deal was terminated as well after the UFC allegedly banned the company from sponsoring longtime RVCA fighters B.J. Penn and Vitor Belfort until it cut Emelianenko loose.

Emelianenko’s contract with RVCA paid $10,000 a month for three years, totaling $360,000 plus a percentage of the T-shirt sales, said Finkelchstein. M-1 Global estimates that Emelianenko lost around $1 million after it acquiesced to RVCA’s request to quietly walk away from the contract.

Finkelstein believes the proposed Tapout deal -- which he said would have been largely based on a percentage of sales from multiple T-shirts worn by Emelianenko at news conferences, in training and around his fights -- could have generated even more revenue than the RVCA arrangement.

Finkelchstein also said M-1 Global remained silent about the aborted RVCA deal because it “had no interest in punishing companies that wanted to work” in the industry.

“We’re not the UFC. We’re not Dana White and we have no interest in hurting the business of other companies and organizations,” said Finkelchstein. “Unlike Dana White, who’s sometimes cruel, we have no interest in hurting other people in this business, or companies for that matter.”

RVCA representative Brad Blankinship said he had no comment regarding M-1 Global’s assertion that the company bowed to pressure from White to cancel its arrangement with Emelianenko last winter. (RVCA has been reinstituted as an approved sponsor of UFC fighters.)

“We never had a formal deal with Fedor and we remain friends,” said Blankinship. “We wish Fedor the best of luck in his fight this week.”

The UFC’s White has made no secret that the promotion wishes to sign the sought-after Russian fighter, who hasn’t lost since 2000 and has amassed a 31-1 record.

Last summer, Emelianenko was offered a multi-fight, seven-figure contract with the UFC, but he declined the exclusive deal. Emelianenko went on to sign with Strikeforce -- which has been willing to co-promote with his M-1 Global management on shows he appears in -- a couple of weeks later. White continues to voice his intentions to eventually bring the 33-year-old heavyweight into the UFC stable.

“It’s like (White’s) chasing us everywhere, and he’s trying to ruin everything,” said Finkelchstein. “There is constant pressure being exerted on us. We don’t comment about anyone. We don’t harm anyone. We’re just doing what we’re doing, and there’s this constant pressure being put on Fedor like he’s hunted everywhere he goes. Any influence they can exert on his career, if not directly then by any other means, they do it.”

In addition to the failed Tapout and RVCA deals, Finkelchstein said there has been a clear pattern of companies expressing interest in Emelianenko but then not entering into business deals with him for fear of repercussions from the UFC.

“There are a number of companies that, because of pressure from the UFC, have never gone into a deal with us because they were afraid of what the consequences would be based on the precedence of companies that have sponsored him (in the past),” he said.

In Tapout’s absence on Saturday, Clinch Gear has stepped in to sponsor Emelianenko and start off a one-year, non-exclusive deal. Clinch Gear shirts bearing Emelianenko’s name and the Russian crest began shipping Friday.

Clinch Gear, which was founded by former UFC top-five contender Dan Henderson and Aaron Crecy, has had its own history with White and the UFC. When Henderson wouldn’t re-sign with the promotion last year, the UFC banned the fighter’s clothing brand from sponsoring its fighters. Henderson subsequently signed with Strikeforce.

“We’re banned from the UFC and the WEC and we haven’t contested that,” Crecy told Friday. “We understand they have their reasons. We’re excited for the opportunity to partner with someone like Fedor Emelianenko and we’re really grateful to have the opportunity to work with Strikeforce because it’s brought opportunities like this. We’ve had more exposure through Strikeforce than any other deal we’ve had before. They’ve opened doors for us, and we feel like we’re growing with the promotion. If you ask any MMA fan, I think the Clinch Gear brand has become markedly more visible in the last seven months since we left the UFC.”

Crecy said Tapout has been a “fantastic” sponsor of Henderson in the last year as well.

“I feel bad for Tapout if they were in a position where they were forced to choose between sponsoring Fedor and remaining in the UFC,” said Crecy. “That’s a tough position to be in.”

Finkelchstein said he was upset by the week’s developments but feels the industry’s landscape won’t change anytime soon. “Currently the conductor of everything is Dana White, so what can we do?” said Finkelchstein. “The only thing we can do is shrug our shoulders and continue on. We’ve told the truth and there’s no reason to hide.

F l i c k e r
06-26-2010, 11:29 AM
UFC business wise is a pos. They always do stupid stuff like that.

Didn't they cut Jon Fitch for not signing his rights over to the video game, at one point in time?

06-26-2010, 12:01 PM
UFC business wise is a pos. They always do stupid stuff like that.

Didn't they cut Jon Fitch for not signing his rights over to the video game, at one point in time?


“We’re looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I’m just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it’s not even funny. Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren’t partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them" - Dana White

Dana White also wanted to get rid of Cain Velasquez & Josh Koscheck...

White said DeWayne Zinkin [Cain Velasquez's manager] wanted standard language that is part of every UFC fighter's contract removed from Velasquez's deal.

"Can you believe that?" White said. "Chuck Liddell has that language in his contract. Randy Couture has it. Anderson Silva has it. And Cain [expletive] Velasquez, with two [expletive] fights, wants us to change it for him? That's [expletive] nuts. He can get the [expletive] out."

The only reason Fitch was brought back and White was prevented from firing Velasquez & Koscheck is because the Fertittas stepped in to diffuse the situation.

06-26-2010, 04:42 PM
***8220;We***8217;re not the UFC. We***8217;re not Dana White and we have no interest in hurting the business of other companies and organizations,***8221; said Finkelchstein. ***8220;Unlike Dana White, who***8217;s sometimes cruel, we have no interest in hurting other people in this business, or companies for that matter.***8221;

i really liked that quote, for the reason that every promotion or organization Finklestein touches turns to **** he offers up one fighter an takes half the profits of the company during that event...right that doesn't hurt a company.

but i also agree that this is a weird move TapOut sponsors plenty of fighters outside of the UFC and Sponsoring Fedor wouldn't hurt them one bit. im sure Fedor has some Affliction Gear out there but no ban on them has come along.

Virgil Caine
06-26-2010, 11:03 PM
I've said this plenty of times, but I am definitely no lawyer. However, there is a thing called "tortious interference" and similar laws which would seem to mike the UFC's actions potentially at least borderline illegal. With that said, in the nearly fascist country which the US has become, there is no fair playing field to be spoken of and the bigger corporation with billionaire owners can't be touched by the smaller competitor.