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MMA Squared Ep 12: TUF and the Sponsor Tax

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Check out the latest episode of MMA Squared.

There was a time when a large number of UFC fighters were paid more money through sponsorships than their actual fight purse.

Cross section of a body for hire.

This resulted in some of the more memorable fighter sponsors gracing our television screens, such as Condom Depot, Guns America dot com, and Fishy’s Bait & Tackle.


However, one company which sponsored the TUF franchise (back when it was both relevant and valuable) did not care for all these smaller brands getting premium TV time for a fraction of the price (walkout, in-fight time, post fight interview all add up).


So they put pressure on Dana and said to level the playing field or Face the Pain.


This situation brought about:


In practice, the sponsor tax meant that companies wishing to pay a fighter five grand to write their name on his/her crotch had to pay the UFC between 50 and 100k for the privilege. It was presented with a peculiar spin:


That $5000 crotch shot was now just $1500 after taxes.


This caused the sponsor market to begin drying up.


Without any big UFC events coming up, I’ll be focusing on different corners of MMA and I’d been wanting to tell this story for a while. If you’ve got ideas or suggestions, drop me a line at https://chrisrini.com/ or https://twitter.com/RiniMMA

This episode of MMA Squared was brought to you by Combat Wombat, an expression of marsupial violence known… somewhere.

I’m going to have to make COMBAT WOMBAT merch now, aren’t I?




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