Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Agents Taking Stand Against Auction Is A Step In The Right Direction

As seen on MMArated.com

Not so fast, budding MMA promoters. It seems that despite the fact Showtime Inc. announced plans last week to sell ProElite Inc. and other collateral holdings at auction later this month, the fighters involved seem entirely less excited about the possibility of being vended as chattel.

And, according to agent Ken Pavia (far right), they’re not taking the news lying down.

Pavia and six other MMA agents – including heavy-hitters like Monte Cox, Ed Soares, Bob Cook and Cesar Gracie – distributed a press release on Monday announcing they’d put aside their differences with the intention of blocking the sale of their fighters’ contracts to the highest bidder.

“Individually we consummated promotional agreements with Pro Elite,” the statement said. “These agreements were made based on a multiplicity of factors including but not limited to relationships with certain Pro Elite personnel, venues, television exposure, jurisdictional concerns, public relations support, and numerous other intangibles. These considerations are not readily transferable.”

While the statement didn’t lay out a specific legal plan for challenging Showtime’s proposed auction, it did come with a warning to the consumer.

“Absent significant pre-established negotiated terms, do not bid on these contracts unless you are prepared to fight the challenge to their legality,” Pavia wrote. “It is our intention to honor our commitment to Pro Elite, but if Pro Elite is not able to perform in accordance with the contractual terms, the fighters should be granted unrestricted free agency with the unfettered ability to enter the marketplace.”

Strong words that – aside from a multitude of questions about the feasibility of the auction itself and the strength of this new union that opposes it – definitely a constitute a step in the right direction for the labor force in mixed martial arts. As Pavia points out in the first sentence of the press release, he and the other agents involved in this new effort have historically seen each other as competitors, yet they’ve managed to stand as one in opposition here.

Click here to read the entire article at MMArated.com



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