Thoughts on making fighters sell tickets to fight?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Southpaw535, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Something I've had back and forths with people about since I stopped training is the question of whether its right or wrong to make fighters sell tickets in order to fight on shows.

    Came up through personal experience, show I fought on had a rule that if you couldn't sell 25-30 tickets consistently then you weren't going to fight on the show, and if you did, then you weren't going to get paid. Coach would still match you, but you'd fight on away cards for other promotions. Argument being, the show is a business and it costs money to run, so each fight needs to make X amount in sales or its costing the promoters, and thus the gym/coaches, money.

    Counter argument I've heard to this is that a show runs because it has fighters. Basically differing sides of the fence on who needs who.

    Personally, I've continued to feel torn about it. I understand the fact its a business and promoters don't owe a fighter any favours, even if they're also your coach. Business is business and shows don't run for free.

    However, I do know that ticket sales was a factor in me just straight giving up on mma. I wouldn't focus on a fight leading up to one, I would worry about how on earth I was going to sell 25 tickets given I have an estranged family and am pretty much a loner. Felt like I'd put the time in to train, paid my membership, done everything else, but was being punished for not being a social butterfly. Also that a fighters job is to fight. A promoters job is to promote. Getting bums in seats is your job, if I can add to it and get a cut then great, but its not my primary job.

    On the other hand, I can imagine if I ran a show I would very much be expecting the fighters to generate sales given mma isn't a super popular local sport for most people and most of my sales, i assume, would come from word of mouth and by associates of the fighters. So I feel rather torn on how I feel about the whole thing.

    Wondered what other folks thought?
  2. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    How many sports do competitors pay to compete in?
  3. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Yeah. I've had disputes. I know a lot of people who like me and would be happy to see me fight but I can't sell tickets to save myself. It's difficult and I hate worrying about it.

    Luckily I've never been told I must sell x tickets to fight. I know that pretty much all pro boxers it's an absolute requirement though. I can see how it would suck the fun out of it. For me I've always just wanted to compete do it for myself anyway.
  4. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Sounds ridiculous and exploitative to me.

    ^^^ That sums it up.

    The promoter is getting you to do their job for them. What fighters need is a union. ;)
  5. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    As in entry fee?
    Mitlov likes this.
  6. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    I suppose it's just a different business model, but many tournament type events have an entry fee, yes, usually in the £10 - £20 range I imagine?

    That seems orders of magnitude different to, "you must sell 20 tickets," though?
  7. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Some fighters are also getting paid though.
  8. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Which is another interesting question. I'm aware this thread is going to sound like me crapping on my old promotion, I'm not, its just the only experience I have to draw from.

    But when I first started the deal was you got a small purse, and then a cut of your ticket sales. That changed later on once the promotion wanted to pay the pros bigger purses, and also try to entice some higher levels of fighters, paying for foreign fighters travel and accommodation, stuff like that.

    So then it became ticket commission only, but if you didn't meet your minimum sales you didn't get paid to make up for the shortfall, but everyone could potentially make some money.

    I always assumed that was a pretty normal sounding arrangement, but your post suggests only some fighters you know/knew had a chance of making anything at all?
  9. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Heh, could see that in the UFC, maybe not for your average local show. Its one of those issues where for every couple fighters who would be willing to collective bargain or whatever, there'd be 15 amateurs in a gym somewhere happy to get on a show.

    Plus UK mma doesn't even have mandatory blood testing or anything to make sure you're not going to catch anything in a fight, or test for doping which is pretty much accepted as a norm. A nation wide fighters union is probably asking too much of the scene for a while which is a shame.
    David Harrison likes this.
  10. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Valued Member MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Nah most amateurs make a few quid + ticket sales. Pros get the same deal but more money. There were some shows that did a commission only deal too.
    Southpaw535 likes this.

Share This Page