Last night’s UFC on FX 4 main event was everything that the major brands want to avoid. There is not a lot of control during a fight. If a guy bites another guy’s ear off the world will be watching. If a guy flips off his opponent a few times on FX, the world will be watching.
The Marketing VP that tells me the sport is too violent and the athletes are too unpredictable was just proven right. The Marketing VP that was taking a “wait and see approach” is going to wait a little bit longer. It is bad enough that we have a champion calling on the Major Brands and a few weeks later show up on TMZ arrested for a DUI single car accident with women that are not his fiancee.
The baseline of this sport should be that it is a form of Martial Arts. You can promote a fight without tarnishing your brand or the value of the guy you are fighting. What did James Tooney call Randy Couture? Then Randy beat him up. So what does that make James? Trash talk is not about taking away from the athletes that compete, discounting those around you. It is about promoting yourself, building your brand and following.
Gray Maynard flipping off Clay Guida is about as far away from being a Martial Artist as you can get. In today’s connected world you cannot say you are one thing and be another. If you are the main event on a televised fight you need to carry yourself accordingly. There is a fine line between promoting a fight and losing your cool. The UFC releases athletes for sending stupid or inappropriate jokes on Twitter but is silent when a fight looks more like an episode of Jersey Shore than a UFC Main Event. The UFC should hand down some serious sanctions for this behavior, and FX should hand the UFC some serious sanctions.
Who is managing these athletes? Where is the training and education of what it means to build your own brand and respect the brand platforms that you are leveraging to build yours? Talking about Coors Light while standing on a Bud Light logo, getting DUI’s, flipping the bird on National TV, and ‘motorboating’ female journalists all hurt the sport’s growth potential. Anderson Silva is reportedly being paid $250,000 to work with Burger King in Brazil. How many Burger Kings are in Brazil vs the US? Yet there are no reports of any mainstream deals of this size for any US based Mixed Martial Artist. I can almost assure you that there won’t be anytime soon if our high profile athletes keep acting the way they are acting in and outside of the Octagon.
There will be enough people that will trash or try to diminish the opponents you face. Your role as a Martial Artist is to respect the sport and your opponents and to train hard to give yourself every advantage possible to win. The way you carry yourself will affect your earnings and the earnings of those that come after you. What do you want your legacy to be?
If you missed it UFC Light Heavyweight Jon “Bones” Jones plead guilty to Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) today. For those of you that have never traveled to Canada you might not realize that a DWI is considered a “serious” offense. I praise Mr. Jones for taking responsibility and handling this matter as expeditiously as possible.
The effect of this conviction go beyond the sentence that will be handed down by the judge. As an example, if you are traveling to Canada, before you are allowed to enter the Country you will be asked “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” When your answer is “yes”, you will likely be turned away. If you have been convicted of a DUI or DWI within the last ten years you will not be allowed entrance. According to the Canadian Criminal Code driving while impaired is a serious crime. The attitude is supported by most Canadian citizens.
The common person with a conviction may be considered rehabilitated “after” a certain period has expired from the completion of the sentence imposed. You must apply for rehabilitative status and demonstrate your rehabilitation. The usual post conviction waiting period is five years. After this five-year waiting period the person must submit the following documents:
- An application form IMM 1444E
- A passport size photograph
- A copy of your passport data pages
- An FBI police certificate
- A state police certificate
- Copies of court documents indicating the charge, section of law violated, the verdict, and sentencing
- Proof of completed sentences, paid fines, court costs, ordered treatments, etc.
- Copies of the text of the law describing the offence.
- Detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding the offence
- Three letters of reference from responsible citizens.
- A non-refundable processing fee of $180 USD
Further information can be found at Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s webpages, Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility and Overcoming Criminal Inadmissibility – Frequently Asked Questions.
It might be possible to get a temporary resident permit to enter Canada prior to rehabilitation, but this is up to the passport control officer’s discretion and requires a $200 (Canadian) fee. The temporary resident permit is meant to allow entry for exceptional circumstances, which would include reasons of national interest or on strong humanitarian or compassionate grounds, which a UFC event is not.
It remains to be seen how the Jones conviction will effect the UFC plans.