We’ve all wondered in the past what it would take to officially make MMA a mainstream sport. Nevermind the TV deals and big name endorsements (Mickey’s replay, anyone?), I think we’ve finally got our answer. According to Adam Swift, Ice Cube’s internet television network, UVNTV.com, has agreed to create an MMA channel as part of an agreement with the International Fighting Championship.
Now, far be it from me to tell Cube how to allocate his resources, but something just isn’t quite right here. The IFC is a new organization — not to be confused with the International Fighting Championships, which also went by the abbreviation IFC, or with the IFL, which also uses “International” and “Fight” in its name, or the UFC, which also uses “Fighting Championships”, or with the International Fighting Organization…you see where I’m going.
They’ve just gotten started and they’re already in some dispute with the now defunct IFO. The IFO is accusing them of piggybacking on their success, such as it was, and encouraging people to think that they are the same organization. To further complicate things, Rico White, the former Director of Sales for the IFO, is now the president of the IFC.
Is this really the company you want to get involved with if you’re Ice Cube?
And yet Ice Cube and his consigliari, DJ Pooh, apparently think it’s a great idea. They’re creating a twenty-four hour MMA channel on their internet TV network, calling it “My MMA Network”. Ignoring for the moment that this whole thing seems to be headed for a world record in terms of copyright infringement, how does the IFC think they’ll be able to fill twenty-four hours worth of programming?
I imagine long stretches of time where entire fights are shown in slow motion instant replay. Naturally, they’ll do some completely unnecessary features on the ring girls. They’ll probably also bring in a couple of “analysts” to do their own MMA version of the McLaughlin Group. But after all that, how are they going to fill the other eighteen hours in the day?
This situation only further illustrates a point that I keep returning to. Something about the fight business attracts an unsavory element. There are plenty of great businessmen and honest promoters in our industry, but there are also a lot of exploitative bottom-feeders. Not knowing anything about the IFC and their executives (though I do suspect that they operate out of the back of an electronics store), I can’t say for sure which category they fall into. However, if you’re a fighter considering signing with the IFC, insist upon being paid in cash, upfront. You’ll thank me later.
As for Ice Cube, I hope this doesn’t have a negative effect on your internet television network, which I didn’t know you had until today. And in the future, when you’re considering doing business with these types of people, ask yourself just one thing: what would Dr. Dre do?