Mike Kogan, the former manager of Nate Diaz, is never one to shy away from speaking his mind, and has even found himself at odds with UFC President Dana White in the past; That came when Kogan’s former client, Nate Diaz was in contract disputes with the UFC some time ago.
Kogan spoke recently about what he believes, is the subtle push by the UFC to get rid of managers.
“Mainly I think what the managers are really afraid of is that there’s an ongoing movement – very subtle and very, you know kinda under the rug – to get rid of the managers. It’s no secret the UFC don’t like to deal with managers because they feel like they’re all retards and it’s much easier to convince the fighter to do something.
“And sponsorship was one of the largest reasons why a lot of the managers were able to justify their existence right? Because you take a fighter when he’s fresh, young, and you nurture him, and you get him through the amateurs, and you get him through the smaller shows and build him up, and then it’s time for him to sign with the UFC.
“As a manager, the most you can do is just sign his name in, and then if they like him they pick him up, they give him a standard contract, you can’t negotiate anything in the contract, and from there on they literally just call you and go ‘this is the guy your fighting’ and you go ‘okay, thank you. I’ll let my guy know’. So the role is reduced tremendously for majority of the fighters.
“I mean I’m not saying every single fighter. So what the managers were able to do was get sponsorships, you know, get other side deals for their guys. Well now they can’t do that either. So now the most they can do is get deals for guys outside of the UFC, but I know there’s mixed feelings about this, because some managers have come out and said ‘oh if you just work your ass off and work really hard, you’ll be able to get whatever.’
“But I mean I walk through stores, sporting goods stores, all kinds of stores; and I don’t see a lot of the UFC fighters pictures posted endorsing anything, or anywhere else in the media, you know what I mean? Like you turn on the TV in America, you see an NFL player doing a Papa John’s commercial, or cell phone company commercial, or whatever, NBA players – hell I’ve even seen Michael Phelps do stuff. I have never seen a UFC guy outside of Metro PCS promote anything, and Metro PCS is partnered with UFC, so that’s how they get the guys. So this whole thing of like ‘oh you should just go out there and try’. Good luck. There’s nothing there.”
“So now you basically reduce the manager down to, I don’t know what. So those guys that will have good relationships with their fighters, at this point will just make money just because they want to pay them. Because they’re nice guys. But realistically I mean what’s this guy gonna do? There’s no sponsorships, you can’t negotiate contracts. You just kind of have to take what they give you, and if you try to speak up you get called a scumbag and a douche bag. So I mean what’s there to do? Not much.
“I’m not saying this applies necessarily to every single fighter, you know what I mean? Like Ronda Rousey needs a manager because she’s doing a while lot of stuff outside, but Ronda Rousey is being represented by William Morris Endeavour, one of the largest talent agencies in the world, you know what I mean. Jon Jones needs a manager, Cain Velasquez needs a manager, but countless other fighters that are on the roster no longer need managers.”
– via Submission Radio