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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
The World Series of Fighting has made some interesting moves today. At the request of NBC Sports Network, according to a report from MMAFighting.com, the WSOF 15 event has been moved to Nov. 15, head to head with UFC 180 and Bellator 131. After that was reported, the WSOF announced that they'll also be moving to pay-per-view in 2015.
In regards to pay-per-view, they're also trying to separate themselves from other organizations in that marketplace with the announcement that fighters featured on those cards will receive 50% of all net revenue brought in by the pay-per-view events.
"This is a proud day for the sport of mixed martial arts and our organization, and one that we hope will create a better opportunity for the fighters who put everything on the line every time they step inside the cage," World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo said in a press release. Until now. one of the main things holding this sport back from becoming even bigger than it is today has been fighter compensation and the inability of the sport's top athletes to earn on par with top-level professional athletes in other sports."
"If fighters can't earn a fair share of the money at the top, the fighters lose hope or become disenchanted with the sport, which impacts their commitment to training and preparing properly for title fights. That is about to change, thanks to this major step we are taking now fighters will train harder than ever to become a champion giving the fans some epic championship bouts to enjoy. We want to thank NBC Sports and NBC for giving us such an amazing stage to grow World Series of Fighting since its debut."
Penick's Analysis: There are a lot of questions which fighters should be asking as far as how this is going to work. What are they considering "net revenue"? Is it every dollar that comes in from a pay-per-view event? Will they try to parse it out with expenses of putting on an event? Most organizations who aren't the UFC have had a very hard time making money on pay-per-view, so if they run an event that loses money as it is, and pay out 50% of what came in to begin with, how long is that sustainable? How will the payout splits be between fighters on the card? Will there be a clear and concise guideline of who gets paid what depending on their placement on the card? Will fighters then hold out or campaign for higher spots in order to try to get a bigger payday? If the pay-per-view doesn't bring in the type of return fighters and/or the WSOF think they can get, do they dump this right away? This opens up a whole new set of issues and concerns, and fighters need to make sure they don't just buy into the promoter's hype here, because we've already seen WSOF have several issues with getting guys timely fights and with holding up their end as far as pay is concerned. As for going head to head with the UFC and Bellator, if people are actually watching this or the Bellator card over an excellent UFC Heavyweight Title bout, I don't know what to say.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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