UFC cost-cutting measures now aimed at coaches

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 20: Striking coach Brandon Gibson (L) interacts with Donald Cerrone between rounds against Rick Story in their welterweight bout during the UFC 202 event at T-Mobile Arena on August 20, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Since its sale to WME-IMG last year, the UFC‘s financial moves have been subject to more coverage than ever. Dozens of front office staff were the first to go, including retired fighters and honorary executives Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes. Next, walkout music licenses were targeted, with Carla Esparza being the first to speak out after being denied use of her signature entrance song. Now, coaches are feeling the effects of the promotion’s belt-tightening.

Team Jackson-Winklejohn striking coach Brandon “Six Gun” Gibson revealed today, via Twitter, that the UFC is no longer providing complimentary video footage to coaches and fighters for study and preparation. In fact, they are now expected to use the same tool at the disposal of amateur analysts: Fight Pass. Gibson did not mince words about his disappointment in a series of tweets.

Gibson provided even more grim realities about the situation while answering fan questions. Not only would coaches have to pay for Fight Pass, but would now have record all televised broadcasts, including pay-per-views, due to the upload delays built into the UFC’s television contracts.

Things are not looking good as we draw near to the one year anniversary of the UFC’s sale to WME-IMG. Criticism continues to mount over business practices best described as, “Penny smart, but dollar foolish.” Making the jobs of coaches both more difficult and more expensive is not a way to better the sport, and is a prime example of the current management regime shooting itself in the foot in its quest for profit-linked bonuses. Fighters and their coaches can only hope that management changes their minds soon, before performance suffers.

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