Several MMA managers expressed disappointment privately after nutritionist and coach Mike Dolce said on yesterday's episode of "The MMA Hour" that many MMA managers are doing a disservice to their clients. To recap:
"These managers are charging the athletes 20 percent," Dolce said, "just to answer a phone call from Joe Silva to get one opponent's name, to then call the athlete and say, you're fighting Johnny So-and-So. And then the manager then takes 20 percent out of that. And then the athlete doesn't have enough money to pay for a world-class coaching staff that will properly prepare them ..."
"UFC athletes don't need managers, they need lawyers," he continued. "When you can hire a lawyer to do contract review and negotiation for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars and then be done and not have to give 20 percent of all their earning in perpetuity, like these managers and agents."
One manager who wanted to respond publicly to Dolce was Mike Constantino of MVC Management, who has been an MMA manager for six years, working with the likes of Dan and Jim Miller, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Jamie Varner, Charlie Brenneman, and many more.
Constantino reached out to MMAFighting.com on Tuesday to provide the following response to Dolce:
I love Mike Dolce as a coach and diet guru and consider him a friend, but he could not be more off base with the following statement:
"These managers are charging the athletes 20 percent," Dolce said, "Just to answer a phone call from Joe Silva to get one opponent's name, to then call the athlete and say, you're fighting Johnny So-and-So. And then the manager then takes 20 percent out of that. And then the athlete doesn't have enough money to pay for a world-class coaching staff that will properly prepare them"
I take great offense to that as a manager. That is as much as a blanket statement as someone saying, "Who needs a diet guru? Go do an internet search."
I agree with Mike’s statement that if you are simply answering a phone call from,"Joe Silva to get one opponent's name, to then call the athlete and say, you're fighting Johnny So-and-So," it is not worth any percent for that matter but to take one sliver out of a job description is as much as me saying you don’t need to pay a diet guru 20 percent to buy your groceries. Furthermore percentage paid can vary from 5 percent and up, depending on what service is actually provided. Look at what Team Takedown did: they get a higher percentage, but they invested so much in their athletes and now they all are rewarded together. Should they not take their percentage now when the fighter is the champ and they are only taking an incoming phone call from Joe Silva? I think what they did was great and it was a huge investment and now a rewarding payoff.
However, those two minor details are not the full job description of a good manager or a world-class diet guru. A good manager is the one that can do something for the fighter when he is a pro debut or even more seasoned at three or four fights and is able to get him sponsorships, fights (harder to do when your fighter is 0-3 and as a maaner you stick with him) help build his career, guide him through the murky waters that is MMA, including coaches, promoters and leeches who want to attach themselves to fighters once they are established and are nowhere to be found with the 0-4 guy or the new kid.
A good manager will help the fighter get what he wants and needs for free, such as: chiropractic, massage, tattoos, clothing, and equipment, anything that they need. As a manager, my fighters know that in any situation I have their back. Whether it is to put on a suit and go to a meeting or step outside in the street, no one will ever take advantage of any of my fighters.
There are 7-0 fighters from every country around the world trying to get signed by the UFC and I would think that a good manager that has relationships would be highly valued by the fighter at this point in his career as well as earlier when he was 2-0 and also had many of the above mentioned perks compared to another fighter on the same level at 2-0 who has no gas money to get to the actual fight. I would think a manager is worth his due there.
This industry is full of shady characters on all fronts including coaches, managers and fighters but to slander the role of a GOOD "manager" with a blanket statement is unjust for the guys like myself who do much more than just answer a phone call.