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Sign the deal or fuck off

What better way to start the morning than with some talk about shady underhanded practices by the UFC. When the UFC announced that whole merch deal, they made it sound like it was going to be the best thing for the fighters since sliced bread. Then it came out that the deal wasn’t all that great – that the contract essentially gave Zuffa merchandising rights “initially extending for a three-year period, but automatically renewing for additional three-year terms perpetually until Zuffa alone decides to terminate the agreement.”

Hey, whaddevah. If a stupid fighter is gonna agree to those terms then it’s his ass and he should have known better, right? But now Sherdog is introducing a new aspect to the whole thing: they’re implying that the UFC is essentially trying to trick and bully fighters into signing on the dotted line in an effort to keep them from being able to leave the promotion:

But the Couture and Ortiz falling outs could be a thing of the past if the new deal is in place, said one attorney who has told his fighters not to sign the offer.

That is something, apparently, the UFC is working to nip in the bud with new talent, according to one attorney, who claims Zuffa circulated the agreement to fighters before a recent UFC.

“Some of these fighters don’t have good representation with them, if any, and the UFC just buried it in their pre-fight paperwork,” said the attorney, who asked to remain anonymous. “This next Spike TV show on July 19, they’re going to try it then, too.”

And while has learned that various top-tier fighters have begun to negotiate tailor-made licensing deals with Zuffa, other sources have indicated that participants on the UFC-owned Spike TV reality show “The Ultimate Fighter” were told to sign the merchandising agreement as a condition to appear on the latest version of the series.

I’m hoping someone from the press asks about this and gets some clarification. As usual, I’m pretty sure the UFC is just being over-cautious in it’s contract language to avoid having to toss 10,000 Rob Emerson dolls (complete with prison scrubs) in the trash after he leaves the UFC / goes to jail / dies in a knife fight. They could probably pop the head off and replace it with the next delinquent the UFC brings in. But on the other hand, the UFC also has a reputation of taking the smallest condition in a contract and hanging you with it if they decide they don’t like your face no more. So it’s getting kinda hard to trust them implicitly on stuff like this.