EKIC, a new combat sports promotion that will showcase traditional boxing, bare-knuckle boxing and Kumite, is placing particular importance on fighter pay.
Fighter pay, of course, is a hot-button issue across the combat sports landscape. The stars of our favorite sports put their health on the line for our entertainment, but are oftentimes not paid accordingly.
EKIC is determined to fix that.
The promotion intends to pay fighters well for the fights, help their fighters land lucrative movie and television roles, and ensure that athletes are compensated for use of their likeness in video games and other merchandise.
The promotion has brought in a host of industry experts, including former Strikeforce champion Cung Le, to ensure this goal is achieved.
“I had the good fortune of talking to Cung Le, who’s not a fan of UFC anymore, and how the royalties — everything from the video games to their action figures — Dana White owns most of the money on that, if not all of it,” said EKIC Executive Vice President Jeff Arcio on a recent episode of BJPENN.COM Radio.
“There are lots of unhappy UFC fighters out there right now because of that,” Arcio added. “So we have a good package that allows the sponsors and them to have a better grasp on their percentages than UFC does. Because right now there’s a lot of fighters out there who can’t do anything because their products are being sold but they’re getting zero dollars off of it and no royalties at all.”
Experts like Cung Le will make it easier for EKIC to ensure fighters get what they deserve.
“[We brought in] experts in that area of compensation because they know what the fighters should’ve gotten and they didn’t,” said EKIC Executive Vice President Mark Goldstein, referencing experts like Le. “We’re not here just to make money. We’re here to make it enjoyable for everybody who works with us, including the fighters. There’s no picking sides. We all have to work together and we all have to enjoy it and make money together. It’s not a question of ripping anybody off or being unfair. That’s why we’re bringing in all those people.
“That’s why we brought in the appropriate brand ambassadors so we know what the appropriate pay should be as far as the sponsorships as well,” echoed EKIC CEO Ed Simpson.