WASHINGTON, DC — Several Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) promoters met with lawmakers today on Capitol Hill requesting $15 billion in funds to bail them out of what they claim is a major credit crisis. House Democrats passed a bill late in the afternoon granting $15 billion on the condition that promoters pay back the money, with interest, and also promise to make improvements to their product.
Representatives from EliteXC, Affliction, the IFL, Bodog Fight, YAMMA Pitfighting, DREAM, StrikeForce, and M-1 all testified and pleaded their case to prominent public officials all day Thursday.
At first the government did not appear sympathetic to their plight, but with MMA fighters like Fedor Emelianenko and Andrei Arlovski standing nearby with threatening looks on their faces, the politicians seemed to ease up a bit.
“We are here to request rescue funds in excess of $15 billion,” said Affliction executive Donald Trump, who showed up in a private jet with leather interiors and a fully stocked wine cabinet.
“If we can’t make a deal on those terms, perhaps you’d like to take that up with Mr. Emelianenko,” continued Trump.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made brief eye contact with the heavyweight Russian before softening her stance, but not before Arlovski flashed her his fangs.
Other promoters also urged Pelosi to sign the agreement, citing a bad economy but never mentioning incompetent management, which reporters said was the real culprit of the problem.
“Ms. Pelosi, we humbly seek your assistance in this matter,” said EliteXC executive Gary Shaw, who showed up in five stretch limousines for he and his associates.
“The credit crisis and economic recession have affected everyone, and we cannot compete in today’s market under these circumstances,” he continued while finishing a platter of caviar.
At that point Pelosi checked her notes and pointed out the recent success of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), currently the main player in the MMA industry.
“I show here that UFC 91 did in excess of 700,000 pay-per-view buys, and this was during the same week that the stock market plunged and that the credit crisis had worsened,” said Pelosi.
“If they can make money in this economy, why can’t you guys?”
Shaw responded that UFC’s owners (the Fertitta brothers), along with UFC President Dana White, have millions of dollars in financial backing.
Pelosi then looked immediately at Trump.
“You guys (points to Affliction banner) have Donald Trump. You (points to EliteXC banner) have Showtime and CBS. You (points to Bodog Fight banner) have Calvin Ayre. You all have more money at your disposal than the entire Fertitta family.”
Shaw had no answer and silence filled the room for several seconds.
Finally Shaw pointed to Arlovski’s fangs and warned Pelosi, “Mrs. Speaker, those are real teeth.”
The mild threat was enough for Pelosi to grant the billion dollar bailout.
However, some conditions were applied that must be met in order for the monies to be distributed:
- EliteXC must no longer bribe their second tier fighters to avoid going to the ground with their over-hyped top stars in main events.
- EliteXC must no longer give away their most intriguing match-ups for free on TV and then somehow expect viewers to pay actual money for pay-per-view events with unknown fighters.
- EliteXC must actually show clips of fighters doing things that build interest in their fights and have a prayer of drawing money, like the Diaz brothers taunting KJ Noons in front of a rabid crowd that badly wanted to see more.
- EliteXC must deploy a color commentator for the CBS shows that viewers might actually recognize and be familiar with, such as Bill Goldberg.
- The IFL must modify its presentation so that it doesn’t come off as second-rate kickboxing on low-rated sports networks.
- The IFL must no longer attempt to copy the worst aspects of WWE TV such as the Raw Diva Search, in which they attempted to find qualified ring card girls.
- Bodog Fight must find a cable television network that isn’t so unknown that most TV Guides won’t even list it and most of their own fighters don’t even know the name of.
- StrikeForce must present their events in a different state than California, in which the commission fines fighters for sneezing, drinking soda, and crossing the street without looking both ways.
- YAMMA Pitfighting must sign fighters who are not past-their-prime washouts from the 90s who can no longer compete at the top level, such as Oleg Taktarov and Mark Kerr.
- Affliction must no longer pay their top fighters several hundred thousand dollars when they haven’t even proven they can draw ten fans to the arena.
- Affliction must not spend three times as much as it expects to take in revenues. In addition, Affliction must produce documented proof of at least one fan who purchased its first PPV show specifically to see Megadeth.
Representatives from UFC were not at the bailout meeting and they did not request funds from the government. They were instead busy strategizing, booking next month’s fights, and running their companies like a smart business instead of throwing bad money at random fighters in hopes of making a quick buck.