If a pro fighter trains but keeps declining/missing fights, does the gym start charging them?

like a guy than trains and his pay to the gym is a percentage of his purse, but he keeps not fighting for whatever reason, what would the gym do?

Hand jobs IMO. Everyone in the gym gets hand jobs.


That covers the basic dues. Gotta go a little further for the one on one coaching.


Probably just let him keep training for free. To have a pro fighter in there alone would bring more business in, and when he fights again, whenever that may be you would want him representing your school.

But anyone can do whatever they want lol. I’m just saying what I would do if I owned an MMA gym


reportedly, laimon wanted to charge baroni to train, after he had a bad losing streak

Depends on the gym policies, the pro fighter’s contribution to the gym’s reputation and culture, etc.

Really tough question to answer. If we’re talking about UFC caliber guys that pay their gym many thousands a year, no…I doubt it. The fighter would just leave if the trainer sent him an invoice for private lessons that was at his “typical” rate for students. The fighter would just leave and find a new gym.

If we’re talking about lower level guys that give a % of their pay instead of a monthly fee…maybe if the guy sucks, yeah. However, the trainers are hoping the guy makes it big, and they do a ton of work for free early in their career so they can get paid back later.

For example…if you’re training a guy with potential, you let him train free in exchange for a % later. You don’t argue over your 10% fee, or the $75/hr private lesson fee when he’s making $500 to fight. You help him early, and when he makes it to the UFC and does well, and signs his next deal where he’s making $100K+ to fight, all the time spent for free is worth it when he’s giving you a %.

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Yeah and that’s about the time they move gyms lol.

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I haven’t paid at a gym for over 15 years and haven’t fought since 2009. I bring value to any gym I’ve been at. I help guys, I train with them, hold pads and am a great partner and corner. So it depends is my answer.

Correction-!There was a period I got kicked out of a local gym and went to ufc gym with my partners until we resolved the disagreement.

Definitely seems very risky with the lower level guys as they could easily switch to a mega camp like ATT right as they finally sign a big contract.

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Correct, and that’s why many of them sign contracts. Some include a buyout clause. I 100% get the argument from both sides. Jon Jones started at a gym in NY that was run by a friend of mine. They all ended up in court over it, and frankly I see both sides. I 100% understand Jon wanting to be represented by the Kawa brothers from a management perspective, and work out of a gym like Jackson’s that has the elite training partners.

It makes sense. It would have been VERY hard for Jon to find elite 205ers, or HWTs to train with daily if he stayed in NY. It also would have been hard for the team in NY to get in the room with Nike to negotiate a sponsorship deal. They were very good trainers, and very good at managing guys in terms of knowing their skillset and getting them the right opponents (not just easy fights either…knowing when to put their guys in the tough fights they knew their guy would win), but they weren’t managing world champions. If you’re Jon, I totally get not wanting to be the guy they gain experience with. You only get one shot at it, and it makes sense to work with whomever you think it going to give you the best shot.

I think it’s much harder for bigger guys like Jon too. Someone like Conor, he can stay with his team because you can find quality quality grapplers, quality sparring partners that are 145-170 pretty easily…but when we’re talking about finding guys that can push Jon in sparring? How many 205+ guys in the country can do that? Very few, and they’re all at the big gyms.

So yeah, I see Jon’s point…but I also see the trainers point. He did his job, didn’t get paid an appropriate rate, negotiated the early contracts, put in the time in the gym with Jon, spent weekends driving through the night from Ithaca NY to corner Jon on smaller shows, and negotiated deals with the UFC to get him in…got him the right opponents early in his UFC run etc, and I’m sure he did all that for less than market value so that he could make the $ back when Jon started making real $.

I think fighters should have the right to change gyms or managers, but the managers should also be compensated for the work they did. If you have the conversation early enough, and come to an agreement on how it’ll work if the fighter wants out of their management contract, both sides should be ok with it when it happens. I have to assume the guys like Malki Kawa are used to buying guys out of deals with former managers. No idea if they give a % for the next X amount of years or a cash buyout, but they know they can’t just scoop guys up for free. It’s not that easy.

As I understand it, in Jones’ case, worked out pretty great for everyone.

I have no idea what the final terms were, but I know they did end up in court over it. I’m under the impression it did work out well for everyone, but I have no idea how well. Clearly worked out for Jon, he’s the GOAT and is complaining that he “only made about 2M” in some of his earlier title defenses…and he’s had a ton of defenses, so we know dude has made a ton of $ fighting. I’m sure his former team was given some sort of buyout, but I have no clue if it’s something they were happy with. I haven’t talked to them about it since the court stuff kicked off.

Either way, my point holds true. There is a huge risk that guys leave your gym (or your management contract) as they start to make the real $. If your contract is for 3 years, and the first 2 are spent working with them on the local level, and the first year of their UFC contract they go 3-0, but don’t make a ton of $…you could be looking at making $10K total for all the effort you put in with that guy, and then he signs with a bigger management company as they start to make real $…so you end up getting a % when they were making 30K a fight, and miss out on the ones where they make $3M a fight etc.

I know people on this board hate contracts and think it hurts the fighters, they should able to leave the UFC, leave gyms, leave managers whenever they want because it’s THEIR career etc, but contracts are important. Fortunately for Jon’s prior team/manager, he was a very sharp guy and I’m sure had a deal written in a way that allowed him to avoid getting fucked. I’ve heard too many stories of guys with handshake agreements feeling burned after their guys leave for greener pastures.

I’m actually very sympathetic to contracts with trainers/gym owners. I think there should be regulations to make sure that they are not exploitative or unconscionable. But, I see trainers and owners as “labor” as well, and they are also entitled to protection.

100%. The whole thing gets complicated very quickly when large sums of money are involved. It’s not a big deal when you’re talking about the local level, or even the lower levels of the UFC…but when guys start making 100K+ and a % of that is going to their trainer/manager, things get complicated quickly.

And far too often both sides have a drastically different view of things. I’ve heard good local fighters talk about how the gym should be paying them because of all the attention they bring to the gym…I’m talking dudes with 6-7 fights, almost no shot of making it to the UFC, but they do well on small shows. Meanwhile their coach feels like he’s getting fucked because he spends 10-15 hours a week with the guy, and takes time out of his other job to corner the guy etc and never takes a dime from the guy.

If both sides don’t communicate clearly, both sides are likely to feel they’re getting fucked.

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A lot of the gyms that I’ve been to don’t charge the pro fighters anything at all unless they fight.

Baroni doesn’t offer much

This is truth.

Kirian at CSA in Dublin has the best business model IMO.

The guy swears he’s never taken a dime from a fighter, but he has a packed schedule full of Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, BJJ, and krav/CrossFit for the non fighters. And the fighters attend the classes with the general population. Manages to have like 500 members all paying 150 or whatever a month.

This is how the gyms I have been at have done it. He’s doing good numbers….