<div class="Article" style="float: left;"> <table> <tr style="vertical-align: bottom;"> <td> <h3><a href="/go=news.detail&gid=450141" target="_blank"> Why Miesha no longer signs and returns fan mail </a></h3> </td> </tr> </table> <a href="/go=news.detail&gid=450141" ><img class="photo" src="http://img.mixedmartialarts.com/method=get&rs=37&q=75&x=54&y=21&w=310&h=165&ro=0&s=miesha-tate-02-08-2015-16-19-9-335.jpg" /></a> <div style="clear: both; line-height: 1px;height: 1px;"> </div> </div> <p>UFC women's bantamweight contender Miesha Tate was criticized in some quarters for a recent Tweet.</p>
Miesha Tate @MieshaTate
Will no longer be accepting return fan mail, too many trying to sell the signed photos, thanks for understanding!
However, the step was necessary - there is a thriving MMA autograph business that benefits everyone, but the fighters. It began when Tate was in the Las Vegas Fight Shop and saw her autograph for sale for $150.
“That was kind of a wake-up call,” said Tate to Ben Fowlkes for MMAjunkie. “I realized, OK, the guy that spent a half-hour waiting to catch me, got me to sign three or four things, now he’s making money off of it, and the Fight Shop is making money off of it, but the person who put all the work into making this possible – me – isn’t making a dime.”
Tate had been receiving stacks of photos that the sender wanted her to sign and return. And she had been doing so. And she stopped.
UFC featherweight contender Conor McGregor expressed a contrary view on a recent Embedded episode. Individuals were waiting outside a Boston hotel with stacks of images they admitted would be going on sale.
“They go through the hustle of standing outside in the cold, getting the pictures printed, showing up,” said McGregor. “At the end of the day, they’re supporting the event. At the end of the day, they are fans of the show because they understand the fighters, they understand the pictures, they understand everything. So they’re fans, let them make a few quid.”
The things is though, McGregor was only half right - many of them are not even fans.
“Half these guys who I’ve talked to, they don’t even really know the athletes,” said NJ MMA autograph and memorabilia collector Hermen Hernandez. “They just work for someone who says, ‘OK, here’s a picture of who you need to get. Try to get as many as you can.’ That’s actually more common than you’d think.”
Tate's first concern was simple - why should she spend time going through, signing, and returning stacks of images that come into her gym every day, for people that offer her nothing, will resell the items, and may not even be fans?
“I think it’s kind of lame that it’s just expected of me to do this,” said Tate. “I try to give back to the fans as much as I can, show appreciation and love for them, but I don’t think there should be an expectation for me to spend a couple hours every Sunday signing stuff so other people can make money off of it.”
A.J. Hiller, who started MMASignatures.com, who pays fighters for their autographs, sometimes a fancier one than the fan version, cannot but agree.
“I think what Miesha is doing is the right thing, honestly,” he said. “There are the hardcore fans who just want to go and meet Miesha and get their picture taken with her and keep that photo as their own souvenir, but then there are the people who want dozens of pictures autographed. But you know they’re not going to plaster dozens of pictures of her up in their house, unless they’re total freaks or something. What they’re trying to do is make a profit. And if they’re making a profit, Miesha should be getting a piece of that. The only reason they’re making money is because she made herself into a celebrity.”
<div style="clear: left; line-height: 1px;height: 1px;"> </div>