Why UFC Halifax Headliners Can Request $380,000

Update January 19, 2017 – Today I confirmed with Nova Scotia’s Registrar of Regulations that the regulations referenced in the below article are indeed current and in force.  They replied as follows

 Hello Mr Magraken,

The regulations on our website are current consolidations of all the regulations filed with our office.  Any amendments filed with our office that are not consolidated would be noted in the Regulations by Act listing of the regulations as well as on the regulations document itself.  Amendments are incorporated into the consolidated version within 2 weeks of filing with our office.

We have no recent amendments on file for these regulations.

We hope this information has been helpful to you.  Please contact us again if you require assistance with Nova Scotia’s regulations.

UFC Halifax Promo Screenshot.PNG

The UFC returns to Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 19, 2017.

Something the main event fighters may not know is how much they should be able to demand for headlining this card.  Perhaps $380,000, maybe even more.

Unlike most North American jurisdictions, Nova Scotia has a unique legislative requirement on the books for prize fighters.   Section 58 of Nova Scotia’s Boxing Authority Regulations (which apply to MMA bouts by virtue of the definition of boxing set out in s. 2(3) of the Regulations which states that “a combat sport is boxing.) require that “The minimum percentage of the receipts to be paid to boxers in the main boxing match shall be not less than 10% for each boxer“.

The last time the UFC came to Halifax the live gate receipts flirted close to $1,000,000.  Assuming a repeat this would mean a minimum purse of $100k per fighter to comply with the law.

The language of section 58, however, does not appear limited to the live gate. The Regulation uses the broad word ‘receipts.’. The Nova Scotia Boxing Authority Act defines “gross gate receipts” to include “all money collected in respect of a boxing match including all television and film royalties“.  In other words, the fighters may be able to legally demand 10% of all the the UFC’s revenues pro-rated to this event.

With the UFC Fox deal being reportedly worth $115 million annually and with Fox televising 41 events in 2016 means a pro-rated value of $2.8 million per event.  10% of this is $280,000 and when added to the speculated gate you reach $380,000 for each headliner.  Other revenue streams can be factored in to bolster this potential number even higher.

What if the UFC don’t comply with this section?  What recourse would fighters have?  They would be able to ask the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority to force compliance.

Section 9 the Boxing Authority Act requires the Authority to “establish and enforce uniform rules for the conduct of boxing” ie – enforce their regulations.

If they are not prepared to (and unfortunately the Authority have turned a blind eye to their regulations in the past to accommodate the UFC) fighters can seek a judicial remedy.

Some have asked me if this means going to Court in Nevada. As the UFC class action plaintiff’s learned UFC contracts contain a ‘choice of venue‘ clause for all lawsuits involving the interpretation of the contracts.  Interestingly this likely would not apply, however, as such a lawsuit would not be a contractual dispute rather an action based on enforcing a local statutory requirement.  In other words, the 10 percent protection applies regardless of what a UFC contract has to say.

A lawsuit using the power of s. 58 can be quite revealing as, if successful, it would force the UFC open their books and account for all revenue streams pro-rated to the event.  Time will tell if fighters will take advantage of this powerful legal protection.

2 thoughts on “Why UFC Halifax Headliners Can Request $380,000

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s