Christian's Chronicles

July| Vol. 22 No. 8.02 | Christian's Chronicles © 2015 – All rights reserved.

Heading back to the UFC!

I am tired of watching from the sidelines!  It wasn’t so long ago when I made an honest living fighting for money in a cage.  Sitting at an office job watching others fight on TV is killing me!  My good buddy Mike Swick has recently decided to make a comeback. The rest of my fellow American Kickboxing Academy® teammates such as Cain Velasquez, Daniel Cormier, and Luke Rockhold are tearing through the UFC® ranks. Well I am tired of watching.

It has been over five years since the last time I entered the Octagon® in mixed-martial-arts competition.  I hung up the gloves and walked away from the sport after the UFC® released me from my contract.  I also had some tough things to deal with at that time.  But the lingering thought of going back for one more hurrah has become an itch that I just have to scratch!

As luck would have it, it seems I have been presented with just the opportunity I had been waiting for.  So let it be announced here for the first time as a Chronicles exclusive:

I am heading back to the UFC!

Well, more accurately, I intend to enter into a contractual relationship in the nature of employment (or something similar) with the UFC, and/or Zuffa, LLC, the company that owns the UFC brand.  That is just my intention, for purposes of this Chronicle anyway… And there is another party to the bargain whose consent to this proposed arrangement has not yet been secured.  So while I may set out to go back to the UFC, it is far from certain that I will actually arrive there.  But for now, just go with it…

So how, after a 5+ year absence, am I preparing for my next bout?  Will ring-rust be a factor?  Am I simply too old to step back into the Octagon®?  Those questions… well, they will never need to be answered.

I am applying for a job as Associate General Counsel with the UFC.

I have my doubts that they will consider my application, but I am also learning to overcome such negative thinking by practicing a ‘glass is half full’ type of forcefully self-imposed, happy-helmet confidence.  As an aside, you may find the “happy, happy, joy, joy” song helpful in this regard.  It has done wonders for me.  But back to the topic at hand.  The relevant hiring authorities may find certain portions of my ‘experience’ to reflect somewhat negatively on me as a prospect for reasons that should become clear later on.

For now, let me analyze this job post and explain what likely renders me uniquely qualified among the various candidates for this position.  Below, I have copied the exact words of the job post in black ink, with my comments in red.  I’m thinking of submitting it as my official job application.  Thoughts?

Associate General Counsel – Ultimate Fighting Championship (the UFC) (Las Vegas, NV)

Just like the way our fighters prepare with their training partners to be the very best, here at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) we encourage that type of teamwork. Well hey, I know all about preparing for fights!  I’ve competed in the Octagon!(r) I’m also an attorney so I know that UFC, the UFC logo and Octagon are registered trademarks of Zuffa, LLC. BAM! A UFC employee, like a mixed martial artist, is well-rounded and willing to put in the time necessary to be world-class. You want well-rounded?  Try former MMA pro, philosophy professor, and attorney with a background growing up in 3 different countries on 2 continents.  Winning! With a team of champions in the office, the UFC has fought relentlessly to break into the sports world with undeniable success. Our growth both in and outside of the Octagon has revolutionized the fight business and made the UFC the world’s leading mixed martial arts promoter and largest pay-per-view event provider. About that… I had some questions, but never mind. Maybe later. We are universally recognized for our action-packed, can’t-miss events that have sold out some of the most prestigious arenas around the globe. Come join us as we progress at a rate never-before-seen in the professional sports world.  Sounds good so far!

This position is based in Las Vegas, the UFC’s hometown and the Fight Capital of the World.  I’m cool with that.  Las Vegas matches the passion and energy of the UFC and offers a vast array of entertainment, restaurants, spas, golf courses, shops and accommodations. I know, I’ve been there 57 times.  I’m a bit sick of it, to be honest.  The UFC, owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, has additional offices in London, Toronto, Singapore and Sao Paulo.  Well, maybe you can ship me off to… London?  Or Singapore?  I’m a multi-cultural type of person, I adapt well.

The Ultimate Opportunity:

Zuffa offers an excellent benefit package including medical, dental, vision, LTD, life, supplemental life, short-term disability and 401(k) with a company match. Sounds great.  Just curious, do you offer similar benefits to the fighters, too?  Our Las Vegas office has an on-site gym with cardio equipment, weight machines and free weights. BEEFCAKE! We have a regular wellness calendar for employees featuring health and nutritional classes. The Las Vegas office participates annually in a citywide Corporate Challenge. Ok, but… WTH is that? And, all employees receive UFC FIGHT PASS, a digital subscription services with exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand, original content, The Ultimate Fighter television show and more!  HELL YEAH! Way to offer a benefit that costs you nothing. Still cool, though.  I’ll take it!

Strategy for Winning:

Our office consists of people who are passionate, dedicated and innovative people.  Innovation is my middle name.  Seriously.  I am a ‘think outside the box’ type of person. Let’s call it ‘thinking outside the cage.’

Under the direction of the Chief Legal Officer, and in conjunction with the company’s other attorneys, the Associate General Counsel provides a full range of in-house legal and business affairs counsel for all activities conducted by Zuffa, as well as Zuffa-owned entities and brands.  Well snap, that’s easy!  I’ve met the Chief Legal Officer (if it’s the same person who was at the hearings when I testified in support of proposed legislation to protect fighters from unscrupulous overreaching by promoters), seems like a nice enough guy.  But I’m sure he’s a killer in the courtroom. Our efforts to pass the legislation did fail, so perhaps that shows his skills.  Or maybe it was Ronda’s testimony.  Or maybe some campaign contributions to certain specific persons at times that may or may not have corresponded to this vote?  Oh, I can’t remember anymore.  Anyway, please tell the CLO I said hi.

Responsibilities:                   

– Drafts various athlete agreements and assists with oversight and administration of athlete relations generally. Pfft, I was doing this back when I was still fighting! Also – who would be better to have the responsibility of “administration of athlete relations” than a former UFC fighter?  Really, there is no better person for an athlete to relate to, in this regard, than one who has been there and done that! WINNING!

– Works closely with Consumer Products Department on UFC’s athlete outfitting program.  An athlete outfitting program? I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds like I’ll have dibs on some cool new UFC gear! WINNING!  It’s high time for me to get fresh gear; the stuff I got left over from my fighting days is getting OLD! And I sure as heck will not be paying to buy new stuff…

logo-on-shorts– Works with UFC’s Athlete Health and Performance Department in implementing UFC’s anti-doping program, including results management and legal process for athletes.  BINGO!  You want passion? COAF logoThis is something about which I am REALLY passionate.  I may have done some inappropriate, even stupid things along the years, but I have NEVER done ANY kind of performance enhancing drug.  Not only that, I took it as a point of pride to show my dedication to clean competition by wearing a logo I created identifying me as a CERTIFIED ORGANIC FIGHTER.  See:

– Works with UFC athletes regarding conduct policy, including implementation, enforcement and legal process. Conduct policy?  May I suggest something of a morality clause, or at least a strong suggestion to have these knuckleheads avoid getting involved with ‘adult’ film stars?  I mean really, there is nothing ‘adult’ about them.  It might even be a safety issue.  The last thing the UFC needs is a scandal about the spread of some loathsome disease. Also, how to avoid hit-and-run convictions and staying off recreational drugs, those might be topics of concern.  I’ll discuss my ideas with you after I accept your job offer. 

– Assists with domestic and foreign licensing agreements for the distribution of UFC content. No problem. I can break legs, too. 

– Assists with sponsorship and merchandise license agreements for various brand categories, consumer products and services. I’m your man.

– Assists with efforts to protect and enforce UFC’s intellectual property rights.  Drafts cease and desist correspondence, platform take-down requests, liaises with law enforcement, and assists with anti-piracy litigation. Believe it or not, I have experience with just this type of thing.  I have enforced trademark rights for clients in federal court. In other words: I’m your huckleberry. 

– Handles production-related issues for the Company’s Production Department and for programming produced by outside companies, including production services agreements, rights clearance, waivers, releases and related documentation. OK, more paperwork.  BRING IT! And if there are other ‘issues’ I’ll use other powers of persuasion. 

– Together with Chief Legal Officer, other in-house attorneys and outside counsel, provides general legal oversight and advice for all legal matters, including pursuit and avoidance of claims and potential litigation. Well now this might be a little more work.  I may have to negotiate a higher starting salary based on this.  From glancing at the headlines, it looks like there is some litigation already, and possibly more to come.  I realize that is just the cost of doing business nowadays.  And besides, that’s what I call job security!  WINNING!

– Assists in matters of due diligence and document review and preparation for major transactions. I am a super review nerd.  I actually read things.  That is truly rare these days. Seriously.  It’s hard enough to find someone who reads The Chronicles, and this stuff is jam-packed with brilliance!

– Assists in other transactions, general corporate governance matters, Human Resources, and international expansion.  Hey, I speak at least 3 different languages.  Who better to assist with international expansion? Plus I am charismatic and a captivating speaker.  In fact, I recently won ‘best male actor’ by playing Tinkerbell in a somewhat revised version of Peter Pan.  

– Provides legal research in all requested areas.  WestLaw and Lexis?  Or just one? Did I mention that I was also a Certified Independent Consultant on Time Matters®, the law practice management software application from Lexis? And don’t you have research-nerds for that? What kind of office do you run?  Oh wait, I’m starting to see where this is going…

– Other tasks, projects, and responsibilities as assigned. I am very versatile.  I can handle anything you throw my way.  Heck, as part of my responsibilities for administration of athlete relations, I can even go down and put a beating on fighters who get out of line and say things like “we need a union.”  I’d still beat at least half the roster!  Well, in grappling, anyway.  I’d rather not get hit in the head anymore, especially by heavyweights.

Skills and Experience:

– Juris Doctorate Degree from an accredited law school.  Check.  WINNING!

– Admitted to the bar of at least one state, preferably Nevada, California or New York.  California. WINNING! Does this mean I have a ‘preference?’

– Minimum of seven (7) years of experience in law firm or in-house counsel. I have been licensed since 2008, so that makes… 7! 7 years, at the renowned firm of Wellisch & Associates, where I also acted as in-house counsel for some of the biggest names in the MMA industry (no joke), and thereafter at literally the biggest law firm in the world.  I’m not even kidding.  Which all adds up to… WINNING!

– Five (5) years of experience in sports/entertainment transactions and/or five (5) years of experience in media/content licensing is preferred.  Yeah, sure.  I can make a somewhat plausible argument that I have this.  WINNING!

– Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of contacts, including outside attorneys, senior management, and business associates.  They call me the king of all media… if we use a loose definition of ‘they.’  I speak several languages including (1) fighter, (2) nerd, (3) lawyer, (4) Hungarian, (5) German (ish), and (6) globe trotter.  WINNING!

– Broad, overview experience in intellectual property law, including trademark law, copyright law, licensing of rights, and due diligence.  No joke, I have a concentration in intellectual property law from my esteemed alma mater.  Until now, I thought it was utterly worthless.  How wrong I have been all along!  It proves that I know all about this crap!  WINNING!

– Familiarity with the following areas of law:  labor and employment, sports and entertainment, international and corporate.  Check, check, check, and CHECK! WINNING!

– Experience working with other attorneys and supervising support staff in an in-house role is preferred. Like I said, I am working at the world’s biggest law firm! Sooooo many attorneys.  It is tough to get in here, though.  Only about 6% of applicants get accepted, from what I’ve heard.  And, I have support staff and all that stuff.  It’s true. WINNING!

– Ability to plan, organize and effectively communicate, orally and in writing. Well, I had a plan once, to organize a fighter’s union.  That’s plan and organize in one!  Talk about efficiency.  I did not follow through with it, but I did put some communications out there to see if anything would stick.  I think I was ahead of my time.  But now, even a current champion has spoken out about the need for collective representation for fighters!  So who knows?  Maybe it will happen.  Perhaps my timing was off. But anyway, trust me, I can organize the heck out of things. And the journalistic excellence of the Chronicles speaks for itself as an example of outstanding communication in writing (and sometimes orally).  In other words: WINNING!

– Ability to maintain discretion and confidential information. Oh, I’m sure there are plenty of secrets to be kept. BRING IT!  I have a Secret Clearance!  Top that, Harvard grad applicants!  BOOYAH!  WINNING!

– Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. Hey, I’m an artist! (Really, I can draw neat pictures, when I have the time) Talk about attention to detail! WINNING!

– Excellent working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and ability to learn other basic computer programs. I two echelons above all that.  I have a background in IT. I used to write automation scripts for this stuff.  Seriously, I had scripts do my job and I’d just lock my office and leave. The boss was none the wiser.  But that, as they say, is a story for another Chronicle. How many of the other law-nerd applicants can say that? WINNING!

Zuffa LLC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Well that’s great, but somehow that doesn’t seem to follow with a great deal of continuity.  Just a suggestion.  You might want to put this line elsewhere.

Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:

  1. In which states are you admitted to the bar? CALIFORNIA!
  2. Do you have a minimum of seven (7) years of experience in a law firm or as in-house counsel? Yup. I mean, I can semi-plausibly claim that I do.  And let’s be honest, you also have made some claims that have about the same level of indicia of reliability. 
  3. What experience do you have in sports/entertainment transactions and/or in media/content licensing? Like I said, I used to represent fighters and also fight promoters (I know, sounds like a conflict of interest but it was not in the same matters), and I have also drafted licensing agreements and the like.  Plus, in a former life, I was the subject of such transactions!  Again, find another candidate who can say that. 
  4. What specifically interests you about this position?  FINALLY!  A chance for me to REALLY distinguish myself from the rest of the applicants and their cookie-cutter answers.

Dude, I WAS a fighter!  In the Octagon!  Not just one of those guys who fights at the fair and claims to be a UFC fighter.  No, I was in the actual UFC, as in the company offering the job to which I am now applying.  I grant you that I was never a main-event guy.  More like an undercard/prelim fighter not likely to be remembered by anyone but the biggest of fight nerds.  But at least I fought honestly, and what’s more, I did it WHILE I was going through law school!  Now how many of your applicants bring that kind of experience to the table?  I bet none of them earned their J.D.’s while learning the ways of the cage in the school of hard knocks, right? For that matter, how many of your fighters have such a resume?  I bet I am unique, at least in that regard.  Or wasn’t there another guy?  Well, anyway… there is one more reason why you should hire me.

It seems to me that there is more and more discontent among fighters bubbling to the surface.  One of your current champions is talking about the need for a union, and just last year there was a class action lawsuit filed against the UFC involving some former fighters who were big names. With a public image that seems to be somewhat tarnished by such things, wouldn’t you rather have me on YOUR side than as just another mouthpiece for agendas with which you disagree? In the world of IT startups this is done all the time: eliminate the competition by buying them out.  So, wouldn’t it be better to HIRE me instead? I know my humble public forum poses not much of a threat to the media machine of the UFC, but by putting me on your payroll you might be able to harness my creative energy for your benefit!  Completely, and enforceable via non-competition, nondisclosure, and non-disparagement clauses in my employment contract!  I think you will find a humble salary of $145,000 per annum a small price to pay for the benefit of my genius in the service of your agenda as my new corporate overlord.

In sum, I believe I have made what amounts to an offer that cannot easily be refused.  So now, loyal Chronicle reader, let me know if I should submit my job application to the UFC!  It sure looks like there will be plenty of work for an attorney!

We look forward to your letters.

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One comment on “Heading back to the UFC!

  1. cmachan
    June 5, 2015

    Definitely! Make us proud here in Hungary Hungarian Nightmare! 😉

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This entry was posted on June 5, 2015 by in The Chronicles and tagged , , , , , , .