Dominick Cruz plays down importance of MMA manager: ‘The UFC dictates sponsors and contracts’

Dominick Cruz
Mandatory Credit: Zuffa LLC

Former UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz has played down the importance of managers, agents, and representatives in mixed martial arts – particularly for fighters under the UFC banner, claiming the promotion holds most of the cards regardless – especially with sponsorship opportunities. 

Cruz, a former two-time undisputed bantamweight champion under the organization’s scrutiny, is slated to return to the Octagon this weekend – headlining UFC Fight Night San Diego against the surging Ecuadorian finisher, Marlon Vera. 

In the midst of an impressive two-fight winning spree, Cruz bested Casey Kenney with a close, split decision last year – before handing Pedro Munhoz a unanimous judging loss in the featured preliminary card of UFC 269 back in December of last year. 

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Dominick Cruz questions what role managers in mixed martial arts play

Slated to return this weekend in a hometown matchup, Cruz shared his thoughts on the importance of representation and managers for fighters competing under the UFC banner. And admits that they’re not entirely imperative beyond initial negotiations.

“I think in the UFC, we’re signed to a six-fight contract, are we not – or a four-fight contract, usually,” Dominick Cruz said on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. “So, why would I pay somebody (a manager) for four fights, when it’s set (the contract) after one (fight)? That doesn’t make sense to me.”

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“And on top of that, how are managers supposed to bring in sponsors when the UFC dictates the sponsors?” Dominick Cruz continued. “So now UFC dictates the sponsors, and UFC dictates the contract, so what is a manager actually doing?… But in the UFC, how many sponsors are even allowed in the UFC? Very few – and they’re already decided by the UFC. So the UFC sponsors who they want, and the UFC makes the contracts. … It doesn’t make sense to me.” 

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Twice clinching the undisputed bantamweight title, in a triumphant return from a slew of hampering injuries, Cruz defeated fellow former titleholder, T.J. Dillashaw in the main event of UFC Fight Night Boston back in January 2016.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.