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Opinion: Somesh Kamra writes his experience of working with the UFC

Somesh Kamra
21 June 2020

The UFC has been in the middle of some controversies lately. A string of UFC fighters has opened up about some of their ill-experiences with the promotion while some fighters like Chael Sonnen has come out to defend the promotion. Here’s Superhuman Gym Founder Somesh Kamra detailing his experience of working with the UFC and his take on the all the recent news headlines.

My views are pertaining to the recent allegations starting with Jon Jones, then Jorge Masvidal to now EX-UFC fighters like Eddie Alvarez and most recently Brendan Schaub.

It all seems like a bunch of fighters that don't like or didn't like the UFC; coming together trying to create a stir or giving their personal experiences.

The truth is that nobody is happy with the monies they make… not even Conor McGregor. Everybody wants more! That’s human nature.

I'm sure most MMA and UFC fans may have tuned in and must be aware of what's happening on this front.

This article is my personal experience with the UFC and relation with them. I feel people do need to hear the other side too.

My communication with the UFC started in 2013 with the aim to identify and groom talent from India. Those were the days when Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta were the owners of Zuffa LLC. Lorenzo, in particular, was very sharp-minded and extremely gung-ho on the Indian market. That enthusiasm rubbed off on Dana White and he too was very optimistic. The UFC had even announced TUF India.

I had flown down to their headquarters in 2013 at Las Vegas to discuss India and the entire top bracket of the UFC were there waiting to discuss and brainstorm. That was overwhelming for a 28-year-old MMA enthusiast. I didn't expect all of them to be there.

Not only was the UFC very eager about India, they heard me, made notes, discussed every aspect in detail and took me for the entire tour of how things worked and what they expected from me. I never expected this billion-dollar global company to treat me with such importance.

That evening they made me meet the fighters and sat me right in the front row of the ceremonial weigh-ins. It was a surreal experience.

Next morning I had to sit with Sean Shelby and Joe Silva for breakfast to discuss talent in India.

Sean and Joe were like an inseparable, super talented, extremely enthusiastic pair that had the spark of youngsters in them. We spoke about talent spotting, training, weight cuts, challenges faced and everything under the sun about fighters. Their knowledge was gold for me.

I just sat and heard them through breakfast and came out a newly informed person. Not to forget, it's the first time UFC are hosting me on their home soil.

That evening they took me earlier to MGM Grand for UFC 160 where I had to meet Dana.

I now know why the UFC is where they are. Dana was like a kid on turbocharging. We discussed India, the future of UFC and the plans for India.

I couldn't believe Dana White himself talking to me about India. The moment was unreal.

From 2013, I’ve had to visit once a year to Las Vegas and I discuss India with the top bracket of the UFC. They toured me on the Performance Institute, their new office and kept me updated with everything I needed to know.

Besides, the people may not know that UFC provide the highest average fight monies in MMA. A rookie makes 3 times more than other promotions. It is up to his/her talent that takes them ahead of the curve.

My dealings with the UFC have been completely transparent and they've always made an effort to keep me comfortable while staying focussed on developing the sport and newer markets.

I do understand some fighters or ex-employees may feel a pinch or burn about monies or fights. Everybody has the right to negotiate, undoubtedly. But the UFC has never been an unethical organization.

They have always lived up to their promises and sometimes gone out if the way to do more.

People always compare the UFC money to Boxing or NBA monies. But they don't realize the business model of UFC is very different to that of Boxing or NBA.

The UFC produces their own events, fly the entire staff globally, have in-house marketing and sales teams etc. It's a huge recurring cost they have to bear on a weekly basis. And that's just one-off vertical I'm speaking about.

The UFC has the highest purse values across all MMA promotions.

The UFC has built stars like no other MMA promotion... And the list goes on.

About the Author:

Somesh Kamra is a professional mixed martial artist specializing in Muay Thai. Somesh has designed many effective training programs for Superhuman Gym and the Police Academy. His knowledge of hand to hand combat is unbeaten and has been a success story for many students. Somesh Kamra is educated from the University of Golds Gym in the field of physical fitness that includes strength training, plyometrics & cardiovascular training for muscular conditioning. 

Somesh works closely with the UFC for India and serves as the panellist for the TV Show – The Ultimate Guide to UFC and Pit Stop on Sony Sports Network. 

Also Read: Martial Arts Belt Scams in India and why people run behind it ft. Jitendra Khare


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