Luke Rockhold has eye opening advice for MMA hopefuls: Find a manager outside of the MMA system

Former Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold has announced his retirement after his spectacular UFC 278 match with Paulo Costa. The match garnered much of the attention and has secured $50,000 bonuses for both Rockhold and Costa.

Rockhold criticized UFC President Dana White and the company in the run-up to the bout. Rockhold tried to give competitors tips for navigating the UFC’s business side.

In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Rockhold shared the advise he would give to MMA hopefuls:

“When you have managers that work for the f**king UFC, they ain’t going to stand up for you when you want that worth, when you want that f**king paycheck. When it really comes down to it, you don’t want just your win, your show, get your f**king worth.”

Rockhold added as he continued:

“Don’t f**king play the system because it’s easy. Don’t sign that last fight contract because it’s easy. Hold out to the f**king end. Put your f**king ba**s on the line.”

The counsel of Luke Rockhold, a former champion and seasoned UFC veteran, ought to be considered valuable by up-and-coming competitors. As the company has become larger and bigger, we have seen many UFC veterans get into financial issues. Even though disagreements over money don’t look good for the UFC, the promotion is still chugging along thanks to producing slightly under a billion per year for its’ parent company, Endeavor.

Prior to UFC 278, Rockhold was soft banned (ie his interview was not posted) on official UFC channel for comments regarding athlete pay. Rockhold revealed that there are managers in the business that will undercut their own athletes which one of the participant in the UFC class action lawsuit went on to confirm.

Luke Rockhold's media day interview was the only main event interview to not get posted on UFC's official channel
Luke Rockhold’s media day interview was the only main event interview to not get posted on UFC’s official channel

“The company is f*cking growing, and they’re implementing other little stupid-ass bonuses – $5,000 here, $5,000 there. $50,000, man? We’ve been stuck on this motherf*cker for 20 f*cking years. I mean, back when GSP was fighting Jake (Shields), I mean, what was it? $100,000? F*cking it was growing.”


Rockhold told CBS Sports:

“The UFC uses these two or three managers, we all know who they are, who have lots of key players in the game and those fighters under their banner will never speak up against the UFC. And that’s the UFC’s monopoly, their mafioso tactic.”

Following these comments, one of the plaintiffs in the certified Class action Lawsuit against the UFC revealed something staggering.

“In the discovery of our UFC lawsuit we found emails from managers to the UFC brass saying their fighters will actually take LESS money than offered all to gain favor with the UFC as a manager that is “easy” to work with.
“Beloved” managers.
I can’t wait for it to be public info.”

Comments from both Quarry and Rockhold point out that there are managers who aren’t honoring their fiduciary duty. A fiduciary duty is the responsibility to act in the best interest of your client.

Helwani tried to press Rockhold to name names following retirement but Rockhold was reluctant.