Most managers take a fee for their service, some 10%, some 20%, but now UFC champion Johny Hendricks has a unique arrangement with his management team:
They called it "an educated lottery" and Team Takedown hit the jackpot combination last Saturday when its client, Johny Hendricks, captured the UFC welterweight championship in Dallas.
Team Takedown was a simple, if not ambitious, concept when it launched in March 2007: fund and manage an aspiring fighter's journey from day one all the way up to a UFC title, with a 50-50 split in profits.
"Our thought process was we could take a high-level wrestler and give them a place to live, a car allowance, health and dental insurance, a weekly paycheck so they could train -- and then they'd have a really good shot of getting to the top," said Team Takedown founder Ted Ehrhardt.
Ehrhardt started the management company with his brother Doug and close friend and business partner, Tim McBride. The trio have funded the venture for seven years with revenue from a fire sprinkler company they own together.
In addition to living expenses, Team Takedown also foots for the smaller things, like flying trainers and relatives to fight events. The company also owns the Velociti Fitness gym in Pantego, Texas, providing a homebase for the Team Takedown fighters. All together, Ehrhardt estimates that funding each fighter (and his family) costs the company around $100,000 a year.
Thus far, Team Takedown's seven-year investment has been upwards of $4 million. Ehrhardt said the company breaks even with an individual fighter when the yearly intake from purses, sponsorships and other revenues reaches $200,000. And probably most appealing to the fighter is that he doesn't have to retroactively pay back what Team Takedown invested before it started hitting that profit mark.
Of course, the real profit comes if and when a Team Takedown fighter can win a UFC championship.