If you rewind to the mid to late 2000’s, KO Dynasty Management was one of the big players in the MMA world. Mickey Dubberly represented some of the biggest names in the UFC and Bellator. Then in late 2014 the UFC announced Reebok as the exclusive athletic wear provider and the landscape changed. Dubberly knew he wanted to still help fighters, but knew he needed the proper tools to do so.
After going back and getting his series 7, series 63, 215, and getting sponsored by a firm in the finance industry, Dubberly is bringing KO Dynasty back. With a focus of helping fighters build a financially responsible future.
“…I’m Vice President of Investments over at this firm that’s been around for 42 years. We manage billions of dollars. I’ve always been a fan of this sport. I was a sponsor of fighters even before I started my management company. I think I was one of the first sponsors to put my logo on fighters back in 08′ when it was on SPIKE. I was really a fan, I’ve always been a fan of the sport. I just see the train wreck happening. There’s many more fighters that are making so much more money, but there are so many more bad mistakes that are happening..”
There are a lot of managers out there who claim to want that for their fighters. Dubberly is putting his money where his mouth is. Offering to manage fighters for free. Under the condition he can help them manage their investments. Meaning he wouldn’t take a ten to twenty percent management fee. He would simply collect the standard fees on investments. A one time 3% to 5% charge and then an annual .6 to 1.75% portfolio management fee. Meaning fighters keep their full purse and aren’t paying a manger. They are investing with a firm.
“…I’m not going to charge a management fee. I can talk to Mick or Sean and do a four fight, eight fight, twelve fight deal no problem. It’s very easy. They are very professional to deal with. No problem. Done Deal. Good. Now you got all this money that’s going to come in. Now let’s talk about the more important part, of what you are going to do after your fighting (career). Your family. Your finances. Let’s start putting together a plan. Life insurance. Let’s start doing things now so you can put your money away, so you don’t have to come back to the UFC when you’re 55 years old and get knocked out in 20 seconds. I’m trying to do this to set a standard because this is the standard in the NFL. This is the standard in the NBA. This is the standard in Major League Baseball.This is the standard where they have somebody that manages their money as well as negotiates their contract…”
Dubberly understands that it will take a lot of work and some time for people to fully trust and understand what he is trying to bring to the sport. What he is offering what be for everyone and he understands where his services will fit in the marketplace.
“…I’m really just trying to bring this to the elite, top fighters right now. That’s really where this makes sense. What I’m doing, my re-launch, does not make sense for a for a fighter that’s starting out or that’s 5-5. It just doesn’t make sense. This makes sense more for UFC fighters, the top Bellator fighters, and a fighter that gets the call to go up to the next level…”
This idea all stems from Mickey looking to bring legitimacy and professionalism back into the sport that he loves. The current landscape seems to reward bizarre and outlandish behavior, but Mickey believes that these actions will have long-term consequences.
“…Nobody’s going to take this sport serious the way they talk on interviews to each other. The way things are being done with the managers punching fans and fighers throwing things at the buses. People are like laughing and it’s not funny. They are going to lose all their money and it’s like you worked so hard. Now they’re going to look back and be like, ‘Damn. What am I going to do with my life?’ …”
It will be interesting to watch how Dubberly is able to develop his idea over the coming months and years. The option is always available for fighters to stick with their managers and have Mickey just manage their finances. Keeping the door open to work with all fighters. He currently works with several fighters at Antonio McKee’s Body Shop and the fighters who are on board are happy.
It seems like this is a no-brainer for fighters and for the development of the sport as a whole. As Mickey explains, this is how most other professional organizations and athletes operate. MMA has been known to be the exception to the rule. Only time will tell if Dubberly can set the standard he strives for.
Listen to the full interview below and make sure to follow KO Dynasty on Facebook and on Twitter @KODynasty. Any fighters can find Mickey’s phone number and e-mail address at www.KODynasty.com for more information.