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Wednesday, Sep 28, 2011

Following MMA Agents Acquisition, Paradigm Plans To Bring “Unmatched” Service To MMA Fighters

Audie Attar, founder and president of Paradigm Sports Management. Photo Credit: Paradigm Sports Management

By Joshua Molina

In one of the most important mixed martial arts business deals in the last year, Paradigm Sports Management acquired the client roster of MMA Agents.

Paradigm is a sports management firm that represents clients in the NFL and Major League Baseball. The acquisition deal means that Paradigm will now also manage more than 50 MMA fighters, who compete in several different promotions.

Paradigm’s entrance into the MMA business is yet another testimony to the sport’s aggressive growth.

“We’re going to bring a service that is unmatched in this industry,” Audie Attar, founder and president of Paradigm, told Full Contact Fighter. “MMA is on the rise and (is) the fastest-growing sport in the world, and the management firms need to go along with that.”

Paradigm will represent fighters in the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator and various regional MMA promotions. Attar declined to reveal the financial terms of the acquisition.

Ken Pavia, the former owner of MMA agents, will stay on as a consultant for Paradigm, for a temporary period of time, and will be given duties, “particularly in the area of booking (fights for) our roster,” Attar said.

Pavia was also just hired as Director of Business Development for Takedown Fight Media.  In this role, he will be responsible for creating strategic partnerships amongst MMA fight promoters, sponsors and global suppliers.

“Ken has done an unprecedented job of building MMA agents into an industry leader but, to his credit, (he also) recognized the limits of what he could do for these clients,” Attar said. “This transaction affords the clients all the services they were formerly provided and also those that are (made) available by a mainstream sports agency. That, coupled with a once in a lifetime opportunity with Takedown Media, was an opportunity Ken couldn’t pass up.”

Paradigm will represent fighters in all aspects of the fight business, from fight purse and matchup negotiations to legal support.

Attar grew up up a boxing and MMA fan. He remembers watching the first three UFCs and falling in love with the sport.

An athlete himself, Attar was an All-American high school football player and a safety/linebacker at UCLA. He went on to get a master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University.

Attar said he has great respect for the UFC and Joe Silva, the promotion’s matchmaker and vice president of talent relations, but also made it clear that fighters require strong representation.

“The UFC has helped grow the sport to where it is at today,” Attar said.
He said that it is important for Paradigm to have an open and effective line of communication with UFC and the other promotions it works with. Fighters, he said, must have skilled negotiators working on their behalf.

“You have to have facts to substantiate any position you are trying to push,” Attar said.

Since UFC purchased Strikeforce earlier in the year, critics have become increasingly concerned that UFC holds a monopoly on the sport. With few big league options to fight, the UFC essentially has more power when negotiating contracts with fighters. Paradigm hopes to work within that framework and advocate for the fighters.

“UFC has been a catalyst for the growth of the sport,” Attar said, “but evolution goes on forever. This sport continues to grow and I am honored to be a part of it. The state of the sport is positive. Can it be better? Of course. But we all can be better.”

Amongst its staff members, Paradigm boasts experts in football and baseball, but Attar said he has hired attorneys and other experts with specific experience in MMA.

posted by FCF Staff @ 4:48 pm
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