As in most cases, there are countless angles to every story. Following the biggest win of his career on Saturday, Matt Mitrione publicly fired his manager, Malki Kawa, for not only doing a piss-poor job of landing him endorsements for UFC 119, but for disrespecting his wifey too. Yesterday, Kawa appeared on the MMA Hour to fill in the gaps that his former client conveniently left out.
“I’m not upset that he got mad that it was only $5,000, but there were certain things I was bringing to the table that would have gotten him at a certain number and he would have been pretty happy had I been able to handle the whole thing A to Z,” Kawa told host Ariel Helwani.
“I’m just mad at the fact that he didn’t give me to the opportunity to explain to him some of the process that has happened and what’s gone down and why his numbers weren’t 10-15,000 but only $5,000.”
According to the controversial manager, he was only able to score “The Ultimate Fighter” alum $5,000 in sponsorship dollars because of the constraints he was forced to operate within. Kawa signed Mitrione four weeks ago under the presumption they would work exclusively together, only to discover that Mitrione had one of his family members already hustling for endorsements.
Kawa said some of the deals Mitrione’s former management committed him to limited their earning potential. However, he estimates that Mitrione took home between $10,000-$15,000 in total sponsorship dollars because of his prior representative’s work with Hitman Fight Gear, a popular clothing brand owned by TapouT.
“Whatever deal [Mitrione's previous management] made [with Hitman], restricted me from doing deals I normally would get done,” Kawa said. “I could have done a lot better but considering the circumstances, this is the best anybody could have done.”
In any regard, business is business and that’s between them. However, what got most of Middle America in an uproar was when “Meathead” accused his former manger of dissing his wife. Kawa claims to have never told Mitrione’s better half that her husband’s deals were none of her business. Although, Kawa was quick to point out the requirement of manager-client privileges.
“She’s his wife, I’m his agent,” Kawa said. “And there are certain things that shouldn’t be crossed.”
UFC stars Thiago Alves, Kenny Florian and MMA’s crown jewel Jon Jones are among some of the fighters Kawa reps.