Spencer Fisher has CTE: The cost of being the king

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Splinty

Shake 'em off
Admin
Dec 31, 2014
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76,714


One email can change the direction of your life.

For the Fisher family, it arrived on Jan. 13, 2017, the day the UFC’s then-chief legal officer informed Emily Fisher that the services of her husband, former UFC lightweight Spencer Fisher, would no longer be needed.

“I’m glad to hear that your family’s holidays were memorable,” it began.

“Regarding Spencer’s independent contractor agreement ending on April 30, 2017, unfortunately the new company is not going to renew the agreement. That decision is nothing personal regarding Spencer, the new company is simply trying to cut costs.

“I know this is not the news you wanted to hear, but please know that we appreciate Spencer’s time with the UFC and we wish him, you and your family all the best.”

Ending Fisher’s contract helped put UFC on track for a planned $6 million reduction in business expenses under new ownership. Only fighters UFC President Dana White liked, guys like UFC Hall of Famers like Chuck Liddell and Matt Hughes, were known to get a deal like Spencer’s
.


Stars like Liddell and Hughes hardly did more than press palms and pose for pictures. On paper, that was Fisher’s job. But he hadn’t done any appearances for awhile. And yet, the $5,000 checks he’d been guaranteed showed up every month. They kept him afloat, and after being evaluated by three medical providers – including two neurologists – as having symptoms consistent with a future diagnosis of CTE, he decided to keep quiet.

Emily, herself a former fighter, had tried to prepare Spencer for the day the money stopped coming. She told him not to depend on the UFC to take care of him forever. The UFC was a business, fighters were a product, and eventually, the well would run dry. Spencer, though, believed White would figure something out, find some way to keep him working, make him useful. As his symptoms worsened, he wrote long texts asking for help, asking what he could do to earn his money, trying to appeal to his boss’s heart.

After the company sold in 2016 for approximately $4 billion, White stopped responding.

This is one of those meandering long form articles that jumps future, present, past, present, etc. It's a little obnoxious because the style is so overdone, but the topic and detail is considerable.

So what do we do as we see more and more CTE? They are independent contractors. But surely an league annuity or insurance or something could find its way to protect the UFC and the fighters.

Right now we are still chewing up and spitting these guys out the meat grinder. And spencer's a fortunate one in that he was given some favoritism (bribe to stay quiet???) for being an OG face of the company.
 

SongExotic2

ATM 3 CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
First 100
Jan 16, 2015
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This is one of those meandering long form articles that jumps future, present, past, present, etc. It's a little obnoxious because the style is so overdone, but the topic and detail is considerable.

So what do we do as we see more and more CTE? They are independent contractors. But surely an league annuity or insurance or something could find its way to protect the UFC and the fighters.

Right now we are still chewing up and spitting these guys out the meat grinder. And spencer's a fortunate one in that he was given some favoritism (bribe to stay quiet???) for being an OG face of the company.
Dang. That's fucked up. I thought the UFC did have insurance. What if someone gets a randleslam on the head and can't walk again in a fight...??
 

Splinty

Shake 'em off
Admin
Dec 31, 2014
37,465
76,714
Dang. That's fucked up. I thought the UFC did have insurance. What if someone gets a randleslam on the head and can't walk again in a fight...??
ACs have insurance minimums related to fight injuries. It is unclear to me the length of time these apply.
You get broken arm, its gets fixed etc.
But, compounded injury? Training injuries?

Any good lawyer would argue that the UFC cannot be responsible for Spencer's CTE as he is an independent contractor and the great majority of his head trauma occurred on his own time doing training. Further the UFC offered fight insurance as per the AC rules and it was never claimed within a reasonable timeline.

Of course its all BS because of the league setup, non competes, etc. that make them not really true independents.
 

SongExotic2

ATM 3 CHAMPION OF THE WORLD
First 100
Jan 16, 2015
19,946
39,516
ACs have insurance minimums related to fight injuries. It is unclear to me the length of time these apply.
You get broken arm, its gets fixed etc.
But, compounded injury? Training injuries?

Any good lawyer would argue that the UFC cannot be responsible for Spencer's CTE as he is an independent contractor and the great majority of his head trauma occurred on his own time doing training. Further the UFC offered fight insurance as per the AC rules and it was never claimed within a reasonable timeline.

Of course its all BS because of the league setup, non competes, etc. that make them not really true independents.
That's what I mean. I know they send fighters to the hospital etc but I don't know about long term. I'm classed as independent so when I went to Belgium I had to take insurance out to cover myself. I have no idea to what extent I was just rushing around ticking boxes. I didn't have to in the UK. It might have been liability insurance in case I broke something expensive.

What happens if Korean zombie paralyzed Garcia in that twister?

I've never really considered this stuff
 

ECC170

Monster's 11,ATM 2,Parlay Challenge,Hero GP Champ
Pro Fighter
Jan 23, 2015
13,689
22,376
Him and Jen's sparring wars are better than any fight you'd ever see on tv.. There article is correct, if you didn't suck it up out at MFS Hughes would tell you to kick mud.. I'm no scientist but I knew the level of sparring and concussions obtained out there wasn't good..our team use to travel out there, stay in a shitty hotel and get beat up but got a ton better.. But I do think their Kill or be killed approach out there def hindered longevity with a lot of guys.. Look at it as your chin Has 9 lives, most the time fighters use those lives up in training and come fight time they're chin doesn't hold up well.. I'm blessed to have not been KOd too bad or many times..My loyalty to Wrestling and using it up avoid Unneeded exchanges def saved me even more concussions.. I've trained in many high level gyms and there's hard sparring at all, some more than others..Lombard one at ATT would flat line ppl if he wasn't too familiar and they pissed him off but overall I liked my little time there ..MFS by far the most brutal.
 
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Robbie Hart

All Biden Voters Are Mindless Sheep
Feb 13, 2015
41,272
43,848
Wasn’t spencer the guy who hit golf balls off the hood of his ex girlfriend’s car?

if So, I have the utmost respect for him on top of fighting
 

RaginCajun

And knowing is half the battle
Oct 25, 2015
22,499
53,792





This is one of those meandering long form articles that jumps future, present, past, present, etc. It's a little obnoxious because the style is so overdone, but the topic and detail is considerable.

So what do we do as we see more and more CTE? They are independent contractors. But surely an league annuity or insurance or something could find its way to protect the UFC and the fighters.

Right now we are still chewing up and spitting these guys out the meat grinder. And spencer's a fortunate one in that he was given some favoritism (bribe to stay quiet???) for being an OG face of the company.
I attempted to this meandering article but gave up.
View: https://giphy.com/gifs/giphyqa-6xqbJ64083lpS
 

Thuglife13

👦🏻🍕🍦🍩🍺
Dec 15, 2018
6,782
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That was a long and tough read. So sad though, especially reading about Gray Maynard breaking down when he saw how bad Spencer was. I can't imagine how hard it is for him and especially his wife. She must feel absolutely hopeless being the hero in their family...
 

kneeblock

Don't it always seem to go
Apr 18, 2015
10,626
19,636
I saw Spencer fight in Atlantic City once before he went to the UFC. Even in that fight he took a ton of damage and was covered in blood by the end. The guy was what we'd call a "warrior" but it had its cost. We criticize fighters so much for playing it safe, but considering their independent contractor status, the fact that they can be cut at any time and emerging evidence on CTE, it's really the smartest way to have a career.
 

ejlarson

I like chicken
Jul 4, 2015
875
1,034
At some point in the future we will have to all admit we know that getting punched in the head repeatedly for decades is bad for you. After that we will have to decide that since everyone knows it, and some choose to do it anyway, that will be on them. We're not there yet, maybe in a few decades.
 

Willthiswork

I'd rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies.
Aug 7, 2015
24,765
40,990
At some point in the future we will have to all admit we know that getting punched in the head repeatedly for decades is bad for you. After that we will have to decide that since everyone knows it, and some choose to do it anyway, that will be on them. We're not there yet, maybe in a few decades.
Yeah.. we just need to see a few hundred more combat athletes struggle and then maybe we'll understand that people will struggle with brain damage after having their brains damaged.