Luta Elite MMA CEO Mercedes White can truly say she knows what its like to be a fighter. She has competed at Tuff-n-uff MMA and still trains with her team in Tuscan, AZ. She currently manages Tuff-n-uff title holder Brenna Larkin and XFC signee Cortney Casey.
You can contact her by going to Lutaelitemma.com.
Wombat Sports: Can you tell us a little about yourself? How long you have been a manager, background in the business, some of your clients, ect…..
Mercedes White: I started in the business as a ring girl and fell in love almost immediately. From there I started helping with promotions. I then decided to go to massage school to be able to work on athletes. I became an LMT and started working as the organization therapist for a local promotion. Continued to help with promotions to find sponsors and then was asked by fighters for help. I Started Luta Elite MMA April 2011 picking up Local talent from my home gym. Fighters like Anthony Birchak and Freddie Lux to start off with then picked up Cortney Casey and James Sziszak and another amazing female Brenna Larkin. Not to mention I fight as well.
Wombat: What, in your opinion, does a manger do?
White: Manager books fights and negotiates contracts. Obtain sponsors. Book appearances and interviews. Handles all details of fights to leave just the training and fighting up to the fighter. Almost to an extent of a super personal assistant. I cut weight with my fighters talk to them on a daily basis and have a what I consider a family environment for the team.
W.S.: What are three qualities you like to see in a potential client?
M.W.: Good work ethic- Wow Factor (marketability)- Fit in with team dynamic I will not sign a fighter that I personally do not feel will fit in the team.
W.S.: What are three qualities you feel make a great manager?
M.W.: Passion versatility and Drive
W.S.: Many fighters have stated that they have bad experiences with managers and have simply done a lot of the duties of a manager themselves. Why should they reconsider getting manager?
M.W.: Honestly I can’t say why they should reconsider because I have seen first hand from my fiances previous manager how they can leave a terrible taste in a persons mouth. I personally do not run my company from a manger point of view. I run it from a Fighter POV and that is why I don’t run out and sign fifteen fighters I wanted to create a different environment. Really create a company that is tailored to the fighters needs.
W.S.: Female fighters in general have more demands than males. What specifically qualifies you to manager female fighters?
M.W.: First of all in my opinion my female fighters are way easier then my males. I just may have gotten lucky with dealing with some great girls thought. What makes me qualified to manage females well I am one first off and I fight as well. The girls I manage are my training partners as well. We are very close fight family.
W.S.: What is your ethical responsibilities as a manger? Are you willing to put it in writing?
M.S.: Treat your clients like family, it is our duty as managers to protect our clients.
W.S.: What are your expectations in a client?
M.W.: My expectations from my clients is strong work ethic. They only need to train and fight. Make weight like a professional and hold themselves in a professional manner at all times. They need to be active via their social media as it has set us apart at times from others and has created a strong relationship with our sponsors.
W.S.: What is your philosophy when it comes to how many clients you have?
M.W.: I want a small pond that I can provide a lot of personal attention to. I like being able to talk to them or see them on a daily basis. I don’t want so many clients that I end up ignoring some because others are “bigger”. I saw that happen a lot with other managers they would focus on their star and leave everyone else to fend for themselves or take left overs.
W.S.: Is there anything you want to add?
M.W.: I am very blessed with an amazing team. We are a fight family and actual team working and training together. Look forward to what growth this year will bring to everyone and the company.