In the world of artistry, it’s not uncommon for creatives to encounter business proposals that essentially ask them to work for free in exchange for “exposure.” This practice has become a notorious trope, particularly in the field of web design. However, what’s surprising is that this trend has seeped into unexpected territory – the realm of jiu-jitsu streaming giant, Flograppling.
Flograppling has maintained a somewhat tumultuous relationship with the community over the years, marked by various controversies. While they’ve faced criticism from anonymous detractors, they’ve managed to avoid upsetting top-tier talents – until recently.
One pivotal incident involving Flograppling’s higher-ups was a dispute with renowned grappler Gordon Ryan. Ryan’s vocal dissatisfaction led to the removal of the previous editor after a contentious situation where Flograppling insisted on featuring a match between Pena and Ryan less than 24 hours after the tragic passing of Leandro Lo, a close friend of Pena’s.
However, the crisis eventually subsided. What no one foresaw was that another prominent figure, Craig Jones, would leverage his star power to castigate the promoter for their treatment of Nicky Ryan.
In a video shared on his social media channels, Jones shed light on the matter:
“A professional grappler would assume that working with FloGrappling would be an excellent business opportunity. However, here’s a recent scenario: ‘Hey, Nicky Ryan, would you like to travel all the way to Houston at your own expense? Stay overnight and host a meet and greet with fans for free.’ Oh, that sounds fantastic.”
“I’d love to do that for the fans. Can I at least get a hotel room? FloGrappling: No, you can’t have a hotel room. That’s what doing business with FloGrappling looks like. Here’s another one. FloGrappling: Hey, can we visit your gym? Can we film your content? Can we conduct interviews with your athletes? Can we post it on our channel? Can we hide it behind our paywall? And, you know what you get? Not even a hotel room.”
This situation might be less disconcerting if Flograppling were genuinely focused on promoting the sport. However, the meet and greet they requested Ryan to participate in appears to be connected to their latest venture – a “digital collectible” known as “not an NFT.” Recently, Flograppling unveiled this offering, which involves payments in the cryptocurrency of their sponsor, Tezos.
These digital collectibles, akin to NFTs (non-fungible tokens), are sold in packs of three for $5 or an equivalent amount in Tezos (XTZ). It’s worth noting that this essentially mirrors the concept of NFTs, despite the attempt to distance themselves from the term.