Back when I started blogging in 2006, a month didn’t seem to go by without some fly by night MMA promotion melting down either before, during or after a show. Add in a bunch of pissed off unpaid fighters, and it made for some pretty interesting Monday morning reading. For a while, things had chilled out. The sport seemed to have weeded out the scammers and gone more legit. But lately it seems like the sketch is returning to MMA in a big way.
There was Impact FC in Australia that imploded after a few shows and left several fighters unpaid. Then there’s the Fury FC promotion in Macau that didn’t just cancel it’s event last-second, it also canceled all the plane tickets home for the fighters, leaving many stranded. Now another foreign promotion, Nemesis Fighting from the Dominican Republic, has screwed over several former UFC fighters by paying with bad checks:
Several former UFC fighters appeared on the card including Keith Jardine, Paul Buentello, Eliot Marshall, and Kerry Schall. MMAWeekly.com confirmed with at least eight of the fighters on the card that while checks were handed out, all of them have bounced.
Coach Mike Winkeljohn, who is a lead coach along with Greg Jackson at Team Jackson/Winkeljohn in New Mexico, spoke about the problems with MMAWeekly Radio on Monday night.
“As far as I know none of the fighters got paid,” said Winkeljohn, who worked with fighters like Keith Jardine and John Dodson on the card. “I believe they all got handed checks, but the checking account bounced those checks. It did not have any money in it, so a lot of fraud involved and it’s real upsetting. It’s a black eye to the sport. They promise these guys one thing and do the other.”
Hopefully this rash of promoter sketchiness will make agents and fighters more wary in the future. Back in the day, you didn’t leave the venue without cash or the promoter’s throat in your hands. Nowadays guys are taking checks and sometimes just good faith that money will magically be transferred into their bank accounts a few weeks after a show. That’s a pretty big assumption to make, especially when dealing with people overseas. I’d sure like to get in touch with the fighter agents that set these deals up. I have several million dollars from the estate my father MAJOR DANIEL MGOUPTEK that I’d like to split with them.