We all know what a jerk and a meanie Dana White was to Randy Couture, and now we get to find out that Gareb and Kurt from the IFL aren’t all sunshine and lollypops either. I don’t want to sound all Zach Arnold doom and gloom, but this has not been a good week to run a mixed martial arts organization.
So you all remember that the IFL ditched two of the only fighters people gave a fuck about for their dumb grand prix, right? Right. Well, the story gets even better! The general gist of it was the IFL tried to blackmail agent Monte Cox into re-signing Ben Rothwell by threatening to drop Jay Hieron and Mike Whitehead. I gotta hand it to the IFL – this was some serious hardball, and perhaps if anyone actually gave a shit about the IFL Grand Prix it might have worked. But I’m pretty sure Ben Rothwell is more interested in making more than 20k a fight, and it’s not like Monte Cox doesn’t have bookings falling out his ass for his guys. So yeah … no dice.
A big favorite of most people talking about this story is the fact that the IFL tried to get Jay Hieron to sign a contract in the back seat of a car:
Then the next day Keith Evans calls Hieron and tells him they need to meet. So they go meet and drive off and Hieron calls me and says, “You’re not going to believe this. I just went for a ride with the IFL and they tried to get me to sign a contract in the back of their car. They said that ‘Monte wasn’t doing a good job and he’s not handling things properly and you need to sign this thing and you need to do it now.'”
Hieron said “I’m not doing anything without my manager” and he didn’t do it. Then he called me. I’m like, what is the IFL, is this the Sopranos now? So I had them FAX me the contract and I looked at the contract. It was the same contract I had already approved. I already said we’d do this. So I went “Jay, it’s a good contract. I’d sign it.” So Jay signed the contract.
The car thing is amusing I suppose, but my favorite part of all this is how lame the IFL are at being bad guys. First off, the whole threat to Monte was that Hieron wouldn’t get to fight in the Grand Prix if Rothwell didn’t sign. So if that’s the leverage, why the fuck did they try to sneak around and sign Hieron on their own? And with the same contract Monte already agreed to! Are these guys retarded?
This is pretty shitty for the IFL because even though we all knew they were stupid and going bust, at least we thought they were the nice guys. I’ve rooted for them over the past year like I rooted for that kid with down’s syndrome who tried to run that marathon. Sure he didn’t make it more than half a click before pissing his track pants, but damn if he wasn’t kind and gentle and all that shit. Now the secret is out of the bag: when push comes to shove, the IFL is just as evil as the UFC. They’re just a lot worse at it.