If a fighter travels to Australia to compete on a pay-per-view that's being headlined by Ken Shamrock vs. Pedro Rizzo, the chances are pretty good that they did it because they needed the money.
And it the unfortunately case of Impact FC, they may not get it.
Cage Potato reveals that most, if not all of the combatants who participated on the Impact FC fight cards on July 10 (Brisbane) and July 18 (Sydney) are not in receipt of their complete fight purses.
Karo Parisyan, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou and Jesse Taylor have since confirmed the report.
And it may come as a complete shock (not really) that the failure to compensate said fighters stems from a lack of communication/cooperation between the financial backer and the MMA promoter.
First up is Impact FC financial backer Andrew McManus, as he throws promoter Tom Huggins under the bus:
“[Tom] Huggins has run back to Brazil and is uncontactable, whilst I (who never negotiated, contracted or was a party to any deal) have now been left trying to find funds to pay the men whilst all the false promises of sponsorships (never happened) and late gate sales and walk up all turned out to be lies.”
Huggins, naturally, didn't appreciate the accusations (or the tire marks):
“That statement is categorically untrue. I can provide you with the agreement between Andrew and myself, which clearly demonstrates that my responsibility was to procure fighters and make matches for the event within a given budget. The agreement clearly shows that ALL of the financing for the events, including fighter purses, was the responsibility of McManus. That being said, I feel that at the end of the day McManus being the professional that he is will fulfill his obligations and that the fighters will be paid.”
There's much more to the story over at Cage Potato but in the end there is really only one thing that matters: A group of fighters who are trying to make a living traveled to Australia to compete. They held up their end of the bargain and now it's time for someone at Impact FC to hold up theirs.
There's a lot of heat on the UFC for the low pay scale that up-and-coming fighters receive when competing inside the Octagon for the first time. But they can at least rest assured that win or lose, they're still getting paid. That's one of the unspoken benefits of competing under the jurisdiction of a state athletic commission.
Stay tuned for further details to this developing story as they become available.