Asian MMA has been developing at a rapid rate with multiple new organizations such as ONE FC, Legend FC, DARE Championships and Ruff being formed in the last couple of years.
While such rapid growth is great for the fans it has not been without problems as rival promotions compete to sign the same fighters or to put on shows on the same patch of turf.
Trouble erupted yesterday when the Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) issued an extremely strong-worded statement regarding three complaints which have been filed with the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) in the Philippines concerning Legend FC.
The statement is available on the URCC website here or can be read in its entirety after the jump.
URCC Founder Alvin Aguilar, founder of one of Asia’s longest running MMA promotions filed three cases with the Games and Amusement Board against Michael Haskamp and his promotion Legend FC. The cases being filed are regarding:
1.) Illegal and unethical hiring of fighters under contract with the URCC. (It was also noted that they overmatched a poor Filipino fighter from the province who didn’t know any better, to make his own veteran fighters look good.)
2.) Bringing legally registered Professional fighters outside the country without complying with any of the GAB’s requirements. Totally disregarding all of its rules and regulations
3.) Hiring trainers who are blacklisted and unlicensed by the GAB. One trainer he enlisted, Marciano Basas, was denied a fighter and trainer license as he has Hepatitis and a series of other sicknesses that may be passed on.
When asked for comment URCC Founder Alvin Aguilar said: "These foreigners think they can just come in and disregard the rules of our country and take advantage of our countrymen, and our efforts to promote Filipino MMA fighters around the world. Now that Philippine MMA is mainstream because of the URCC’s efforts, all sorts of foreigners are trying to make a quick buck off the efforts of OUR COUNTRYMEN. They even blatantly said that everyone is for sale here in our country. Well I’m sorry to say that we are not and this commission definitely is not for sale. I have personally dealt with them for ten years and they never asked me for a dime! They will learn to respect the rules here, all of the so-called Filipinos that supposedly support them (if any) should be hung up on a tree alongside these foreigners. As the founder of professional mixed martial arts in the Philippines, I am duty bound to protect my fighters and ensure that all the laws regarding and protecting them are followed. We will not standby and let these foreigners take advantage of anyone here. If ever I do meet them they will also learn the true meaning of BAKBAKAN NA!!!!"
If you want to learn more about the role of the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) and its jurisdiction and authority you should visit the website here. To summarize it is a government organization which is is charged with the supervision and regulation of professional sports in the Philippines so the URCC is not, at present, taking Legend FC to court as has been incorrectly reported elsewhere.
The fighter in question is believed to be Augustin Delarmino who Legend FC signed in January (read the announcement here) and had previously fought five times for the URCC. He currently has a 5-1 record, has fought once for Legend FC and was scheduled to fight on the March 30th Legend FC show which was recently moved from Jakarta to Hong Kong.
The missmatch in question is believed to be the fight between Ereneo Galindez from the Philippines and Michael Mortimer from Australia at Legend FC 6 last October. It was Galindez's professional debut and Mortimer, who won by first round submission, had a record of 14-4 at the time.
I would urge anyone to consider the following points when reading and discussing this story:
1 - A person (or organization) is innocent until proven guilty, just because a complaint is made does not necessarily mean it will be upheld.
2 - Legend FC have not had a chance to respond officially to this accusation so only one side of the story has been presented. Well known Filipino journalist Karlo Silverio III Sevilla did obtain the following quote from Mike Haskamp for his article which you can read here:
'We're actually waiting to see what the actual allegations are before we respond. I assume that GAB will be following up with us, and Legend will issue a statement once we've had a chance to review them.
For now, I can only say that we're disappointed that Mr. Aguilar has decided to take this action without speaking with us directly. Legend’s top priorities are fighter safety, fairness, and promoting MMA across the Asia-Pacific region. We have had and always will have fighter well-being and the integrity of the sport as our top priorities.'
3 - The complaint has been filed with the GAB, which is a regulatory body, but it is possible legal action might follow. Please bear this in mind and exercise common sense and caution if you choose to comment on this article.
The URCC was founded in 2002 and has to date put on 41 events, all in the Philippines. It is owned by Alvin Aguilar and Bubbles Aguilar and is headquartered in Manila.
Legend FC was founded in 2010 and has to date put on seven events, all in either Hong Kong or Macau. It is owned by Mike Haskamp and Chris Pollack and is headquartered in Hong Kong.