Talk about kicking a guy while he's down.
Former Bellator lightweight number one contender, Rick Hawn, came up short in his bid to capture the crown at last weekend's (Jan. 17, 2013) mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Spike TV, succumbing to a second-round rear naked choke at the hands of Michael Chandler.
And he didn't just lose the fight.
According to Hawn, he also lost a payday from one of his "main sponsors," who was so disappointed that "Genghis" didn't win, that he put a "stop payment" on his check because "great TV exposure" holds no weight in defeat.
Hawn shares his sponsor's explanation via Twitter:
"At this point, a stop payment has been placed on check which cannot be cashed or deposited now. I will not comment on Rick and his fight. That is not my place. But what I will tell you is this: I took a huge chance with him. TV exposure was great...but it only holds weight if he wins or puts on a good show. Neither happened. At the end of the day...not one sole (sp) will run to [my] store and buy product because they [saw my logo and saw] Rick loose (sp) the fight. I've made it my career and business to know what nets a return on investment for the brand...and this is the number 1 reason why I DO NOT hand out money or product to fighters."
It should be noted that Hawn competed at the 2004 Olympics (Judo) and has a 14-2 record overall, not to mention he was in the main event on Spike TV. And it's not like he was beaten by Joey Bananas, either, as Chandler is one of the top 155 pounders not competing for ZUFFA.
As a result of his pending lawsuit, Hawn was unable to comment or identify the sponsor in question when contacted by MMAmania.com, but we'll be sure to update you on this story as it unfolds.
**UPDATE: Lifestyle brand HTFU has agreed to pay Hawn the sponsorship money he was owed after a "miscommunication," per MMA Fighting:
Gingrich, who was quite emotional when talking about the personal threats he has received from MMA fans since Hawn posted his message Monday, said the last thing he wants people to think is that his brand doesn't support athletes when they fall short. He reiterated that he regrets the miscommunication and wished Hawn the best in his career.
All's well that ends well, I suppose.