In the immortal words of Debbie Harry: Call me!
Despite wrapping up its "Carl vs. Palhares" mixed martial arts (MMA) event last weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada (results), World Series of Fighting (WSOF) in back in the headlines.
But its latest round of fights aren't taking place inside the cage.
It all started when Josh Burkman asked for his WSOF release online, citing issues with his current contract. Fellow UFC veteran Vinny Magalhaes gave him a shoulder to cry on, sneaking in a few barbs in the process. That drew the ire of WSOF Vice President Ali Abdel-Aziz and the f-bombs started dropping on Twitter.
See for yourself:
Then things really got out of control.
Big thanks to MMA Fighting for the screen caps.
Burkman told FanSided the promotion was trying to nickel-and-dime him and that he was standing up for not just himself, but also for the next generation of fighters to follow him.
"I have one fight left on my contract. I'm not very happy with the WSOF and I've asked to be released. I don't feel it's okay for a promotion to disregard a fighter's contract or the fighter's pay off a loss, but then try to fine tooth comb the same contract to hold onto a fighter off of a win. Contracts should be to take care of fighters and promotions. Not for promotions to take advantage of the fighter. I feel I need to stand up against WSOF while I can so it doesn't happen to other fighters on the down side of things."
Abdel-Aziz countered by accusing "The People's Warrior" -- who got treated "like royalty" -- of talking to other promotions like UFC before his contract was up (via Bloody Elbow):
"I find out today, that he contacted the UFC. Every fighter dreams of going to the UFC, and I understand that. Anthony Johnson finished out his contract and asked us to please not match the UFC's offer, so we didn't. We wished him the best of luck, and let him know he will always have a home with us. We will do the same with Josh, when the time comes. He has one more fight left on his contract. I told my partner, ‘He wants to be in the UFC, but he's at least got to beat UFC level talent, and that's Palhares and Fitch."
Not a good look for anyone involved.
The good news is, cooler heads prevailed and Abdel-Aziz later released a tweet informing his followers that he was able to speak with Magalhaes and their beef was "squashed." In addition, Burkman took to his social media account to admit that WSOF was "mostly" good to him during his career, while asking fans to support its mission.
All's well that ends well, right?