clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tara LaRosa and Jessamyn Duke allege MMA manager misconduct, physical abuse and harassment

Women's mixed martial arts (MMA) veterans Tara LaRosa and Jessamyn Duke are speaking out about a manager, Brett Atchley of Addison Sports Management and Media, who allegedly has a long history of mistreating female clients.

Photo courtesy of Invicta FC

Here's a name you may or may not have heard of in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA):

Brett Atchley.

Atchley, President of Addison Sports Management and Media, focuses on managing the careers of female MMA athletes, including fighters such as Jessamyn Duke, Elaina Maxwell and transgender competitor Fallon Fox, among others.

Over the weekend, Invicta CEO Shannon Knapp took to her Facebook page to warn fighters to stay away from a "shady manager" who was using her name and intimidation tactics to make them sign on the dotted line for his managerial services. Knapp refused to single out the individual by name.

However, a few days later, longtime women's MMA veteran Tara LaRosa took the opportunity to name Atchley as a manager who has a history of using aggressive -- and sometimes physical -- tactics to achieve his business goals. And it's the primary reason she rebuffed Atchley's incessant advances to join his client roster.

She posted this message on an MMA page on Facebook (via Bloody Elbow):

Brett Atchley. There it is. BRETT ATCHLEY. This man tried to have me "blackballed" from Invicta FC and Strikeforce over a year ago. He physically accosted me at the Invicta FC 3 show, and in the Seattle airport afterward. I have proof, I have witnesses, I have lawyers, a powerful manager, and a team who stands behind me ... Brett Atchley, you have nothing. You cannot hurt me, you cannot sue me, you have no power over me whatsoever. I have no reservations about standing against you to protect others. You cannot hurt them any more.

Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow reached out to LaRosa and received further disturbing details of Atchley's past antics, including her first encounter with when he tried to lure her onto his client list:

"Jessamyn was patched up like NASCAR. She had like ALL these sponsors all over her stuff. Her shorts and her rash guard ... everywhere. I was like 'wow, Jesus, what is she getting for that?' and he said 'yeah, I got her about seven or eight thousand dollars worth of sponsors.' And she'd just been amateur. You know? And he was really talking it up, 'I got this person this and I help out that person' you know? Big time. I just blew it off. Like, must be nice. But, I just blew it off. So after the show, he would contact me and chat me up on Facebook and text and Twitter and all these things. He asked about management, he offered to manage me, get me sponsors and everything. I said 'No, I'm with Monte Cox. That's my manager. But, thanks anyway.'"

LaRosa then detailed a physical confrontation she had with Atchley after she turned him down at an Invicta event:

"At Invicta, I was coming down the elevator and into the lobby to go out and cut weight. Everybody was standing around in a group just chatting in the lobby, and I stopped by to say 'hi' to everyone. And he grabbed me by the sweater and said 'What's this? Where are all your sponsors? How's that management working out for you?' and all this rude stuff. And, before I could do anything, Ivan pulled me away from him. He just looked like an ass, I'm not sure what his intentions were there. Later, when I was flying home, I was flying back to Seattle. I guess Brett was on the same flight as me, I didn't even realize it. I was walking to my truck and he comes up behind me and beside me, and he grabs my bags, and he tries to carry them or tries to help or whatever. I told him to get away from me and stay away from me, and I pulled my stuff away from him, and he got all belligerent and stupid. I'm sure there's tape on the Seattle airport security cameras."

Now, LaRosa wants to make sure she does her part to protect other fighters from Atchley:

"I'm not afraid of this guy. He's an idiot. I don't know why everybody is. Yeah, he threatens to sue you for slander, defamation of character, libel, whatever. He can go fuck himself. He is not gonna sue shit. I've been around for a long ass time. This guy is nobody. He's not going to ruin my career, and I'm not going to let this guy do the same shit to other people. There was nobody to look out for me back then. Nobody knew. So if, I can help somehow.... I'm sorry I didn't say anything earlier. It's weird. It's like some Harry Potter situation. Like everybody's afraid to say Voldemort's name. What the hell? He's Brett Atchley! He's fuckin' nobody! What's he gonna do to you? Cast a spell?"

Duke, who was previously under the management of Atchley, also noticed some questionable behavior from him, including a "serious drinking problem." She revealed that Atchley went as far as getting physical with her mother in a hotel lobby and one of her opponents after a fight.

Furthermore, Duke says Atchley tried to convince her not to try out for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 by "illegally" showing her current UFC bantamweight contender Alexis Davis' contract in an attempt to prove to her that once you sign with ZUFFA, "they'll own your soul."

If that wasn't bad enough, Duke also spilled the beans that one of her female friends disclosed to her that Atchley sexually harassed her.

Atchley had this to say in his defense:

It has been brought to my attention that someone in the women's MMA community is making slanderous accusations against me and seeking out athletes to confirm such accusations. I take these types of accusations very seriously even though they are unfounded, and I am currently exploring my legal options to defend my name and reputation. I will also do what is necessary to legally put an end to these individuals gossiping and creating situations that simply do not exist. I would like to publicly thank the athletes I currently represent for not buying into the gossip and lies being spread by these individuals and being professionals.

To read all of the stories and details of Atchley's "habitual lies" and his beef with former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender Ivan Salaverry click here.

Drinking, lies and physical abuse ... not all press is good press.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania