I legitimately thought Hans Molenkamp was that shriveled old dude on The Simpsons, but Google tells me no, it’s actually an “entrepreneur” and “brand building aficionado” affiliated with Monster Energy, one of the biggest sponsors of UFC.
Molenkamp was called out by former bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz after “The Dominator” outpointed Casey Kenney as part of the UFC 259 pay-per-view (PPV) event last Sat. night (March 6) at APEX in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Cruz claims Molenkamp used his position at Monster Energy — as well as his influence behind the distribution of sponsorship money — to gain favor with UFC fighters, or to pressure them into sharing their shine for his own personal benefit.
“When you try to force me, and you text me, if I don’t comment on your page or if I don’t give you an interview, that you’re going to take what pays my bills ... what are we doing?” Cruz said at the UFC 259 post-fight press conference. “Monster sponsors me, not you.”
This tweet did not age well:
This is capitalism in decay, when elite fighter has to do this for a guy he could destroy, for pay pic.twitter.com/FaSBxp4GP6— Liberation Martial Artist (@StuffFromSam) March 9, 2021
Molenkamp’s bro-culture Instagram page is littered with pics of guns, fighters, and tattoos, sort of like a low-rent Dan Bilzerian. Even worse, manager Ali Abdelaziz — no angel himself — accused the “monster of Monster” of “making hall of famers, UFC champions and some [respected] people kiss his ass.”
Monster Energy is taking notice.
“We take any such allegations seriously and are looking into it at this time,” a spokesperson told MMA Fighting.
UFC President Dana White referred to Molenkamp as a “goofy dude” but also reiterated that fighter sponsorship is a “privilege” and that Monster Energy has the right to decide how it distributes its money.
Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of this Cruz kerfuffle.