It’s been apparent over the last few weeks that all is not well between Zuffa and the Dutch management team and fight camp ‘Golden Glory’ with a string of their fighters including Alistair Overeem, Marloes Coenen, Jon Olav Einemo and Valentijn Overeem being ejected from Strikeforce and the UFC.
Today after the UFC 133 pre-fight press conference UFC president Dana White finally spoke out on the real issues that lie at the heart of the fallout. According to him the problem lies with Golden Glory’s insistence that Zuffa pay them their fighters money rather than give it to the fighter directly.
“We don’t want that,” MMAJunkie quotes White has having said. “It’s not the way we do business. It’s not how it works in the U.S. You don’t pay the manager and the manager pays the fighter. You pay the fighter, and the fighter pays the manager.”
Furthermore he claims that it’s the team’s insistence on this that’s lead to the fighters being cut rather than any personal issues with the fighters themselves.
“The reality is we were trying to work out new deals with these guys, and they won’t do it. They said, ‘You absolutely can’t pay the fighters.’ Like I said, it’s pretty simple. Looking back, the last guy that fought in the UFC was Semmy Schilt that was a Golden Glory guy. There’s a reason for that.”
So it’s clear that this is indeed a very messy situation behind the scenes, and sadly it’s the fighters who are caught up in the crossfire.
The only man left standing now is Sergei Kharitonov who is represented by Golden Glory but remains in the Strikeforce heavyweight GP. His saving grace is that he hasn’t lost a fight yet. A clause in the fighters contracts allows Zuffa to fire them if they lose a fight which is how the likes of Coenen and Einemo were released.
The indication however is that if Kharitonov loses his fight with Josh Barnett next month then he too will suffer the same fate as his fellow Golden Glory fighters.