It looks like there may still be a glimmer of hope remaining for fans of fighters out of Holland’s Golden Glory gym, including Marloes Coenen and Alistair Overeem, in terms of smoothing recent issues over with Zuffa and returning to MMA’s biggest stages – Strikeforce and the UFC.
According to an official statement from Golden Glory executive Bas Boon, the regrettable release of their athletes was the result of preexisting agreements with Strikeforce prior to Zuffa’s purchase of the organization and possibly some miscommunication as well.
“The problem with Strikeforce was that we made some agreements with Scott (Coker) which were creating headaches now Zuffa took over. The fighters were paid in the previous Strikeforce bouts to an account of the management without any problems, yet UFC claimed this was impossible,” Boon explained while also adding that the only reason his group requested payment directly to management was as a means of ensuring their fighters, trainers, and coaches were all paid on time rather than dealing with taxes, exchange rates, or the amount of time checks issued from foreign countries take to clear.
Citing the deal the management team made with the UFC in relation to Jon Olav Einemo as far as their willingness to be flexible on their standard style of payment, Boon wrote, “We did not have a choice and never said we would not fight in the future or that we would refuse to work like this in the future (we worked out that problem with the Zuffa lawyer in the Vancouver and even agreed with their new sponsor policies).”
In closing, the long-time fight promoter expressed his desire to work things out with Zuffa and had no qualms about signing the necessary contracts to do so.
“We would like to keep working in the future with the UFC and with this statement I clearly say that direct payment to any of our fighters was not a problem and will not be a problem in the future. We just want to be able to produce great fighters and create great fights for the fans. We have no intention for co-promotion deals and are even willing to make an exclusive deal for Alistair Overeem to fight in the UFC, if the terms are right.”
Read below for a complete transcript of the Golden Glory press release:
“First of all we would like to thank all the support of the fans.
The Golden Glory management discussed before coming to the US about the payment situation and it was agreed to speak with a Zuffa lawyer about this in Vancouver, to find a solution.
There was a contract in place and Golden Glory and (Jon) Einemo honored the UFC rules including getting the check on the fighters name (Einemo showed his check in the gym as well which was on his name and Alistair and Valentijn also confirmed their payment was done by check in their name). The Zuffa lawyer explained that the fighters could open an account at a bank were the UFC did their banking and the check would clear in only two days instead of 6 weeks till 8 weeks (that’s how long it takes to clear a check in a foreign country which was also an issue for some of the fighters) and they could then transfer the amount to the final destination at their choice. They were thankful and did this.
The reason that the Golden Glory management company is doing this business for the GG fighters for over 12 years with payment directly to the management company is for the benefit of the fighters, coaches and trainers are paid on time and the management company will take care of bookkeeper and taxes and exchange rates and legal help for the fighters.
We have many fighters from many different parts of the world and also have gyms in Germany, England, Thailand, California, Romania, Russia, and three gyms in Holland. Golden Glory is growing on an international level and we are working with one management company to coordinate these businesses.
Fighters only sign agreements with promoters if coaches, trainers, management and the fighter agree with the terms, regardless to whom the payment will be done.
The Strikeforce situation was different.
Behind the scene I was preparing a great deal for corporation between Strikeforce, DREAM, K-1 and Glory to do something great together with Scott Coker (this included a TV channel and footage deal). I introduced Scott thru a partner of mine in LA to some powerful people in the US (Scott was very surprised after this meeting and exited and mailed me after his meeting with these people how impressed he was). I never could have guessed that at the same moment I was talking to Scott to make a massive move for becoming a real competitor to the UFC, Scott was already talking with the same UFC for selling Strikeforce.
Scott told me that he had partners and that there were financial difficulties with Strikeforce and any new TV or other deal they would welcome. As I am a producer as well (produced more then 1000 hour of fighting content) and also made tons of other deals for promoters (like the K-1 live broadcasting on the Dutch TV Channel SBS6) I trusted Scott with some business plans as I knew Scott from the time he was a promoter for K-1 and we all wanted to move forward in the fight business.
Scott convinced me to start working with Strikeforce, we always had a better deal in Japan and Europe, but as K-1 was having a lot of difficulties and Scott giving us all the terms we wanted, we started taking steps to do more and more business with Strikeforce.
The problem with Strikeforce was that we made some agreements with Scott which were creating headaches now Zuffa took over.
The fighters were paid in the previous Strikeforce bouts to an account of the management without any problems, yet UFC claimed this was impossible. Then the fighters were loosing sponsors as the UFC took over Strikeforce as they implemented their new rules. If you can sponsor the fighter you should sponsor the organization first. I understand this from a business point of few, but some companies can’t effort to pay 100K or more to an organization. And some fighters getting 5 or 10K in sponsorship is where they actually can make some good money. We just wanted the things as they were before, but it was far from what it was before. The payment was done how the UFC wanted and again we agreed and did the same as in Vancouver, so that matter was solved, so I do not understand why Dana claims we did not agree? We did not have a choice and never said we would not fight in the future or that we would refuse to work like this in the future (we worked out that problem with the Zuffa lawyer in the Vancouver and even agreed with their new sponsor policies). Maybe there is a miscommunication and Dana was not well informed that the direct payment issue was solved and no longer an issue as I myself have been in and out hospital for two weeks because of heath issues (the reason why this press release is so late).
Anyway we regret the response from Zuffa and the releases, but it is their company and they can do what they want, we would like to keep working in the future with the UFC and with this statement I clearly say that direct payment to any of our fighter was not a problem and will not be a problem in the future. We just want to be able to produce great fighters and create great fights for the fans. We have no intention for co-promotion deals and are even willing to make an exclusive deal for Alistair Overeem to fight in the UFC, if the terms are right.”
PHOTO CREDIT – STRIKEFORCE/GOLDEN GLORY