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UPDATE: Rick Hawn suing sponsor after loss causes company to cancel check

rick_hawn5Lightweight Rick Hawn saw more than his hopes of hoisting a Bellator championship above his head go out the window last week when he came up short in bid to beat divisional king Michael Chandler at Bellator 85. Hawn, who had gone 14-1 prior to the bout, was never able to implement his gameplan against Chandler and succumbed to a submission in the second round of their rumble.

Were the pain of losing not bad enough, it appears one of Hawn’s sponsors felt slighted by the judoka’s less-than stellar showing and decided to put a “stop payment” on his check. As might be expected, the decision didn’t sit well with Hawn who took to Twitter to provide some insight on the matter.

“So one of my main sponsors from my fight canceled his check cuz he wasnt happy with the outcome or my performance,” wrote Hawn. “It’s funny how all my pics wearing his product are still up on his company pages even after he says and does all this stuff!! A lawsuit is pending so I cannot comment on who it is just yet but stay tuned.”

Hawn’s loss to Chandler was only the second of his career and the first time he’d been finished.

The unnamed sponsor’s complaint to Hawn can be read below (as provided by the fighter):

“At this point, a stop payment has been placed on check which cannot be cashed or deposited now. I will not comment on Rick and his fight. That is not my place. But what I will tell you is this: I took a huge chance with him. TV exposure was great…but it only holds weight if he wins or puts on a good show. Neither happened. At the end of the day…not one sole (sp) will run to [my] store and buy product because they [saw my logo and saw] Rick loose (sp) the fight. I’ve made it my career and business to know what nets a return on investment for the brand…and this is the number 1 reason why I DO NOT hand out money or product to fighters.”

UPDATE: According to MMAFighting, the opposing sides have worked out an agreement after an alleged misunderstanding and Hawn will be paid.


  • Rece Rock says:

    ” …and this is the number 1 reason why I DO NOT hand out money or product to fighters.”

    This “sponsor” clearly does not understand the fighter/ sponsor business relationship.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Reneging on his promise will cause far more damage to the sponsor’s brand than Hawn’s loss. Who will respect the guy, believe him when he gives his word, or think of him as a loyal, stand up guy now?

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Yeah, lose/lose for the sponsor. Very doubtful he’ll recoup his money and he’s just destroyed his company’s reputation in the eyes of MMA fans/fighters. D’oh!

  • Richard Stabone says:

    The dude behind this sponsorship operation sounds woefully inept. This short-sighted maneuver will likely bury him…

    Paycheck he owes Hawn: Will almost certainly need to pay up on the pending check he’s now trying to undo.

    Interest charges: Could potentially be hit with interest charges for the the time the payment is delayed, which of course would only increase the final amount he owes Hawn.

    Legal costs: Now he’ll have to cover the expense of fighting a lawsuit (or waving the white towel to avoid litigation and paying up as he should have all along). Which is probably what he should do at this point, to start cutting his losses, but regardless he’s already dug himself a hole…

    Future sponsorship/relationship with fighters: Many folks in the fight game have probably already figured out the identity of the sponsor in question, and will be very hesitant (at best) to work with him moving forward. And once the identity is revealed to the broad public it will further torpedo his opportunity to work with fighters moving forward.

    His actual product(s) and bottom line: As the story continues to circulate, he’s dragging his company thru the mud and will inevitably damage its brand/product/sales.

    Backing out like a complete weasel was bad enough. To top it off with that sloppy & embarrassing written explanation… did he really expect he could just change his mind and have everyone go on their merry way without ramifications? Running a business is damn tough, but this guy seems nuts.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Don’t forget legal fees.

  • raker says:

    Since when has there been a requirement to win when you agree to display the sponsors brand for money? This is ridiculous …. The fighter advertised the sponsors product on his body and the sponsor should buck up.

  • raker says:

    ” I’ve made it my career and business to know what nets a return on investment for the brand”

    Apparently he doesn’t know as much as he thinks he does. This could be a PR nightmare and could have devastating effects on his business.

  • AlphaOmega says:

    It shouldn’t, but I wonder if this won’t have some kind of affect on Bellator too since they have the whole Alvarez lawsuit going currently, and if casual fans might think that it’s Bellator that comes up with the sponsors not the fighters. Like I said it shouldn’t have any affect, Im just curious if it will, or if they’ll get dragged into it.


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