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« | Home | »

Report: Several DREAM fighters allegedly owed money

By Zach Arnold | September 12, 2008

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Assist in reporting from Yeo Jong-Hoon

According to a report at Sports Seoul, there is growing criticism about FEG delaying or not giving fighters money that they owed. “Fighter A” claimed in the article that he didn’t receive money for his last two fights, and “Fighter B” who is preparing for an upcoming fight also is claiming they didn’t get some fight money. “Fighter C” claims that he had to wait three months to get his fight salary.

The article quotes a source as saying, “There’s many fighters who don’t get paid. Especially DREAM fighters, foreigners mostly.” The article claims that the reason in the alleged delaying of payments is due to DREAM’s financial situation and the situation regarding Kazuyoshi Ishii.

The article also focused on Choi Hong-Man’s upcoming fight against Badr Hari in Seoul. There is criticism about K-1 booking this fight because Hong-Man only recently had surgery to remove a tumor in his brain. FEG claims that Hong-Man is healthy to fight, but there is a growing consensus that both K-1 & Hong-Man’s camps are spinning.

Topics: DREAM, Japan, K-1, MMA, Media, South Korea, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Report: Several DREAM fighters allegedly owed money”

  1. 45 Huddle says:

    When is the last time a fighter has said the UFC has owed them money?

    This busniess practice seems all too common in Japan. I remember Barnett saying that he was still owed money from Pride.

  2. Samscaff says:

    Way to take every opportunity to promote UFC, even when the article is not even about the UFC.

    If I didnt know any better I’d say that YOU were on the UFC payroll.

  3. Zach Arnold says:

    Way to take every opportunity to promote UFC, even when the article is not even about the UFC.

    If I didnt know any better I’d say that YOU were on the UFC payroll.

    His point is fair. We now have multiple fighters going to the press claiming that Japan’s only big MMA play is stiffing them on money, which is something that no one has ever accused UFC of doing.

    If I remember correctly, Barnett claimed that DSE owed him 6-figures. Funny how ex-DSE staffers migrated to DREAM and now fighters are complaining of similar tactics.

    What can fighters do? It seems everywhere they turn outside of UFC, there’s one political or financial roadblock after another. One promoter allegedly stiffs paychecks, another one postpones or cancels shows… it takes a toll on the guys trying to fight and earn a living.

  4. GassedOut says:

    When is the last time a fighter has said the UFC has owed them money?

    Randy Couture…but we know how that ended. ;)

  5. Dave says:

    As much as the sport is “blowing up” it is blowing up in all the wrong directions. Promoters are promising things they clearly cannot deliver on.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    Not only did Couture sign back with the UFC, they beat him down with their conference call when they pulled out the cashed checks and signing bonuses as proof.

    As for me bringing the UFC into this conversation… When Affliction sells 800 tickets for their Las Vegas show, people blame Zuffa.

    Not paying fighters (DREAM) or reducing their contracted pay amount (EliteXC) is about the worst thing a company can do. It completely kills the company’s credibility.

    We as fans take for granted a LOT of things the UFC does right. It isn’t wrong to point that out when companies from Japan continue to short change foreign fighters.

  7. GassedOut says:

    Hey, All I did was answer. He’s the last guy to say that Zuffa owed him buckaroos. Like I said, we know how that ended. ;)

  8. ARCE says:

    When did Zuffa owe Randy money?

    Randy re-signed in Dec of ‘07. The UFC paid him a signing bonus and then paid his fight purse after each event. Randy got a flat amount plus a ppv bonus. The money was never withheld. The purpose of the Fertitta’s showing the press the cashed checks was to PROVE that Randy did indeed get paid a bonus.

    No need to make up stuff here.

  9. GassedOut says:

    Oh brother….Randy SAID he was owed money. He wasn’t actually, and Dana put him down. I know sarcasm is hard to translate into text, but that’s what the little winky thing is for. He asked a question, I answered sarcastically with toungue planted firmly in cheek. I’m not making stuff up, I’m trying to find humour in it. Sorry for the post if it confused you.

  10. pauli says:

    foreign contractors not getting paid by an upstanding, legitimate pair of companies in an unregulated japanese market? i’m shocked. shocked, i tell you.

  11. ilostmydog says:

    I don’t know about HMC not being ready. Antonio Silva had the same surgery last August and was fighting in early November. That’s about the same amount of time that HMC will have had since his surgery, which happened in late June IIRC.

  12. Zack says:

    “Not paying fighters (DREAM) or reducing their contracted pay amount (EliteXC) is about the worst thing a company can do. It completely kills the company’s credibility.”

    Like Zuffa did to Joachim?

  13. Dave says:

    45 — we do take a lot of what they do for granted. Honestly, they don’t pay too great, but we all forget that they do, indeed, pay (99.9999% of the time). Everybody else, who knows.

  14. Japan??? says:

    This is VERY Dream specific (or Pride if you like). How does that make it common in Japan?

    Correct me if I’m wrong…

  15. Fighter X says:

    How do you know that fighter A and Fighter C is not the same guy… or a Korean Baseball player that was in way over his head…

    There should at least be a name to this… Everyone knows Diaz is complaning, and its fair. I will not go out backing “fighter A” though.

  16. Pontus says:

    Roxanne Modafferi didnt get her tournamet win bonus when she won a tournament in Japan.. So its not just Dream/Pride.

  17. jj says:

    “Like Zuffa did to Joachim?”

    Absolutely not. Completely different situations.

    KJ Noons was under contract to EliteXC, he lost, and they asked him to re-sign for less money even though he still had fights remaining on his contract.

    Hansen was not under contract to Zuffa. They began contract negotiations and Hansen was offered less than what he was making in Pride.

  18. zack says:

    “Hansen was not under contract to Zuffa. They began contract negotiations and Hansen was offered less than what he was making in Pride.”

    They acquired his DSE contract and he wasn’t allowed to fight elsewhere until he was released.

  19. 45 Huddle says:

    Hansen was frozen out, which is no different then what they have done to numerious other stars. That is smart business. Stinks for the fighters, but it is a smart business practice.

    Having a fighter not get paid what he was promised… That’s a completely different ball of wax.

  20. David says:

    Because of all this, we don’t get to see Diaz vs Mach Sakurai!!! UGH… that would be a CLASSIC fight man!!!!

    Rampage can in no way be mentally stable and I worry that he will be mauled by V Silva :(

  21. zack says:

    “Hansen was frozen out, which is no different then what they have done to numerious other stars. That is smart business. Stinks for the fighters, but it is a smart business practice.

    Having a fighter not get paid what he was promised… That’s a completely different ball of wax.”

    He was frozen because he didn’t want to take a 50% paycut.

  22. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Anyone know what Hansen was paid after his contract expired?

  23. b.d.w. says:

    does anyone even know if hellboy even got paid for all his fights in dream? the ufc takes care of all their fighters as long as they perform well, win or lose, not to mention the money they make from sponsers from the exposure of being a ufc fighter. hansen didnt have to sit out, he chose to. pride went out of business for a reason. its a priveledge to be a pro-athelete, not a right. Hansen had better hope that dream and or wvr doesnt fold or he will come off as a hippocrite.

  24. Jeff says:

    Little trip down memory lane for the Hansen discussion. Joachim’s contract was up and PRIDE and UFC entered into contract negotiations with him. PRIDE offered him over market value to keep him despite being in the financial mess they were in because they were worried that more fighters would exit as well and didn’t want to be seen as inferior. So when PRIDE folds and Hansen has to renogiate, why would UFC offer more than they orignally did, especialy after he lost to Aoki. I’m not saying that it’s Hansen’s fault or even condoning these business practices, but at least you can see the motives. Also, this has nothing to do with signing a contract, fighting, and not receiving money for fighting as per contract.

  25. Peter H. says:

    Is this isolated only in DREAM or has there been past problems in K-1 as well?

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