Golden Glory to Zuffa: Paying Fighters Directly Not an Issue, Open to Exclusive UFC Contract for Alistair Overeem
By FCF Staff
Over the last couple of weeks, Zuffa has released several notable Golden Glory fighters from its roster, heightening speculation as to what lies next for fighters like former Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem and former Strikeforce women’s welterweight champion Marloes Coenen.
According to UFC President Dana White, the recent dismissal of the Golden Glory competitors like Valentijn Overeem and Jon Olav Einemo, was due to the fact that their management insists on receiving the fighter’s salaries directly. White has stated publicly that Zuffa is obligated to pay the athletes rather than their management.
In response to White’s claim, though, Coenen posted a scan of her paycheck from her Strikeforce title fight with Miesha Tate. Made payable to Coenen, the check dismissed White’s claim.
Today Golden Glory manager Bas Boon issued a lengthy press release responding to some of White’s recent comments. According to Boon, Golden Glory has accommodated Zuffa in the past.
“There was a contract in place and Golden Glory and 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.”
Boon then went on to discuss Golden Glory’s working relationship with Strikeforce prior to Zuffa’s acquisition of the company. The team’s executive revealed that previously Strikeforce had no issue paying Golden Glory directly, and that further, Boon claims they were preparing to partner more extensively with the promotion, including new television deals.
Once Zuffa retained ownership of Strikeforce, Boon says, business dealings between Golden Glory and the promotion changed.
“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 were 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.”
Despite the recent conflict, Boon is apparently willing to work with Zuffa, and added that Golden Glory is open to having Alistair Overeem sign an exclusive deal with the UFC.
“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 Danna 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 Danna 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.”