UFC Pres Dana White Says They Are Done with Team Golden Glory

August 4, 2011
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Dana White at UFC 94

UFC president Dana White

First it was Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem to get the axe.

Shortly thereafter former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion Marloes Coenen, Valentijn Overeem (Alistair’s brother), and UFC fighter John Oliv-Einemo followed.

The common ingredient? They are all compatriots at Team Golden Glory.

The lone Golden Glory fighter standing in a Zuffa promotion is Sergei Kharitonov, who is currently in the midst of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix.

Seems a little odd for it not to be a conflict between promotion execs and the team management, and it’s not that odd. In fact, that’s exactly what the situation boils down to.

“It’s simple. If you look back throughout history, we haven’t had any Golden Glory guys fight (for Zuffa) since Semmy Schilt. The reason is we have very different business practices,” explained UFC president Dana White on Thursday.

“The bottom line is, the way that (Golden Glory) does business is you have to pay them, not the fighters. We don’t work that way. It’s not the way we do business. It’s not how it works in the United States. You don’t pay the manager and the manager pays the fighter. You pay the fighter and the fighter pays the manager.”

So why did it take up until now to release many of the team’s fighters? Simple, it’s business.

“Those deals were there and in place and obviously when Einemo fought in the UFC, we did it our way. Which is the way it has to be done. We refuse to do business any other way.”

For Alistair Overeem, it boiled down to a breakdown in contract negotiations. The other three fighters all lost their most recent fights, making it a simple matter for Zuffa officials to get rid of them.

Kharitonov, quite simply, is still around because he has a standing contract and he hasn’t lost while under that contract. As long as he remains a member of Golden Glory and that team’s management does not change its business practices, the Russian heavyweight’s days are numbered.

According to White, should Kharitonov lose in the semifinal or final round of the Grand Prix, he is done. Should he win the Grand Prix, his current contract will be fulfilled, and again, he is done.

“The reality is, we tried to work out some deals with these guys, but they won’t do it.”

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Ken Pishna is the managing editor of MMAWeekly.com.
@KenPishna on Twitter or e-mail Ken a question or comment.

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  • wonggfan

    Let the tyranny begin!!!

    This is what monopoly is all about. Release all the fighters!

    So even if Sergei wins, he is a bum, the SF tourney was a joke from the beginning, and he has to go fight in Dream.

    Ruthless Ruthless

    • bajafox

      Personally I agree with Dana on this one. The fighter should take the check and distribute it accordingly, not their management.

      If those fighters ever want to be mentioned again, they will drop their management or make them change according to Zuffa’s rules.

  • wonggfan

    UFC simply refuses to deal with management companies because management companies work like a union.

    MMA fighters are getting so abused that they don’t even care. Pretty much the top guys don’t care because they are getting paid enough, although shit compared to any other sports. The up-and-coming guys don’t care because (a) they think they will join the elite rank in no time and (b) they need to be on Dana’s good side to advance. The bottom guys don’t care because they really really need to suck up to Dana to survive.

    So at the end of the day you have former champions that are not financially stable or financially stable but are not rich. Chuck doesn’t care because he is rich and cool with Dana. Randy cares but he has money so no personal incentive. Fedor..well…to be fair…he was in it for the money from the beginning and I doubt he cared about bums. Josh Barnett used to care when he unemployed, but now doesn’t care since he could be in the UFC. Hendo used to care and still cares but he doesn’t want to risk his chances to get back in the UFC or stay in SF and make a few more dollars. Tim Sylvia cares because he has some money but not too much. CC has enough money and would care less about such things.

    Tito never cared, pretended to care for a year or two, but now doesn’t care..was always in it for the money.

    Mir will start caring once he gets fired from the UFC and has no where to go. He is not rich and has to support his large family. But he won’t do it now because he wants to suck up to Dana.

    Mark Coleman would be the first one to join, along with Kevin Randleman and Jens Pulver. Three former champs that are financially in deep trouble.

  • wonggfan

    “So why did it take up until now to release many of the team’s fighters? Simple, it’s business.”

    No…it’s monopoly. Using monopoly power to bust unions.

    When you have one giant company having complete control of the MMA market, there is NO WAY in HELL any individual fighters will join a union.

    • bajafox

      A monopoly vs. a union, I’ll take the monopoly.

      The way things should work is whoever has the best product, should sell the most. I don’t understand what is so difficult about that. Unions are for people who do not have the same skill level to get paid as their higher level peers do, they should have to earn it, not whine about it, get together (unionize) and make companies pay them more than they are worth.

      Same thing in the NFL, the owners are the shepards and the players are the sheep, if they don’t like it then find somewhere else to play.

      • 2000MileWall

        You are right!
        Why is it so hard to understand,the UFC wants to pay the FIGHTERS not the MANAGERS!

        Unions are not need the way they were 100 years ago! How would you like your boss taking money from you’re pay check and giving it to a politician that you don’t support?
        That’s what Unions do!

        Why would any fighter not want their check made out to them?

  • jared499

    I am sorry, but why is it Dana who is taking crap for this when Zuffa is trying to follow what is done in the US.

    Does it seem odd to anyone but me that Golden Glory gets paid first and then they pay the fighters. Seems like this leaves a lot of room for corruption, which is rampant everywhere. I think this is the right stance, money should be paid through to the athlete and then dispersed to his/her management team through the athlete.

    The way this article makes it sound is that if Golden Glory changes this practice, then the door could be opened for these fighters to resign.

    • Tom T

      Golden Glory, Zuffa and monopolies. According to Webster’s dictionary a monopoly is defined as: economics a product or service whose supply is controlled by only one company. There happen to be dozens of mma promotions in the US. The UFC under Zuffa just happens to be the most successful promotion. They are the most successful because they do business the right way. They also treat their fighters better than any other promotion in the world. Zuffa fighters have accident insurance, make more money than other promotions and receive the most press which in turn makes a fighter “marketable”. Making a fighter marketable is the only way a fighter can fight as a full time career. Fighting full time is the only way we as fans can see elite fighters compete on the biggest stage in the world – The UFC. There’s a reason the rest of the world is coming to the US to fight for Zuffa and not running to Russia to fight for them. (Alistair Overeem excluded) As an mma fan I believe Zuffa and the UFC is the best thing that ever happened to the sport.

      • jared499

        @Tom T

        Well said, and thank you that. Seems like there are a lot of people out here who want to bash the UFC and Dana for trying to put out a good product. Nice to see someone appriciates the job they do at providing us the platform to see excellant cards.

      • bajafox

        Very well said Tom T, couldn’t agree more

  • sprackles

    The fact is that Dana White is lying out his ass. They DO pay team GG fighters directly. Check marlos Coenens twitter post in Dana Whites page, showing a check made out to her for the exact amount of her take.. Dana is mad that AO and team GG dont suck his d*ck like everybody else. SMALL PENIS SYNDROME AT ITS MOST ACUTE.

    • clizzark

      There’s gotta be more to it. Why would Dana lie about something that could be so easily refuted? Miscommunication or something?

      • jared499

        Article today does not refute Coenen’s claim that she received a check from Zuffa (actuall holding company owned by Zuffa). It said the check was written to her, but that Golden Glory was trying to get Zuffa to change it and Zuffa bascially said “no” and wrote the check to her anyway.

        If this proves to be true, I would think that Coenen should tell Golden Glory to let her know this sort of information so that she does not go onto twitter in the future and make comments that are in accurate because her management team failed to mention some of the details.

  • lfpunkxx

    Why are some of you so whiney over something you have not even the slightest personal involvement in…it is what it is, and that’s the life of a fighter. The UFC has succeeded because of their smart business practices or else it would’ve been just like all the other small promotions which eventually fall apart because they don’t make enough money or fall into legal troubles. Unless you have been personally cut from a Zuffa contract, there’s no need to complain.

    • clizzark

      Zuffa hasn’t always made the best decisions, and why in the hell are you acting like Zuffa/Dana White are above criticism? There’s no need to complain? Do you have severe mental problems?