by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
(Additional reporting by Tom Hamlin)
The World Cagefighting Organization event scheduled for tonight at the San Diego Sports Arena and promoted by Valor Fighting has been cancelled by the California State Athletic Commission.
CSAC executive director Armando Garcia told MMAWeekly.com, “It was determined at this late hour that there were insufficient funds for the fighter purses and to cover expenses and everything.”
The event, dubbed “The Return,” was to feature Renato “Babalu” Sobral against Vernon “Tiger” White in the main event, as well as several other veteran fighters like Mark Kerr, David Loiseau, Ricco Rodriguez, Joe Riggs, and more.
According to a report by Josh Gross of Sherdog.com, WCO officials made a last ditch effort to attain a promoter’s license to save the event, but there was insufficient time to go through that process.
Several fighters indicated that they were approached to tear up their current contracts and sign new agreements that would pay them $100 for fighting on the event and then sign a separate agreement that would make up the difference between the $100 and their originally agreed upon purse in what would be dubbed an “appearance fee” to be paid at a later date.
Garcia told MMAWeekly.com that when he found out about the re-worked contracts, he determined that the commission could not support that idea.
Asked about such efforts, manager Ken Pavia, who had several fighters on the card, would only say, “There were some creative ideas put forth to get the fighters paid, but while they were well intentioned, they didn’t come to fruition.”
CSAC regulations provide that any scheduled fighters that were licensed and ready to fight are due any incidentals and 20% of the purse spelled out in their contracts.