Ryan Ford Signs with Aggression MMA, MFC Fires Back with Possible Court Proceedings to Follow

January 24, 2011

Ryan Ford at MFC 26

Ryan Ford

Jay Cutler and Josh McDaniels.

Albert Haynesworth and Mike Shanahan.

Terrell Owens and any team he’s ever played for.

Some relationships in sports were just not meant to be, and that seems to be the case between Canadian welterweight Ryan Ford and Mark Pavelich, owner of Maximum Fighting Championships.

The pair have now teamed up on two separate occasions to work together, and it seems to have soured once again as Ford has exited the MFC and signed on with another Canadian based promotion, Aggression MMA.

Ford first worked with the MFC in 2007 and went on to fight for them for a total of 8 bouts before a falling out between the fighter and the promotion saw him exit. He re-signed with MFC and buried the hatchet with Pavelich and came back for two more fights, but now he’s gone once again and this time the proceedings may end up in court.

Aggression MMA held a press conference on Friday to announce Ford’s signing with the promotion and that he would headline their March 11 card in Edmonton. Beyond anything else, Ford sounded happy that the dark cloud hanging over his head has seemingly been lifted, at least for the time being.

“My agent Steve Gavin was talking with them and set something up, and now Aggression is the future for Ryan Ford,” Ford told MMAWeekly.com

“They’re good guys, straight up and straight forward with you, and they want to take care of their fighters. Steve was dealing with my contract and stuff and things weren’t going right, and that’s why I’ve got an agent with me because before I was doing everything for myself and I was kind of getting messed around, so that’s what I pay him now to do.”

While Ford sounds confident in his fight future, it appears MFC isn’t giving up that easily. The promotion sent out a press release on Friday with Mark Pavelich talking about the relationship that had gone south with Ford, and how they anticipated court proceedings to solve the issues if need be.

“Over the past several weeks, it came to my attention that Ryan Ford, a fighter under contract to the Maximum Fighting Championship and Pavelich Sports Inc., was dissatisfied with his contract and wished to leave my organization,” Pavelich wrote in the release.

“Through repeated conversations between myself, his agent Steve Gavin, and our respective lawyers, Mr. Ford was left with three options: Complete his contract which has two fights remaining, do not compete and let his contract run out at the end of September 2011, (or) buy out his contract or have another organization buy it out for him.”

MFC also stated in the release that they had received no further communication from Ford’s agent Steve Gavin or Ford himself to reach resolution on the matter.

MMAWeekly.com was able to obtain several pieces of literature exchanged between the parties, and it appears a contract dispute was happening for several months between Ford and the MFC, and to this date no resolution has been reached.

Ford maintains no ill will towards Pavelich or the MFC, and says he just wants to move on with his career and concentrate on fighting.

“After my second fight, I guess Steve had been talking with Mark Pavelich and I know things weren’t going right with the contract. I guess it just wasn’t working out so, I’ve got to feed my family and I’ve got to fight, so we decided to get on board with Aggression,” said Ford.

“I don’t want to talk bad about the guy or anything. He does what he does, and I’m going to do what I do and just being there, there’s too many distractions heading up into a fight. I’m just there to fight. I’m not there to be your No. 1 ticket seller, and all this stuff. My job is to fight, not to push tickets.”

Ticket sales apparently were at the heart of the matter between Ford and the MFC, while the organization maintains that he simply wanted out of his deal and they are willing to go to arbitration to make sure everything is handled legally.

“As part of his contract, there is an arbitration clause that can be utilized, so if Mr. Ford wants to go in that direction to find a buy-out price we will oblige. However, he will not be allowed to just walk away from his contract for free,” Pavelich wrote.

Pavelich goes on to say that he notified the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission to try and prevent Ford from fighting on any other shows in the province. Ford’s agent, Steve Gavin, had a very simple message for Pavelich regarding the press release, which also stated Ford had claimed racism from the promotion during this ordeal.

“Mark in general should be much more careful about what he says to people,” Gavin said.

For the time being, Ford will train to fight in Aggression MMA on March 11, but it appears the real battle might take place in the courtroom between Ford’s representation and Mark Pavelich and company at the MFC.