(Imagine getting into a bar fight with these guys?)
The head of Golden Glory, Bas Boon released a press release Thursday that further explained some of the behind the scenes happenings that may have led to the recent sudden firings of Team Golden Glory fighters Alistair Overeem, Marloes Coenen, John Olav Einemo.
According to Boon, he was working hand-in-hand with Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker to form strategic partnerships with a number of organizations like K-1 and DREAM and had been involved in meetings with television networks with Coker in an effort to make the promotion a viable competitor to the UFC. Unbeknownst to Boon, while he was making connections and setting up these meetings, Coker was already in talks with Zuffa about selling the struggling promotion.
It’s not unforeseeable that when Coker informed the UFC that Boon had been instrumental in Strikeforce making a full-court press at competing with them, that they took umbrage with his effort to aid the competition.
Another interesting tidbit Boon dropped in the statement was that Golden Glory had made arrangements, with the help of the UFC, for its fighters to be paid directly by Zuffa/Forza and for them to cash their checks in the U.S. prior to returning back to Holland, where it takes between six and eight business days for their money to clear. According to UFC president Dana White, Golden Glory refused to allow its fighters to be paid directly, which was the reason he says they cut ties with the likes of Alistair Overeem, John Olav Einemo and Marloes Coenen.
Check out the full release below.
First of all we would like to thank all the support of the fans.
The Golden Glory management discussed before coming to the US about the payment situation and it was agreed to speak with a Zuffa lawyer about this in Vancouver, to find a solution.
There was a contract in place and Golden Glory and Einemo honored the UFC rules including getting the check [in] the fighter’s name (Einemo showed his check in the gym as well which was [in] 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 [where] the UFC did their banking and the check would clear in only two days instead of 6 weeks [to] 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 [of] 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 [bookkeeping] and taxes and exchange rates and legal help for the fighters.
We have many fighters from many different parts of the world and also have gyms in Berlin, Germany, Liverpool, England, Pattaya, Thailand, California, USA, Bucharest, Romania, Moscow, Russia and three gyms in Holland. Golden Glory is growing on an international level and we are working with one management company to coordinate these businesses.
Fighters only sign agreements with promoters if coaches, trainers, management and the fighter agree with the terms, regardless to whom the payment will be done.
The Strikeforce situation was different.
Behind the scenes I was preparing a great deal for corporation between Strikeforce, DREAM, K-1 and Glory to do something great together with Scott [Coker] (this included a TV channel and footage deal). I introduced Scott [through] a partner of mine in LA to some powerful people in the US (Scott was very surprised after this meeting and [texted] and [emailed] me after his meeting with these people how impressed he was). I never could have guessed that at the same moment I was talking to Scott to make a massive move for becoming a real competitor to the UFC, Scott was already talking with the same UFC for selling Strikeforce.
Scott told me that he had partners and that there were financial difficulties with Strikeforce and any new TV or other deal they would welcome. As I am a producer as well (produced more then 1000 hour of fighting content and also made tons of other deals for promoters like the K-1 live broadcasting on the Dutch TV Channel SBS6) I trusted Scott with some business plans as I knew Scott from the time he was a promoter for K-1 and we all wanted to move forward in the fight business.
Scott convinced me to start working with Strikeforce, we always had a better deal in Japan and Europe, but as K-1 was having a lot of difficulties and Scott giving us all the terms we wanted, we started taking steps to do more and more business with Strikeforce.
The problem with Strikeforce was that we made some agreements with Scott, which was creating headaches now [that] Zuffa took over.
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 [losing] sponsors as the UFC took over Strikeforce as they implemented their new rules. [Their view was that] 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 [afford] to pay 100K or more to an organization. And some fighters getting 5 or 10K in sponsorship is [where] 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. 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 [Dana] 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.
Team Golden Glory