Rick Hawn‘s lightweight title challenge against Michael Chandler last week at Bellator 85 didn’t go so well. Chandler was able to put the decorated judoka on his back with relative ease, before finishing him with a rear-naked choke in round two. But as disappointing as the loss was for Hawn, it paled in comparison to what came next. As Hawn revealed on twitter last night, “one of my main sponsors from my fight canceled his check cuz he wasnt happy with the outcome or my performance…A lawsuit is pending so I cannot comment on who it is just yet but stay tuned.”
I think we can all agree that a company that stiffs one of its sponsored MMA fighters because he lost should be immediately banned from the sport. But what makes this story sink to another level of scumbaggery is that the sponsor is actually defending the non-payment as a wise business decision. Here’s what the still-unnamed floor-turd had to say in an e-mail purportedly sent to our old friend Mike Russell:
“At this point, a stop payment has been placed on check which cannot be cashed or deposited now. I will not comment on Rick and his fight. That is not my place. But what I will tell you is this: I took a huge chance with him. TV exposure was great…but it only holds weight if he wins or puts on a good show. Neither happened. At the end of the day…not one sole (sp) will run to [my] store and buy product because they [saw my logo and saw] Rick loose (sp) the fight. I’ve made it my career and business to know what nets a return on investment for the brand…and this is the number 1 reason why I DO NOT hand out money or product to fighters.”
Man, this is not going to end well for this douche. To this point, Rick and Mike haven’t revealed who the sponsor is, or even hinted at his identity — a wise move, from a legal standpoint. But if you cruise through the UG thread, you’ll see that by about page 6, the UG’s keyboard-detectives have made a pretty compelling case about who it might be.
With the shitstorm-clouds gathering, the sponsor is now looking to do some damage control. “We got a text telling us that he would pay up last night if we apologized and Rick took down his Twitter post,” Mike wrote. At this point, Hawn has no intention of apologizing. We’ll update you when the sponsor is officially outed.
UPDATE: Yes, the sponsor was HTFU. CEO/founder Mark Gingrich has sent Hawn a new check for the $1,500 he owed him. If you want to read Gingrich’s side of the story — which includes accusations that Hawn didn’t fulfill all of his sponsorship obligations — click here.