Legal Action After Cancellation Of MMA Show
Posted on 09 May 2012
by MMAScoops.com Staff
Representatives for several fighters that were booked to appear at a British MMA show claim that the organizers cut and ran when the event was suddenly cancelled this weekend. It is possible that a lawsuit will be filed to attempt to recover money promised to the participants.
Manager Lex McMahon, who represents nine fighters at the expo, said, "We believe [the organizers] breached the agreement, and all of our guys have been relying on this. We believe these guys were not honest with us at all."
"The MMA Show Live" was scheduled for this weekend, May 12-13, in Birmingham, England. Among those billed to appear were Randy Couture, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, Kenny Florian and Thiago Silva.
A press release was posted, saying the show was postponed to October 20-21 because of "circumstances beyond our control. We would like to apologise to disappointed fans for postponing the show and we would like to thank everyone for their support and understanding, as we are deeply disappointed in having to make this decision."
Fighter representatives said they found this out online. Sam Spira, who represents Randy Couture, said, "They asked me to bear with them, that they were going to come up with an amicable resolution. They weren't really clear on what happened. They just said that it was something that was unforeseen that was beyond their control. They used the term 'postponed,' but to me, it was the same thing as canceled."
McMahon said that one of the organizers, Paul Clifton, "…basically said, 'Sorry.' It was really an unacceptable response. If you sold 15,000-plus tickets, you had the money to put on the show. The UFC didn't even sell 20,000 tickets to their expo, so it seemed a bit disingenuous to me. They were front-loading this event, and they were looking to bring in a sponsor. My belief is that they didn't have the funds. They never had the funds."
Organizer Liam Fisher says that his personal address was posted online and he was sent death threats since the event was postponed. "As a result, I am spending the rest of the week with my family and dealing with the fact that I have wasted six months of my life, with no pay."
Fisher also said that Clifton is the director of MA Inc., which is a UK-based MMA management company. "Paul ... informed me yesterday that a major contractor had pulled out, making it impossible for the show to proceed."
"I was informed by Paul that the show was being postponed but not canceled. I was assured that Paul and his team were going to speak to every fighter, manager, member of staff and exhibitor involved before the press release went out, and I was advised to stay off my Facebook and Twitter accounts so they could manage the situation in conjunction with their PR agency. Secondly, I would also like to remind people that my company, Split Decision, worked on the content of The MMA Show Live in partnership with MA Inc., and I would like to reiterate that I had no final say in the postponement of the show."
MA Inc.'s website states: "With over 38 years working within martial arts, when you choose MA Inc. you choose the most successful promotional force in the industry, a world wide brand with a proven track record and a reputation as 'the' market leaders."
According to Fisher, he will not be involved in the October event.