Fighters recieve pay in spite of cancellation
Fighters left in the lurch following the cancellation of "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy" will be compensated, MMAjunkie.com has learned.
Jorge Gurgel, Pat Healy, Adriano Martins, Jorge Santiago, Josh Thomson and Yuri Villefort were among those confirmed to have been promised at least partial pay, and additional sources confirmed the promotion is planning to compensate all 19 athletes who were left without a fight.
The exact amount issued to each fighter was not disclosed, but sources MMAjunkie.com spoke to said many fighters received their contracted "show" money.
"I cannot give you amounts because the financials involved are private, but I can tell you that Zuffa is taking very good care of Jorge Santiago and Yuri Villefort," said Authentic Sports Management publicist Jen Wenk in a statement.
Zuffa is the parent company of Strikeforce. The company canceled the Sept. 29 event when broadcast partner Showtime elected not to air it following the injury withdrawal of Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, who was set to defend his title against Pat Healy.
Zuffa officials declined comment to MMAjunkie.com.
The company was not required to pay fighters following the cancellation, which was announced on Saturday. Although they had signed bout agreements, bout contracts, which were issued by the athletic commission overseeing the event, the California State Athletic Commission, were not signed.
A rep for the CSAC on Monday told MMAjunkie.com that bout contracts are typically issued and signed by the promotion, fighters and commission on the day of weigh-ins. In the event of a cancellation 24 hours prior to an event, a promoter is required to give "reasonable compensation" to fighters out of work.
In the case of "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy," the event was canceled long before fighters stepped on the scale.
The cancellation of "Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Healy" is the second major event scrapped this month, and it's the second time Zuffa has reached into its pockets beyond its usual obligations. Fighters temporarily benched by the cancellation of UFC 151, which was set for Sept. 1 in Las Vegas, received several thousand dollars in compensation, according to several sources.
Thomson, who on Monday told MMAjunkie.com that he hoped to be re-booked for a Strikeforce event set for Nov. 2 in Oklahoma City, wrote today via text message, "They're taking care of us and it must be said, I truly appreciate it!"