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onip69 01-22-2013 04:58 PM

Sponsor refuses to pay Rick Hawn following Bellator 85 loss to Michael Chandler
Sponsor refuses to pay Rick Hawn following Bellator 85 loss to Michael Chandler

By Jesse Holland on Jan 22, 1:26p

Hawn loses his fight, then loses his money.

A cautionary tale for all uop-and-coming mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters. Read the fine print on that sponsorship agreement!

Talk about kicking a guy while he's down.

Former Bellator lightweight number one contender, Rick Hawn, came up short in his bid to capture the crown at last weekend's (Jan. 17, 2013) mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Spike TV, succumbing to a second-round rear naked choke at the hands of Michael Chandler.

And he didn't just lose the fight.

According to Hawn, he also lost a payday from one of his "main sponsors," who was so disappointed that "Genghis" didn't win, that he put a "stop payment" on his check because "great TV exposure" holds no weight in defeat.

Hawn shares his sponsor's explanation via Twitter:


"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."
It should be noted that Hawn competed at the 2004 Olympics (Judo) and has a 14-2 record overall, not to mention he was in the main event on Spike TV. And it's not like he was beaten by Joey Bananas, either, as Chandler is one of the top 155 pounders not competing for ZUFFA.


As a result of his pending lawsuit, Hawn was unable to comment or identify the sponsor in question when contacted by, but we'll be sure to update you on this story as it unfolds.

Killz 01-22-2013 05:01 PM

According to mmafighting they have now agreed to pay him.

onip69 01-22-2013 07:21 PM


Originally Posted by Killz (Post 1717889)
According to mmafighting they have now agreed to pay him.

Thanks for that Killz. Good to see that they are now paying him.

Here is the update.


Sponsor agrees to pay Bellator's Rick Hawn after initially stopping sponsorship check

By Ariel Helwani on Jan 22, 3:45p 19

A verbal agreement gone wrong.

That's the best way to describe what happened between Bellator lightweight Rick Hawn and lifestyle brand HTFU.

Hawn took to Twitter Monday to explain that after losing the Bellator lightweight title fight to champion Michael Chandler last Thursday, HTFU decided to break their sponsorship agreement.

He wrote, "one of my main sponsors from my fight canceled his check cuz (sic) he wasnt (sic) happy with the outcome or my performance."

HTFU had verbally agreed to pay Hawn $1,500 to wear their apparel on fight night. They also sent him extra gear.

Hawn (14-2), a member of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Judo team, also posted a message sent from HTFU's CEO and founder Mark Gingrich to FundaFighter rep Mike Russell, who worked with Hawn to secure the HTFU deal, explaining why he refused to pay him after the fight.

"I took a huge chance with him," the sponsor wrote. "TV exposure was great ... but it only holds weight if he wins or puts on a good show. Neither happened."

Hawn lost to Chandler last week via second-round rear-naked choke submission. HTFU is a Dallas-based company established in 2009.

Gingrich told that Hawn didn't post the entire e-mail sent to Russell.

According to Gingrich, he sent an e-mail to Russell on Friday asking why Hawn's cornermen weren't wearing HTFU gear during the fight. Gingrich said that that was part of their verbal agreement. Russell refuted that claim, highlighting the fact that Hawn's head coach Firas Zahabi has an exclusive deal with Headrush Brand Apparel. Russell hypothesized that the confusion came after Gingrich asked Hawn if he should also send gear for his corner to wear during the fight, and Hawn replied, "Sure."

"There was an agreed upon arrangement," Gingrich said. "When he didn't fulfill the arrangement, a stopped payment was put on his check."

However, it appears as though cooler heads have since prevailed.

After our initial conversation on Tuesday, Gingrich called back and said that he will be paying Hawn the money he owes him.


"A new check has been issued to Rick," he said. "It has been mailed today."

Gingrich, who was quite emotional when talking about the personal threats he has received from MMA fans since Hawn posted his message Monday, said the last thing he wants people to think is that his brand doesn't support athletes when they fall short. He reiterated that he regrets the miscommunication and wished Hawn the best in his career.

The controversy resulted in a tremendous amount of chatter on MMA Web sites and forums in the past 24 hours in favor of Hawn, who never publicly mentioned HTFU in his tweets.

When told Russell that Gingrich had decided to pay Hawn after all, Russell said he was pleased to hear the news and would talk to Hawn about whether he would cash the check after all.

Stun Gun 01-22-2013 07:39 PM

Rick Hawn for the UFC.

TheNinja 01-22-2013 08:25 PM


Originally Posted by MuscleSherk (Post 1718361)
Rick Hawn for the UFC.

I dunno after that performance... Chandler made him his Bizzztch... And I'm a big Rick Hawn fan... I think he should stay fighting lower level guys at his old age of 36.

El Bresko 01-22-2013 08:35 PM

That sponsor is a real bag of Ds. Like anybody is going to shop there now..

LL 01-22-2013 08:37 PM

That company looks like shit.

Hexabob69 01-22-2013 09:13 PM

Umm. I just bought a lottery ticket and lost the drawing... I want my money back... WTF

Sportsman 2.0 01-22-2013 09:40 PM


Originally Posted by El Bresko (Post 1718489)
That sponsor is a real bag of Ds. Like anybody is going to shop there now..

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. As all that crap wouldn't come afloat and be really bad publicity to their brand.
Paying or not, big scratches on their rep now.

El Bresko 01-22-2013 09:45 PM

Was this seriously over $1500? The owner of that company is not the brightest bulb in the drawer, is he?

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