Last week, MMA Plus reported on a number of fighters accusing Superkombat Fighting Championship and Respect World Series for non-payment, with the allegations going as far back as 17 months ago.
Following on from the report, Superkombat’s owner, Eduard Irimia has now responded to MMA Plus about the recent allegations made by: GLORY kickboxer, Daniel Sam; Dutch Heavyweight, Colin George; and Micheal Terrill who, has recently retired from kickboxing.
Terrill had alleged that it had taken Superkombat up-to a year to finally settle unpaid monies he was owed by the Romanian promotion and explained how promises weren’t kept by Superkombat, adding to unreasonable delays he experienced whilst chasing them for payment:
“I kept emailing them over the Facebook messenger and they would say, ‘it’d be in next week, it’d be in next week’. Just it wasn’t coming. I’m sure there were a couple of lads from Romania as well, we were all emailing each other as well, we were all emailing each other as well. From the Vos Gym, I think Francois [Lubbers] was having problems. I think there were a few. So, everyone refused to fight on their show. I never got paid for a year.”
Superkombat owner Irimia explained the complex third party agreements with fighters that had contributed to missed and or, delayed payments that were reported.
“Superkombat is running events since 2011 and organized more than 50 events live around the world with hundreds of fighters from different countries having more than 4 millions euro payed in purses, by this date after the last event of the year with a maximum 50,000 in total to close for all the fighters up to date before 15 December according to contracts.
“Mostly of the fighters came from agents we worked with from Holland, UK, Greece, USA, Croatia, France, etc and our deals was done in most of them through managers or agents and not directly with fighters.”
“Our policy for payment was to have contracts and invoice from that agents and only in some specific situation directly with the fighters.”
To be fair, let’s take into consideration that a wide variety of professional fighters are either: self-managed, or have their commercial fighting contracts negotiated and managed by their gym.
“During the last 6 years we had few situations where the payment was delayed for a number of fighters from objective reasons, the most frequent was the providing of legal documents from some fighters, as contract signed in original, invoice or account on the name of the fighters.
“We had some cases when fighters provided PayPal account or account form relatives mentioning that they don’t have other way to provide payment tools requested.
“In that case I was some time myself as a person in the situation to use my personal money and pay by money transfer as the last solution.”
Irimia explained this situation in more detail and even showed us a copy of a letter (undated) sent by Superkombat to the Municipality Sports & Entertainment Evaluating Committee, alleging that the local Puerto Rican promoters: Mr Richy Miranda Cortese and Mr Matias Felix Perez, had not paid any of the fighters (or managers) for participating in the Superkombat show on March 26, 2016. In the letter copy shown, a deadline of April 30, 2016 was given to the Puerto Rican promoters to settle any, and or, all bad debts in-relation to the event.
“Other reason for delayed payment was the fact that Superkombat used in some locations local promoters with the obligation to cover part of the cost or fightcard , in 3 of this kind of events unfortunately the local promoter did not respect the contract and after we followed all the legal steps we backed up and cover that purses making the future events with purses increase to delete the debts.The most known example is the event in Puerto Rico where the local promoter did not pay any fighter and during the year we made our efforts to cover almost all of them including in other contractual fights, and the same thing we proposed to British fighter Daniel Sam who could be signed for a multi fight deal in 2017 season.
“I can confirm that Superkombat (SK) has no contract not paid from behind beside the last events and all the examples from your article has no written agreements with SK beside the gentlemen agreement with me as a person, even so I already confirmed to all of them (3 fighters) that we will make sure to close asap all the unpleasant situation by myself before your article, the fighters responded positive and wish to fight as soon in Superkombat.”
However, Daniel Sam alleges that his contract for fighting on the Puerto Rican event was in agreement with Superkombat directly and not with, Municipality Sports & Entertainment Evaluating Committee, and or, Mr Richy Miranda Cortese and Mr Matias Felix Perez:
“With Superkombat it was a case of being fobbed off with excuses being given about the problem being with the Puerto Rican promoter. Although my contract was not with anyone in Puerto Rico so it’s on Superkombat to cover the the purse and honour the contract. I have fought on superkombat 6x and had never experienced any problems with them until the Puerto Rico event in March 2016 vs [Cătălin] Morasanu.”
Following on from our initial report on the allegations made by various kickboxers against Superkombat (and Respect) for non-payments, Turan Sor Sangtiennoi posted on Facebook alleging that he too is still owed money since March when he fought for Superkombat in Puerto Rico.
Also, Superkombat’s formal response doesn’t cover the allegations made by Colin George that he hadn’t been paid for 17 months since he’d fought on, Superkombat World Grand Prix 3. However this was separately cleared up by both parties that a part-payment had been received after the fight but the majority of the bad debt is still due to George.
Respect World Series have yet to respond to any requests for comment.
Although, Eduard Irimia has taken it upon himself to come forward on behalf of Superkombat and respond openly about the ongoing issues and allegations for non-payment that they are experiencing, it isn’t the first time that neither himself nor the promotion has been caught up in controversy.
Also, there is an interview transcript (circular end of 2012) via Dutch website, MixFight of, Hesdy Gerges’s coach Thom Harnick, alleging Superkombat owed Gerges (and others) monies in the past too.
MMA Plus will provide another update in due course on the ongoing situation and non-payment allegations against both Superkombat and Respect.