The newest Brit on the Bellator MMA roster, Shay Walsh detailed his Bellator 169 debacle and his contract situation with the Viacom-owned promotion.
Walsh (14-4) was set to face Luiz Tosta on Bellator’s Irish team-up with BAMMA on December 16, before his opponent withdrew because of a shoulder injury.
The Tiger Muay Thai trained athlete expressed his disappointment over the situation, but clarified that he did in fact get paid for the mishap, despite online claims which he hadn’t.
“It was a big disappointment, especially because I’d been away in Thailand, I’d left the family and then everything was on track and we just got so close to the fight but yet so far.
“I did get paid my show money. They agreed to pay me my show money from the start as soon as they said I wasn’t getting a replacement opponent or have a fight. I still had other forms of income I was expecting, I was expecting a win bonus, I had my ticket sales and my sponsorship so especially now with a baby I was expecting the money and then it got taken away.”
Before numerous fights fell off the Bellator 169 card, Walsh was scheduled to compete on the BAMMA portion of the 3Arena event. But injury misfortune changed the 28-year-old’s luck – seemingly for the better – and saw him instead secure a three-fight contract with the Scott Coker led promotion.
Walsh went on to explain: “The bout agreement and contract were all in place with BAMMA and I was already away in Thailand and I was putting pressure on my dad, I was getting a bit worried. Then he told me what had happened so it just meant that everything had to start again really. I got sent a new bout agreement which needed to be signed and then a contract offer from Bellator which obviously needed looking over and reviewing.”
However, even though Walsh technically didn’t fulfill the first fight of his contract, the Lancashire man confirmed that the promotion still counted it towards his three-fight deal.
“It was a bit of a confusing situation but from what I understand they’ve considered that one fight done on the contract, they’ve paid me my show money for that fight, which didn’t happen and we’re moving on to the next stage of the contract, the second fight, which is good as well because it means more money for me.”
After serving five fights under the BAMMA promotion, the ex-Bantamweight champion had hoped to fight for the title he lost to European standout Tom Duquesnoy if things had panned out differently. Walsh did however affirm, ‘never say never’ when asked about a potential return down the line.
Now that Walsh has become a Father, he clarified a renewed outlook on making a career as a mixed martial artist, as he now hopes to earn more money under the Bellator banner so he can provide a solid future for his newborn boy.
“Yeah it has a little bit to be honest, I’m sort of now a little bit more concerned about making sure I build a future from this sport. I’ve been plugging away for a long time and I’ve had quite a few fights now, I’m 28 and I feel like I’m just starting to come into my peak and I’ve got a few good years ahead of me, so I’ve just got to make sure I’m improving and winning these fights and bringing the money in.”