UFC President Dana White cleared the air in regards to the recent releases of members of Team Golden Glory this past week.
White, talking at the pre-UFC 133 press conference, stated it boiled down to one simple reason: business dealings.
“This is actually a pretty simple explanation. If you look back throughout history, we haven’t had any Golden Glory guys fight with us since Semmy Schilt, right? And the reason is we have very different business practices,” White said. “It’s tough to do business with them. The bottom line is the way they do business is, you have to pay them, not the fighters. We don’t work that way. It’s not the way we do business. It’s not how it works in the United States with the athletic commissions.
“You don’t pay the managers and the managers pay the fighters. You pay the fighters and the fighters pay the managers.”
White had hopes of a change in the way Golden Glory does business, but it became apparent that wasn’t going to happen.
“They don’t do it,” White said. “We have to pay them, not the fighters.”
The move to release fighters Alistair Overeem, Valentijn Overeem, Jon Olav Einemo and Marloes Coenen has been met with plenty of chatter on message boards and MMA shows. When White was asked if Zuffa would contemplate bringing back any fighter if they played by their rules, his answer was simple:
“They don’t and they won’t,” he said.
Sergei Kharitonov is the lone remaining fighter from Golden Glory signed by either the UFC or Strikeforce. He fights in the heavyweight Grand Prix next month. The company is paying him directly, though.
“The reality is, we’re trying to work out deals with these guys and they won’t do it,” White said. “They said you absolutely can’t pay the fighters, you have to pay us. And it’s pretty simple to look back and see that the last guy who fought in the UFC was Semmy Schilt. There was a reason for that.”