White offers explanation for Golden Glory releases
UFC President Dana White on Thursday detailed the split between Zuffa and Golden Glory.
Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem was released last week, and teammates Marloes Coenen, Valentijn Overeem and Jon Olav Einemo were cut yesterday. Many stories have circulated since the releases were made public, and White attempted to explain the decision to cut the entire fight camp from the Zuffa roster after the UFC 133 press conference in Philadelphia.
“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. And the reason is we have very different business practices. It’s tough to do business with them,” White said. “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 said that he didn’t expect Golden Glory to change their business practices, which means that there is little chance Coenen, Overeem and company will find themselves back on the Zuffa roster. He noted that Golden Glory made a one-time exception for Jon Olav Einemo’s fight at UFC 131, but didn’t expect them to make any exceptions in the future.
White said that Zuffa simply cannot do business that way when dealing with athletic commissions in the United States, but that Golden Glory would have little trouble elsewhere in the world.
“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 UFC was Semmy Schilt. There was a reason for that.”
White said that Golden Glory fighter Sergei Kharitonov would be allowed to fight through the rest of the heavyweight grand prix tournament, but win or lose, he’ll be cut at the conclusion of the tournament unless Golden Glory changes their policy.
HeavyMMA.com will have exclusive comments from White on the Golden Glory situation in a video interview later this afternoon.