Earlier this week, Canada's Maximum Fighting Championships revealed that contract negotiations with their most visible fighter, Ryan "The Real Deal" Ford, had reached a standstill by issuing a press release that most would qualify as very one-sided.
"Ryan wants to make more money than any of our champions and the guys with UFC experience, and I’m not willing to do that. It’s totally wrong and against the ethics of this business for him to be paid more than those fighters," added Pavelich.
"I would love to re-sign Ryan because we have some very good plans for him but we can’t afford his ego. This is my business – I don’t do anything else except mixed martial arts and put on sold-out shows. I will not go out of business by paying fighters exorbitant amounts of money. Look what happened to the IFL and Elite XC. They paid fighters ridiculous amounts of money and went broke. Look at the number of shows that tried to make a big splash by signing one or two guys to huge contracts. They did one or two shows and were never heard from again.
"I have always paid fighters what they are worth. Paul Daley, John Alessio, Pat Healy, Antonio McKee, Aron Lofton, David Heath – all of these guys agreed to contracts and were paid exactly what they agreed to. Yes, Ryan Ford sells a number of tickets to the local fans but the MFC is not a local organization. We are one of the biggest organizations in North America and we are not a one-man show."
Pavelich has personally stuck by Ford during a number of legal issues outside of the ring, virtually taking him under his wing to steer him on a better path. That bond has been frayed but is not broken by the latest contract scuffle.
With any other promoter, the story would probably end there. Canadian MMA fans know better. Mark Pavelich, owner of the MFC and ex-manager of Ryan Ford, does not really know when to stop. To that end, the story moves to the UG, where Ryan Ford states his case.
From the UG:
I would just like to clear things up here and let you know my side of this. Mark sent me a new contract because mine is up with the mfc and I did not like what he was offering.
I am not asking for money that I dont deserve, When I have been the main Event for 4 shows out of the 8 fights I have had with mfc and hand Mark in his hands over 30 thousand dollars cash from tickets I have sold everytime, I think I deserve more than what I am getting.
Starting off with my 5th fight Main Event against Pete Spratt- $850 show and 750$ Win???
6th Fight CJ Fernandes Main Event $1100 show $1000 Win??
7th TITLE Fight Main Event Pat Healy $2500 show $2500 Win
8th Fight Lavern Clark $2500 show $2500 win
9th Fight Went to Raw Combat against Nabil Katib $4000 show $4000 Win. Then I take a 2 thousand dollar pay cut to fight in my home town as a Main Event for a Title.
10th Fight Title Fight $3000 show $3000 Win.
Mark is supposed to be my Manager. What manager contacts your sponsors and tells them to sponsor his show and not you?? Mark to this day has got me 1 sponsor and I have been on live tv and the main event.He holds me back from fighting anywhere else that is offering good money because he says its a micky mouse show.
I believe when you have a manager and team they are there for you when you win or you lose. Mark dont call you or show up to your afterparty when you lose, but when you win your his best friend.
Mark has been to one legal issue with me and it was a parole hearing end of that discussion. As for him taking me under his wing now thats a Joke. I chose to go down this path, he did not steer in any direction.
I am who I am from what I have gone threw.
I have never fought in the UFC and I havent won a title.I am still new in this sport. I have been training and fighting in this sport for exactly 1 year and 9 months.
With the work I put in and the focus and determanation I have, I will be in the UFC oneday and have a Title.
I dont need Mark Pavelich to get me there. Like he has told me I do.
If you know me or ever meet me you what kind of person I am.
Cue Mark Pavelich in 3...2....1....
Check into Fords past same guy different day always the Victim. Thats it.
Mark Pavelich MFC President
Now anyone familiar with Mark Pavelich knows he's not above bashing former fighters from his stable (see: Victor Valimaki). That's basically par for the course for him. However, he does have this nasty little habit of trying to screw with the careers of former employees, as has been documented by former MaximumFighting.com writer Mike Russell here and confirmed by the UFCs CindyO here (as well as several other posts in the same thread.
The jist of that situation was that Mike Russell, who was working freelance for the MFC's website, landed a job with Zuffa to write for UFC.com. Of course he jumped at the opportunity, but Pavelich, for some reason, held a grudge. In fact, he went so far as to send Dana White and Joe Silva several emails from his old fighter management company's email address with links to posts on the UG that had Russell praising Affliction's PPVs, apparently in an attempt to get him fired or reprimanded. The plan failed, and within days Mark was revealed as the source of the emails.
Completely unprofessional, but it also pales in comparison to what Pavelich did after Ford left his stable. Several days after negotiations had basically ended, rumours arose that Mark Pavelich phoned the employer of Ryan Ford's brother Brandon Ford, and tried to get him fired. This was confirmed by a poster on the UG indentifying himself as Brandon, as well as Brandon posting on his Facebook group 'Boycott the MFC' here (you may need to be signed into Facebook to see this).
So let's summarize how to do business the Pavelich way:
- send out a contract to your top money draw
- when top draw rejects contract and suggests one of his own, post a disparaging article about him on your website
- when feud becomes more public, write ridiculous posts on the UG about the situation, get ass handed to you by CindyO
- phone the employer of your now ex-top draws brother and try to get him fired.
Brief synopsis of an interview with Ryan Ford courtesy of MMAFighting.com (Click the link for the full interview).
- says Pavelich was on a radio show claiming that MFC newbies make 5k/5k and fighters make all the way up to 10k/10k. He main events for 3k/3k.
- Pavelich is not Ford's manager anymore due to the comments he has made about Ryan. Ryan will not consider going back to the MFC. It's too personal.
- says Pavelich has told sponsors who want to sponsor him to sponsor the whole MFC show instead and that he (Pavelich) will 'take care of' Ryan.
- his personal issues that prevent him from fighting in the USA or elsewhere will be settled in August.
There is a rumour going around Edmonton that Ryan has signed with another local promotion, The Fight Club (TFC), and that his first fight with them will be on May 22. Seeing as how Pavelich has said Ryan's MFC contract lasts until July 2009, this can only mean one thing....more Pavelich hilarity (mostly because he can't keep his business life off of the UG)!