Per MMA Fighting, Bas Boon has finally released a statement regarding the recent UFC/Golden Glory fracture. Here it is:
"We just want to be able to produce great fighters and create great fights for the fans," Boon said in the statement. "We have no intention for co-promotion deals and are even willing to make an exclusive deal for Alistair Overeem to fight in the UFC, if the terms are right."
"The payment was done how the UFC wanted," Boon said in the statement. "I do not understand why Danna [sic] claims we did not agree? We did not have a choice and never said we would not fight in the future or that we would refuse to work like this in the future (we worked out that problem with the Zuffa lawyer in the Vancouver and even agreed with their new sponsor policies). Maybe there is a miscommunication and Danna [sic] was not well informed that the direct payment issue was solved and no longer an issue."
"I introduced Scott through a partner of mine in L.A. to some powerful people in the U.S. (Scott was very surprised after this meeting and exited and mailed me after his meeting with these people how impressed he was). I never could have guessed that at the same moment I was talking to Scott to make a massive move for becoming a real competitor to the UFC, Scott was already talking with the same UFC for selling Strikeforce," Boon said in the statement. "I trusted Scott with some business plans. ... The problems with Strikeforce was that we made some agreements with Scott which were creating headaches now Zuffa took over."
Let's discuss after the jump, shall we?
This statement seems to confirm what many fans and media have opined: that the direct fighter payment issue was simply a smokescreen designed to take attention away from the real issues at hand. However; more important than the commentary, is the tone. He doesn't accuse Dana of lying, he states that "maybe...he was not well informed." He acknowledges a desire to work with the UFC, though makes it clear that terms would have to be agreeable.
The most interesting part is the final paragraph, in which he makes public an attempt by Golden Glory (or at least, Bas himself) to hook Coker up with powerfully impressive people (gotta love that masculine Dutch English) during the Strikeforce negotiations who wanted to make moves in order to compete with the UFC. He also reports that he confided "business plans" with Coker, which he believes are the source of his current problems with Zuffa. This can be taken a number of ways, but 2 likely scenarios emerge: 1) that Golden Glory (or their contacts) had designs of upping their role in Strikeforce in order to legitimately compete with the UFC. If the UFC found out that Golden Glory was angling to jump into the North American MMA market (there are also rumblings of GG making bigger moves internationally), then you can see why inter-organizational talks came to loggerheads. Especially if Golden Glory did not know that Zuffa knew about the Coker negotiations. Awkward. 2) Potentially supporting Jordan Breen's assertions of Strikeforce being run by the inmates, perhaps Boon is referring to deals made for his fighters which Zuffa immediately nixed, thereby creating tension, posturing and releases.
Or, maybe it's a 3rd scenario, what I refer to as the "Drunk Uncle Effect." Everybody's got a drunk uncle that ruins the wedding, the Sunday dinner, Christmas, whatever, who spills a drink on the baby or breaks the flat screen. This avuncular intoxicant creates a common enemy for the the rest of the family to displace the anger they harbor towards each other, and unite against. What's that you say? Your family's not like that at all and I must come from a broken home of drunks and miscreants? I will neither confirm nor deny that assertion (and fuck you too!), dear reader, but what I will say is that bagging on Coker can potentially be an ice breaker for Bas' hat-in-hand phone call to Zuffa.
Who knows? Bottom line: Dana didn't implement an Ari Gold-sworn enemy-scorched earth policy against Golden Glory, and Golden Glory didn't yell "liar! Liar! Pants on fire!" at Zuffa, so to the outsider, it would seem that there's room to move here. Let's hope, as fans, that there is.