Battlefield FC is in hot water.
The new South Korea-based organization hosted its inaugural event in Seoul on March 18. It featured a number of notable competitors including former UFC fighter and Strikeforce champion Sarah Kaufman, grappler Jeff Glover, and longtime veteran Jorge Patino.
Everything looked good on paper and Battlefield FC 1 seemed to run smoothly, but a major hiccup was recently revealed.
According to Matt Eaton of TheFightNation.com, as of April 29, 15 of 24 fighters who were on the card have yet to be paid. Igor Svirid, Tilek Mashrapov and Zhyrgalbek Emilbekov are three of those fighters, per their manager, Stan Kolesnitchenko.
To add onto that, the aforementioned Glover said in a later-deleted Instagram post in March that he, as well as other fighters, were given IOUs by Battlefield FC. Jessy Jess recently confirmed in a Facebook post she has not received payment, either.
And now, yet another fighter has made the lack of payment public. Kaufman told BloodyElbow.com in a statement she is part of the group of fighters yet to receive their earnings.
“I’m not sure the exact number of fighters who haven’t been paid. I was told from the promotion there are 7 of us remaining, but I am one of them,” she wrote. “I know for sure the top 3 fights on the card — before mine, the co-main and the main — need to be paid. The promotion has mostly stayed in contact with us and has continued to insist we will be paid, but as of yet no money has been wired into my account.”
Kaufman isn’t too keen on fighting for Battlefield FC again, but she’s not ruling out the idea entirely.
“I enjoyed fighting for them, but there would have to be some extra stipulations set in place for me to readily accept another fight with them — and that is taking into account me getting paid on this one,” she said.
Battlefield FC did not immediately return a request for comment.
Battlefield FC invited UFC women’s featherweight Cris Cyborg and former UFC champ and current Bellator MMA contender Benson Henderson to its debut event. Both fighters agreed to attend.