May 15, 2010 held the promise of being one of the bigger nights for mixed martial arts in North Carolina. Shine Fight Promotions, LLC planned to put on “Worlds Collide” in Fayetteville, N.C. with a headlining bout that finally pitted a true boxer against a veteran MMA fighter. Ricardo Mayorga, a former World Boxing Association welterweight champion, was set to face UFC veteran and MMA ambassador, Din Thomas.
The event was backed up by a variety of accomplished fighters from all over the world, including: Murilo “Ninja” Rua, Luiz Azeredo, David Heath, Derrick Noble, Braulio Estima, Rick Hawn, Charles “Kid Khaos” Bennett, Zac George, Jamal Patterson, Alexandre “Cacareco” Ferreira, Eduardo Pamplona, and Mario Stapel.
But the event never happened. Since then, the promotion has left a wake of unpaid debts across the state. The event, or lack thereof, has shown the murkier side of fight promotions.
The New Fight Begins – In The Hotel Lobby
It is 2:30 a.m. the night of what could have been a historic MMA show. Fighters and their agents are huddled around a cell phone, waiting to hear from Shine fights CEO Devin Price about their contracts and how their fighters will be paid after the event was canceled only minutes before it was to begin. Price was reportedly supposed to arrive in Fayetteville around 10 p.m., which was later changed to 1 a.m.; neither appointment was met. They had to resort to working things out over the telephone before many of them had to leave for flights home before Price's new arrival time of 10 a.m. the next day.
Price said all the right things on the call, telling the room that “Everyone will be taken care of; Shine plans to make sure everyone will be paid.”
Although the call was full of assurances, it did little to settle the nerves of those charged with getting their fighters paid for the training and preparation endured leading up to the event.
“We’re not getting paid. They didn’t have the money at the arena. They surely aren’t going to have it now,” stated one fighter, perhaps prophetically, as he angrily walked away at the conclusion of the impromptu teleconference.
The Mounting Debt Crisis
How much does Shine owe from the remnants of “Worlds Collide?” Because contracts are protected by confidentiality clauses, an exact figure is unknown. However, the total sum of the unpaid balance from the canceled show could be as high as $75,000.
What About The Fighters?
MMA Spot has confirmed through various fighters or their agents that most of the fighters from the failed event have yet to be paid anything for their appearances.
Shine’s Next Event Moving Forward
To the dismay and dissatisfaction of the fighters left in limbo from “Worlds Collide,” Shine is moving ahead with another event. This event is coming up on September 10 from the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va.
Will There Be A “Happily Ever After” For Shine Or The Fighters?
MMA Spot has learned that the Association of Boxing Commissions had recently been contacted by multiple fighter representatives, drawing their attention to the unpaid fighters.
After discussing the issue with representatives of the North Carolina Commission and ABC President Tim Lueckenhoff this morning, Shine has been placed as a promoter "with notations" on the central registries (Fight Fax and mixedmartialarts.com). In addition, President Lueckenhoff will be sending direct notice to all ABC member and associate member commissions of the issues surrounding Shine's North Carolina promotion. Meaning that Shine will have a difficult time gaining a promoter's license in just about any state, province, or tribal reservation.
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