A Russian promoter, Dmitry Burdug, recently posted on the UG alleging that he paid $43,000 for a cage from an American promoter, but that it was never delivered.
We are one of the oldest Russian MMA organizations, and one of the biggest in Europe. So far we have promoted over 60 MMA events in various cities of Russia. Recently in the spirit or promoting international relations through sport we began conducting business with Americans and American companies. We brought American and Brazilian fighters to our events and even visited and toured the United States last year. President of Russia has even supported the growth of our sport attending events and bringing Americans over to discuss relations through the sport of MMA.
A grave injustice has occurred that relates to this business that now challenges the viability of this relationship. In an effort to improve our promotion, which draws 7 thousand spectators an event, we sought out the services of respected MMA promoter and former Bellator Director Mr. Joe Kelly who owns Titan Fighting Championships. We were informed Mr. Kelly and Titan had experience in cage manufacturing and he said he only used the best vendors and shippers; Titan manufactured cages for various organizations, including a cage for the SFL in India.
Complying with all requests we sent all the required money to the requested parties as was asked. In fact were sent over 43,000 USD for the cage and for shipping. Cage was supposed to be done and shipped by beginning of April 2012. Initially Mr. Kelly claimed that he did not receive the final tenders from our bank. We provided proof of the wire. Then he claimed that money never arrived to the account. We provided proof of that with written statements as well of confirmation from bank authorities that confirmed the money was received and purposely moved around to several accounts the same day it arrived. It has been a year and a half and the cage has not been shipped and Titan Promotions continues to blame vendors and not rectify the situation. Many shows that we were going to use the new cage at had to be run using old cage, even though the presence of a new cage was announced to sponsors, so we looked terrible in their eyes as well.
The purpose of the letter is a desire that some how the MMA media may be of assistance. We are informed that by the US laws it will cost considerable money to use the US court system and that money cannot be recovered. We will be forced to take this option against Mr. Joe Kelly and specifically Titan if the problem is not resolved.
From a foreign, specifically a Russian perspective this is very disheartening. Mr. Joe Kelly is a promoter of a large American promotion broadcast on HDNet and now CBSsports. He claims to own an arena in St. Louis. He has an American legal degree. We would have hoped that any personal issues he may be having would not reflect on how American MMA business conducts itself with their alleged foreign allies. Mr. Kelly’s actions have done considerable harm to the international relation in this sport that is now global. We are upset that someone like Mr. Joe Kelly can take our money and do nothing and we are forced to spend more money that we may recover. This is an unfortunate injustice that the American media and MMA fans must be made aware of.
With best regards,
Deputy Director of Modern Fighting Pankration
(former known as WAFC)
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Kelly says that shipping and storage were never paid for, and eventually the cage had to be sold to a third party.
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