Bitter Twitter quarrel resolved between Burkman, Magalhaes, WSoF

Friday, April 04, 2014

WSoF welterweight Josh Burkman recently requested release from his contract with the fight organization. A bitter Twitter quarrel ensued, between BurkmanWSoF VP and matchmaker Ali Abdel-Aziz, and light heavyweight Vinny Magalhaes.


Retweeted by Joshua Burkman
marshall dye ‏@snackgod
I wounder how @JoshBurkman is the only @MMAWorldSeries that didn't get a win bonus. to me it kinda doesn't seem fair

Joshua Burkman ‏@JoshBurkman  
•WSOF foreshadowing… Contracts should be honored at all times. Not just when fighters are winning! #JusticePrevails 

I can't work on going anywhere else unless #WSOF releases me. If so, we will start fresh somewhere else…

Ali Abdelaziz @AliAbdelaziz00
@MMAWorldSeries gave Josh Burkman 5 fights in 16 months, made more $ than any other fighter we have, bent over backwards for him.

Vinny Magalahaes @VinnyMMA 
@JoshBurkman I don't blame you, dealing with that Ali guy must be a pain in the ass, Which sucks because Ray is a great guy.

Joshua Burkman ‏@JoshBurkman
@VinnyMMA couldn't have said it better myself.

Vinny Magalahaes @VinnyMMA 
@JoshBurkman Well, I know that for a fact. I had a contract in hands, just needed to sign it. Dealing with him made the whole deal not worth.

Ali Abdelaziz @AliAbdelaziz00
•I don't know why all this bashing all of a sudden about me and WSOF? It's all good though.
•@VinnyMMA  You wanted 3x more than what ufc was paying you. I believe you're making 3/3 now. #truth

Vinny Magalahaes @VinnyMMA 
I was making 22/22, you wanted to pay me 6/6. F— you!

Vinny Magalahaes @VinnyMMA 
@AliAbdelaziz00 what you said it was photoshopped, I never asked for 66/66, that's 3x more, if you can do the math.

Ali Abdelaziz @AliAbdelaziz00
@VinnyMMA the truth why you didn't sign w WSOF is because we offered you same as UFC gave you. You had come off a KO by a 40 yr old.

Vinny Magalahaes @VinnyMMA 
@AliAbdelaziz00 f— you! you think you're joe silva, but nobody respects you , because you're a piece of s— wanna be.

Magalhaes then angrily texted Abdel-Aziz, a screen shot of which was posted by the matchmaker.

Ali Abdelaziz @AliAbdelaziz00
@VinnyMMA Just called you but you didn't pick up. Who's the pussy now???@VinnyMMA you just text me first and I called you back as a man. Lol. Stop talking about me, it's not a good look

Vinny Magalahaes @VinnyMMA 
@AliAbdelaziz00 you're still a pussy, I'm busy, doesn't make me a pussy. I don't have to make time for you.

Then the boss, WSoF president Ray Sefo stepped in firmly.

Ray Sefo @SugarRaySefo
•@JoshBurkman we spoke briefly 2 minutes before my flight took off you express that you couldn't work with one individual not @MMAWorldSeries
?•@JoshBurkman @MMAWorldSeries has been good to you and you know this my friend, one individual's action doesn't speak for WSOF…

And things settled down, mostly…

Joshua Burkman @JoshBurkman
•I have nothing but love for you @SugarRaySefo you said if a fighter was unhappy you would release them. Guess it's not that simple my friend
•WSOF was mostly good 2 me n good 4 my career. I hope U continue 2 support them n there fighters. Many good people involved @MMAWorldSeries

Ali Abdelaziz @AliAbdelaziz00
Just got a call from @VinnyMMA and it's all good #squashed

Burkman fought this weekend for a flat fee of $25,000, knocking out Tyler Stinson. The WSoF then announced that new welterweight champ Rousimar Palhares would be fighting Jon Fitch. And Burkman began the posts that start above.

MMAJunkie got further details from Abdel-Aziz, who said the self-managed Burkman had been speaking to other promotions despite having another fight left on his WSoF contract.

“That’s not how business is done,” said Abdelaziz. “Josh Burkman should call Anthony Johnson and get some business advice. Anthony Johnson finished his contract with us and told us he wanted to go to the UFC. We had the right to match the offer he received, but we didn’t because Anthony Johnson came to us like a professional and explained his position. Now we wish him nothing but the best in the UFC.” 

“This is not how a man handles business. We have treated Josh Burkman like family from day one at World Series of Fighting. He’s made more money than anyone else in the entire promotion. He wants to stay active, so we’ve given him five fights in 16 months. We always gave him more tickets to the events than he was contracted to receive. We gave him extra hotel rooms. Now he’s saying he feels like we’ve mistreated him? I don’t get it.

“I feel betrayed by Josh Burkman.”

“I have no hard feelings with Josh Burkman, but he’s trying to bash me in the media, so I feel it’s only right to respond with the truth. Josh Burkman wasn’t even supposed to be on the card last weekend, but he told us he really wanted to fight, so we canceled the fight we had planned to make room for him instead. Legally, I’m not allowed to talk exact numbers, but we didn’t have his purse budgeted for this card, so he was asked if he was willing to fight for a flat fee – a fee that was more than his show money – and he agreed and said he could make up the difference in his sponsorship deals. Now he has a problem with the amount? I don’t understand it.

“We would have put him on the card in June in San Jose, but he wanted to fight now. So we did a favor for him and put him on the card. Now we’re mistreating him? I can’t explain it.”

“Look, if Josh Burkman wants out of his deal because he just doesn’t want to fight Rousimar Palhares or Jon Fitch, I don’t blame him – those are tough, tough guys. But we’ve gone out of our way to treat Josh Burkman well since he first signed with us. All we’re asking is for him to fulfill his contract.

“If Josh Burkman wants to go somewhere else, let him prove himself first. Fight the winner of Palhares vs. Fitch and then leave World Series of Fighting as champion. Just think how valuable he would be then.”

Read entire article…

And finally, it's resolved.

“The People’s Warrior” plans on staying with the Las Vegas-based promotion and will soon fight for the company’s welterweight title.

“I’m happy to tell you that we spoke with Josh Burkman, and everything is good,” WSOF exec Ali Abdelaziz told MMAjunkie. “We had a few issues to work out, but everything is good, and Josh will now fight for the welterweight title against the winner of Rousimar Palhares and Jon Fitch.”

At the center of the controversy was Burkman’s pay at WSOF 9. Burkman agreed to be paid a flat rate of $25,000 rather than his contracted amount. After some back-and-forth between the fighter and the promotion, WSOF officials elected to make up the difference between the flat fee and the contracted rate with a special bonus check, cut today.

Palhares will meet Fitch in the main event of WSOF 11, on July 5.

Burkman will then challenge the winner.

Read entire article…

It should be noted by the sport that the differences were not resolved on Twitter, but rather were sparked by it.