Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Lance "The Party" Palmer entered the WOSF as a four-time All-American wrestler from Ohio State, with a 7-0 MMA record, lost his debut, won three in a row winning and successfully defending the featherweight title, then lost, won, and again lost the belt.

Then the Professional Fighters League acquired WSOF, and his career exploded. Palmer won 11 in a row, twice winning $1,000,000. But 2020 happened.

The PFL shelved the entire season in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Now Palmer wants a release. He explained why in an interview with Damon Martin for MMA Fighting.

He's 33, in the prime of what is always a very short career, and isn't willing to sit out for 18 months. With the UFC going strong, plus smaller USA events like Titan FC and LFA in operation, he wonders why the PFL isn't holding a single show. The PLF announced that fighters who remained on the roster would get a monthly stipend, but he's not impressed.

“The amount that they were offering everybody was ridiculous anyway - $1,000 a month for five months,” said Palmer. “It’s not even $1,000 a month for 18 months. I mean $1,000 a month, I don’t care how rich or poor you are, that’s not enough money to pay your bills.”

And then the PLF released a statement about remarks Palmer's father made on his social network, one of which was apparently tagged with the PFL. Or perhaps the fighter's father tagged the PFL in a combat sports related message, which brought other ones to the promotion's attention. In any case, the PFL reacted.

“We are aware that PFL was tagged in social media in connection with repulsive posts made by Wayne Palmer towards the black community," read the message. "We stand in solidarity with the black community and the PFL does not condone in any way racist or misogynistic views.”

Wayne Palmer's messages are private, so it's not known what he wrote, but that's irrelevant, as the father has no relationship with the PFL. So with that, the bridge was burned.

“They’re salty about me coming out in the media about it because none of the other fighters would, and then they post something on Friday saying they were tagged in my dad’s Instagram account saying that he posted something they don’t agree with,” said Palmer. “If it’s not more clear that they’re reaching for something at this point, I don’t know what is. One, my dad’s not employed by PFL and two, his beliefs and thoughts aren’t my beliefs and thoughts so I don’t know how you can tie those two together in any way.”

“UFC gets tagged in posts every day. You never see them make a statement about somebody that has no affiliation or an employee. It’s really weird."

“I honestly just want my release so I can go elsewhere. I’m out on a job right now. I’m working. It’s not like I’m sitting at home asking for a free paycheck.”

“I don’t really see a way to mend that situation when they bring somebody’s family members into it. My dad has nothing to do with contract negotiations or the way I feel about the season being canceled or anything else. We’re looking into it right now. I really don’t feel comfortable fighting for them knowing that they’re not fighting for me. That’s kind of where I’m at.

“I just want to fight. That’s what it comes down to. At this point, I’m just not comfortable continuing with them.”