This is never the kind of news we like to report, but serious allegations have been made against John Ferguson and his Cage Contender promotion regarding non payment of fighters and staff, specifically for the recent Cage Contender 16 card headlined by Paul Daley vs. Patrick Vallee.
Following veiled comments from a few industry figures, this post was made to a number of MMA forums, apparently from fighter Chris Stringer, citing a variety of non payment, late payment and partial payment issues regarding remuneration for this show affecting himself, fellow fighters Chris McDonald, John Redmond and staff like referee David Jones, cutman Joe Clifford and announcer Barry Oglesby.
Obviously we are in no position to verify these accusations, but it does seem unlikely that a fighter (and a few others have made similar complaints since the story broke) would falsely accuse a promotion of such behaviour, knowing that such an act would reduce their options, especially in a developing market like Ireland.
We’re not about to start a witch hunt against Cage Contender, but we’d like to think that it’s part of our job to spread word of such things for the sake of the hard working folks who give up time and more conventional employment opportunities to make an MMA show happen.
Hopefully, this will all be sorted out to everyone’s satisfaction.
Furthermore, we feel this could be a sign of a promotion aiming a little too high, failing to balance the costs of hiring in an international star like Paul Daley without reckoning if the increased revenue would cover the extra expense.
Ambition is all well and good, but when it results in you not being able to pay your undercard fighters and other staff, it’s a vainglorious road at best.
We’ll keep you updated on this as anything further comes out or Cage Contender make an official statement.