They say there are three sides to every story, side A, side B and the truth that lies somewhere in the middle.
For all intents and purposes, Bas Rutten wants you to know the truth that lies in the middle of the Alistair Overeem vs. Golden Glory dispute and he pulls no punches when discussing it with paullazenby.com.
Rutten has long been known to have very strong ties with the Golden Glory team that he shares his native home with and as such, his recount of events is probably as close to the truth as one might hope to get.
While we cannot confirm this to be 100% factual, “El Guapo” has one of those faces you can’t help but trust and as such I’ll share it and leave it to our readers to decide who is right, if anyone, in this whole situation.
“Oh no, you didn’t go there! (laughs) I thought that if nobody asks, I won’t say anything, but now that you ask me I have to! It’s been bothering me a lot! OK, here I go.
It’s a money thing. He simply doesn’t want to pay the people who made him. When he lost three fights in a row…well, like pretty much five, I mean, he lost, won, lost three times in a row, won, and lost again…and nobody wanted to have him.
But his management kept pushing and using the power that they have because they have other great fighters. Like, for example: “If you want Semmy Schilt to fight, then you have to take Alistair as well.”
It’s funny how fighters think. When it goes bad with them, their team is everything to them, and they love their team. In interviews after they win a fight, they say: “I owe everything to my team”. Then when the management starts to put great fights together for them, directing their careers and the fighter gets better and better, some of them simply can’t handle it, and it gets to their head.
I had a bad feeling already when he called himself, after he won the K-1 Grand Prix, a “legend”. He actually said in an interview right after he won: “I am a legend now”. I don’t think a fighter can ever make that comment about himself.
And talking about the Grand Prix, let’s face it, he had a great deal of luck as well there. He fought Peter Aerts who had a WAR with Semmy Schilt [previously that night] and was completely banged up, and then he fought [Gokhan] Saki, who had a broken arm AND hand, in the finals! At that moment when you win, you should say: “I’m very happy with the result, the stars were in line for me tonight, I also got a little bit of luck”. Because everybody is going to say that about you anyway, you might as well simply say it yourself to keep the people respecting you, but NOT: “I’m a legend”.
I KNOW what Golden Glory did for him. He couldn’t punch or kick when he came to them, and I mean, HE COULDN’T PUNCH OR KICK! Some fighters get big and then forget who was fighting for them when they were losing. Two months ago, he wanted to make a belt for the Golden Glory team with “FOR CHAMPION MANAGEMENT” engraved on it. Those were HIS words after they made this huge contract for him, and now he says they are morons? He used them to negotiate the best deal and when they did it, now suddenly they are morons? Explain that to me. It’s unreal.
Also, a few months ago, when they started to get close to a good deal with the UFC, he realized that he could make a lot of money. The first thing he did was go to Cor Hemmers, his striking coach, and tried to renegotiate the 10% trainer’s fee.
You have to understand, [a deal like Alistair’s UFC contract] is a dream for trainers, because there is a possibility that they create, with the help from management of course, a fighter who can make some REAL money for them. Because let’s face it, most trainers don’t live in a huge house, don’t drive a big car, they do it for the love of the fighter they train. They put their whole heart and soul in there.
When a fighter’s lost three in a row, and there is no hope for him, the trainer is always there for him, helping him again and again, and the management is trying to find fights for him. Understand as well that trainers like Cor Hemmers and Martijn de Jong are busy with the fighter 24 hours a day. I talked to Cor in the past and he told me he couldn’t sleep from all the tension, and about thinking: “What’s the best game plan for Alistair?” Also know that when Alistair [first] came to Cor, when he would get hit, he would turn his back to his opponent and didn’t want to fight! You saw that when he fought his first K-1 fight in Holland, it was very bad. And when he was losing, [his trainers] were the ones who convinced him to go heavyweight since he was cutting way too much [to make light-heavyweight].
He tries to let the rest of the world think that the coaches and other fighters are on his side, and that it’s only the management he has problems with. But that is absolutely NOT the case. I mean, go to Cor Hemmers’ gym and look at the posters with pictures of Alistair on there, see what his fellow fighters did to them.
And you know what he said to Martijn? I know this because I talked with Martijn personally three days ago. When he told Martijn he didn’t want to pay the 10% trainer’s fee–and remember, Cor and Martijn SPLIT the 10%, so it’s not 20% in total–Martijn told him that he was there with him for TWELVE YEARS, and that they trained him for so long and went through the ups and downs, especially the downs. And on top of that, he said that he was Alistair’s friend this whole time, and made a big contribution to Alistair’s success.
But Alistair said: “Yeah, if we have to talk about people who contributed to my success, then I also have to mention my cleaning lady who cleans my house for eleven and a half Euros an hour.”
OK, just think about that for a second. It’s almost like it’s not real. I mean, he REALLY said this! I wouldn’t tell you if it wasn’t the truth, you know me, Paul.
Just the fact that he uses the words “trainer” and “cleaning lady” in the same sentence is so disrespectful. And his new offer to Martijn was LESS THAN ONE PERCENT! Plus then of course Martijn has to see if he actually gets it. I said this before–normally Golden Glory gets the money from promoters in THEIR account. THEY pay the trainers, sparring partners, the fighters and their own fee of course, and this way, everybody who needs to get paid, gets paid! Oh, and many times [Golden Glory] would pay also for extra tickets to the fight, like flights to Japan or America, for the fighter’s girlfriend or other friends. They would pay their hotel room, food, everything.
When the UFC said that they wanted to give the check directly to the fighter and not to the management, I already felt the problem coming. I right away thought: “Nobody is gonna get paid”. You can actually find that in my long tweet about Golden Glory in the past that many people read. I wrote it when it happened, and sure enough, that’s what happened, nobody got their money.
Well, I take that back. From the first check that Alistair personally got, he did pay his trainers 1.5% instead of the 10% that they should have got! So, as example, if the 10% trainer’s fee would have been $20,000, Alistair paid $2,500 and still owes $17,500.
And people wonder why Golden Glory wants it first in their account–well, there you have it, so that EVERYBODY who helped the fighter gets paid! They [allowed direct payment to the fighter] ONE time and it went right away wrong, also with another fighter on that card by the way, so the proof is in the pudding.
Martijn also should have gotten a percentage of the sponsor money, but didn’t get anything from that as well. Needless to say, after the “cleaning lady” comment and the “less then 1%” offer, Martijn declined to be [Alistair’s] trainer in the future.
Listen, if you leave your old crew, and have a NEW trainer, who comes in NOW after all the real work is done, then YES, you can make a different deal with him, which is exactly what Alistair did now. And since he knew that his management and the Golden Glory guys were not gonna take his new deal, he simply left them and came up with this whole story that’s unfolding now.
And I am 100% sure, if he wanted to renegotiate the 20% management fee that he was paying before, [Golden Glory] would have done that in an instant. They would have understood that with a big contract like this, they could take a lesser fee if he really thought they didn’t deserve it.
But instead he complains in public about paying 35% of his money, which is another thing! People say, “Oh, 35% is a lot of money, he shouldn’t do that!” First of all, it’s 30%. He ASKED to make it 35% to get a break on TAXES…but that’s another crazy story. But it’s 30%, ALWAYS been 30%
Alistair actually called me to explain his side of the story. The only thing I told him was: “If I was you, I would read all the e-mails [that your trainers and management] send to you, because everything is in there. They did NOT try to scam you.” He said: “Yeah, but there was talk about a lot of money that they would get half from.” This is an outside payment, by the way, not part of his contract or a signing bonus or anything. It was supposed to go half to him, with a group of people who helped him a LOT in the past each getting a share of the other half. He said: “I found out by accident, by accident”–he said it twice–“that they would get half, and we are talking about a lot of money.”
I said: “I know what money you talk about, because [Golden Glory] even told me, and they NEVER told me to not to tell you about it. So again, if I were you, I would read the e-mails, it’s all in there.”
But once a fighter has it in his head that he is being screwed, people around him fuel those thoughts. They say: “Yeah, don’t pay 30% to the trainers, management and sparring partners. YOU made them, not the other way around.” And these are people who weren’t there when Alistair had his bad streak, the 5 losses in 7 fights. No, a bunch of these guys showed up when he started winning.
And if you say that many times enough to a fighter, then eventually they start thinking like that. And he actually said this to his management last month: “I made the team. Because of ME, the team is so good”. Well, if he still thinks that after reading everything I just said to you, then I am actually happy that [he and Golden Glory] broke up, because that is NOT a friend or team member.
This is my side of the story and both Alistair and I know this is 100% the truth. He hurt my friends emotionally, and then on top of everything he starts writing bad about THEM?! Wow. Cor Hemmers even had to go to the hospital with heart problems TWICE since this whole thing has started, and he never had any problems like that before. And Ron Nyqvist, my good friend, was really emotional about it. He said to me: “I don’t care about the money Bas, you know that, it’s really not about that. He just really hurt us all. The whole team, everybody.” I could hear it in his voice, it got to him, it really did, and that’s why I tell you this.”
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