The World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) made the biggest steal of 2018.
Putting on their very first and only event on November 10, the promotion had stacked its inaugural card with plenty of big names ranging from the likes of former UFC welterweight champion, Johny Hendricks to athletes outside of MMA as well such as the ex-NFL star, Shawne Merriman.
However, Merriman would wisely end up pulling out of his fight due to contract issues. Hendricks wouldn’t end up being as lucky as he would go on to get knocked out in his bout with Dakota Cochrane and then not be paid a penny for his efforts. And that would go for the entire rest of the card.
Returning on that same night was notable UFC veteran Chris Leben who fought for the first time in five years after retiring from MMA. Leben would take on and defeat fellow MMA veteran, Phil Baroni via first round knockout.
Since the whole incident with the WBKFF, Leben has gone on to sign with the Bare-Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC). However, Forbes now reports that Leben sued the WBKFF for $90,000 in San Diego Superior Court on Monday. Leben alleged that the promotion failed to pay $90,000 of his expected $100,000 purse. He would be paid a down payment of $10,000 which is all that he has receive for his written contractual obligations.
WBKFF owner Tomasz Stankiewicz was sentenced to one year in prison last week for wire fraud in Illinois after a 2018 guilty plea.
It’s believed by Leben that Stankiewicz never intended to pay the fighters despite the promotion’s president, Bas Rutten claiming otherwise.
As far it’s currently known, Leben is the only fighter to sue the WBKFF. And when it comes to his fighting future, he does not yet have a debut date set with the BKFC.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/14/2019