Earlier this week, former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks — one of many fighters not to be paid by World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) last fall — implied that former WBKFF president Bas Rutten likely knew something about the promotion’s dicey finances.
“Dude, why didn’t you tell us? He had to have known something,” Hendricks told Bloody Elbow‘s Pull No Punches podcast recently (transcript via MMA News). “He had to have. Was he sitting here thinking along the same line as that guy… Why hasn’t he said anything? It sucks, the whole aspect of it.”
Speaking on his official Facebook page, Bas Rutten responded to this comment from Johny Hendricks. He maintained that he knew nothing about WBKFF’s situation beforehand, reiterated that he always looks out for his fellow fighters, and scolded Hendricks for thinking otherwise.
“Wow, when some ignorant people believe this, I don’t really care, but once a fighter believes that? Come on now Johny, not cool, you know I am there for you and the fighters,” an impassioned Bas Rutten wrote. “I told you personally, AND EVERY OTHER FIGHTER IN WYOMING BEFORE THE SHOW (ask them all), that I saw the bank statements from Tom the owner and had ‘proof of funds’ before the show. Proof that he had enough money in the bank to pay the fighters because this was to me the most important thing of all.”
While WBKFF owner Tom Stankiewicz allegedly provided “proof of funds” before this infamous bare knuckle card, very few fighters on the bill received any income whatsoever after the fact.
What do you make of this back-and-forth between Johny Hendricks and Bas Rutten?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/29/2019.