On November 9, the World Bare Knuckle Fighting Federation (WBKFF) held their first ever bare-knuckle boxing event in Casper, Wyoming.
The card featured numerous notable MMA fighters. Names included the likes of Chris Leben, Phil Baroni, and former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks.
Now over a month removed from the event and news surfaced just yesterday that none of the fighters on the card have yet to receive their paychecks.
Obviously, this is quite the predicament to be in for WBKFF. However, it’s not like it’s been smooth sailing since the leadup to the event and will be hard to imagine it being so from here on out.
Today, WBKFF President and MMA legend Bas Rutten took to Facebook to release a statement on the matter and try to clear things up.
“I am seeing the internet explode so here is a short statement from me about the situation with the WBKFF.
If you didn’t read my first Facebook post on November 15th, I suggest to read it so you have at least an understanding of what we were dealing with and know why this is happening. So if you are on my FB page, scroll down a few posts, if you are not on my FB page, you can read it here: (link)
As you could read in that statement is that Tom the owner, was in the hospital a week before the fight because of all the crap that happened and the stress Paul Tyler has inflicted, and Tom’s health is not doing better, so I have been trying to get a hold of him (since yesterday already) and he just called me back saying he went to home early because it’s driving him nuts.
He just assured me that the fighters WILL be paid 100% certain, also the cars (Mustangs) that were promised to Julian Lane and Joey Angelo WILL be there once they go through inspection. These cars are ‘one of a kind’ cars, special engine, color, rims, wrap around it, etc, they just need inspection before they are going to be OK’d, that’s why. And since Tom has his mind ONLY on getting money for the fighters, it, unfortunately, it is taking longer
The last 5 weeks have been insane, the only thing that Tom and his team have been trying to do is to get that money ‘unfrozen’ from the bank and other possibilities so that they can pay the fighters. This is VERY important to Tom, I hope you understand and believe that.
All the fighters who didn’t get paid, all those fighter’s emails, texts, phone calls, etc, have been answered immediately, all of them! He has also been sending money to fighters who needed ‘fast cash’ for food, rent, car payments whatever they needed it for, Tom wired them the amount they asked for immediately. (You can ask the fighters themselves). Does that look like a man who doesn’t care and doesn’t want to pay the fighters?
So yes, they have not been paid in full, but again, they are all working on it really hard and promised it WILL happen
I cannot say anything anymore because of certain reasons which will come out once everybody is taken care off.
Personally, I can tell you that it has been on MY mind every single day since the event, and I know 100% certain it has been on Tom’s mind every single day as well since I have talked to him MANY times. It has been driving us crazy as well
We are VERY sorry that this is happening, it’s a freaking nightmare and we know that the fighters need money, at least you know now why it’s happening (if you read the other post), not that it makes everything easier for the fighters, of course it’s not making it easier, but at least you know WHY it is happening.
And one more time, he JUST told me that the fighters WILL get paid 100% certain!
Oh, and we didn’t take down our website down, 100% NOT, apparently we are still worked against. It will come back on again. I am just saying this because people looked into this as it was ‘proof we screwed the fighters’, again, 100% we did NOT do this.
Is this the end of the WBKFF’s very short history?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/13/2018