UFC veteran Seo Hee Ham, who is currently the RIZIN atomweight champion, claims she’s the victim of embezzlement.
Ham put forth this allegation on her Instagram account, claiming that manager Hidekatsu Morooka and with his wife have been embezzling money from her since the early days of her career. In that time, she alleges they’ve stolen more than $26,000 from her.
Here’s what Ham had to say (translation via electimes.com):
“I moved into Japanese pro MMA league, making my debut in 2007. Hidekatsu Morooka and his wife, Yoon Sik Lee, were my [management team] and I could made a contract for my fight in Japan through them. They’ve treated me like a real daughter, so I respected and followed what they said until 2014. Five years have passed since then, and I started to fight in Japan again. And of course, I got reunited with Hidekatsu Morooka and his wife to work with them.
“But recently I figured out that they’re embezzling my fight money. If the sum involved is small, I will be able to forgive what they do. Because they always says that they received no extra money to make a fight for Korean MMA fighters in Japan and complain about big deficits. So I appreciated their effort, [feel] sorry for them, and didn’t believe the bad rumors about their embezzlement.
“But with recently discovered proof, I have lost all faith in them. They embezzled my fight money twice in 2019, and the total comes out to 30 million Korean Won [roughly $26,000]. I think it’s not just me who got mugged, maybe a lot of Korean MMA fighters got scammed by them.
“I hate to say this, cause I believed and followed them for the last 15 years. But I know that I must step up now, [because] I hope there will be no more innocent victims. Hidekatsu Morooka and his wife are still looking for [an] MMA fighter and making a fight in Japan. There was no contrition and no apology, so I’m very disappointed in their actions. I really want them out in the industry, and urge all the MMA fighters to avoid them.”
At last weekend’s RIZIN 20 card, Ham won the RIZIN atomweight title with a split decision win over her rival Ayaka Hamasaki. She is also a former Road FC champion, and fought for the UFC from 2014-2016.
What do you think of this allegation from Seo Hee Ham? Stay tuned for more information as new details emerge.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/3/2020.