In mid-march, South Korea’s Battlefield Fighting Championship promoted its first ever show. At a glance, the upstart organization seemed to have a good thing going, as it brought notable names like former ONE middleweight king Igor Svirid, UFC veteran Sarah Kaufman, grappling specialist Jeff Glover, and WSOF veteran Jorge Patino to the South Korean fans. Unfortunately, the promotion’s debut show was immediately showered in controversy, as reports began to surface that it had given its fighters IOUs instead of paying them.
These reports followed a now-deleted Instagram post from Glover, who said that he had not yet been paid as he was about to board his flight home.
“Alright, I gotta make this video before I get on this plane,” Glover said in his video. “There’s a chance that nobody gets paid from this (Battlefield FC) event. They promised to pay us all in two weeks. So, I just wanted to let you guys know that, before I get on this flight.”
“Everybody was given IOUs from Battlefield MMA in Korea, so we’ll see how that goes.”
Now well over a month removed from this card, it sounds as though the majority of the fighters on the card have still not been paid.
Speaking with Matt Eaton of TheFightNation.com, manager Stan Kolesnitchenko has confirmed that his fighters Svirid, Tilek Mashrapov and Zhyrgalbek Emilbekov are all yet to receive payment. To make matters worse, Svirid apparently planned to use his $10,000 purse for his wedding, but has had to cancel his wedding plans as a result of the promotion’s misstep.
Kaufman, meanwhile, who is perhaps the most notable fighter on the card, has also not been paid.
“I’m not sure the exact number of fighters who haven’t been paid,” she told BloodyElbow.com. “I was told from the promotion there are 7 of us remaining, but I am one of them,” she wrote. “I know for sure the top 3 fights on the card — before mine, the co-main and the main — need to be paid. The promotion has mostly stayed in contact with us and has continued to insist we will be paid, but as of yet no money has been wired into my account.”
“I enjoyed fighting for them, but there would have to be some extra stipulations set in place for me to readily accept another fight with them — and that is taking into account me getting paid on this one,” she continued.
What do you think of Battlefield FC’s failure to pay Sarah Kaufman, Igor Svirid and the other fighters on this card? Hopefully the promoters, Yongwoo lLe and “Peter” Ji Hoon Shin come through on this one.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/3/2017.