By now, everyone should be well aware of BKFC president David Feldman’s in-ring announcement at Bare Knuckle FC 5 this past Saturday, where he declared Rusty Crowder would be giving half of his purse to his opponent due to lack of activity. As divided as the MMA/combat sports online community can be at times, everyone seemed to agree that this was not only wrong but probably illegal. There’s just no way Feldman can arbitrarily give part of one fighter’s purse to another. Especially when his reasoning is “I didn’t enjoy the fight”.
Well, fast forward a couple of days, and Feldman has wisely retracted his statement from the other night.
“At the time I thought it was the right thing to do, but did what I thought was right so, after the fight, Rusty was paid what he was contracted to be paid. We had a talk and he understands what I meant. It was more of a knee jerk reaction”
At least it is now known that Rusty Crowder was paid his full purse, but it still doesn’t change the fact that this was not a good look for the BKFC president.
A slippery slope
It’s understandable to see why a promoter would want all action fights every time the bell rings. My god, could you imagine how popular the UFC would be if Justin Gaethje fought every weekend? That said, when you have trained fighters in the ring, every bout isn’t going to be an instant classic. It just isn’t. If you want rapid fire mindless chaos, that’s what Rough N’ Rowdy is for. The looming threat of withholding a fighter’s purse for inactivity is going to drive top talent away, not attract it.
If Feldman wouldn’t have said anything, nobody would even be talking about this right now. They would be talking about the barn-burner main event between Artem Lobov and Jason Knight. Instead, it’s been three days and people are still talking about how BKFC treats/views their fighters. Again, Feldman wisely retracted his statement and things seem to be good for all parties right now. But if BKFC is going to continue to grow, it would seem wise to not flirt with the line between an organization that financially rewards action and one that financially punishes inaction.