A financial dispute between Ronda Rousey and her former management team could eventually land the UFC women’s bantamweight champ in hot water.
Darin Harvey, president of Fight Tribe Management, is fighting tooth and nail to be compensated for all of the years he dedicated to Rousey’s career. In Harvey’s eyes, it truly is a rags to riches kind of story, per Pro MMA Now:
When I first met Ronda Rousey four years ago, she was destitute and UFC President Dana White was quoted as saying a woman would never fight in the UFC. I set out to make Ronda a star and prove Dana wrong. The results speak for themselves. Ronda is now a highly sought-after model, spokesperson and actress, not to mention the first and still reigning female UFC champion.
So you want to be a fighter?
The long yellow brick road to UFC superstardom is a winding one that often requires a helping hand, which is what Harvey is suggesting was offered to Rousey in 2010.
Rarely do you find any story involving glamorous beginnings for a UFC fighter. A fighter dedicates his or her life to becoming the best in the world, and someone takes a risk in backing and guiding them financially in hopes of them one day hitting the big time.
Newly-crowned UFC welterweight champ Johny Hendricks reportedly paid his management team half of his UFC 171 earnings for past help, per Sports Illustrated.
According to MMAjunkie.com, Harvey laid out some of the financial details regarding his business relationship with Rousey, including training camps, living expenses and sparring partners:
Harvey submitted an exhibit showing that from January 2010 to January 2014, he received $25,608 from Rousey's fight earnings, $23,180 from pay-per-view proceeds, and $20,830 from sponsorships. In turn, he spent $170,376 on the fighter's training camps, living expenses and sparring partners, resulting in a loss of $85,818.
The idea of Rousey changing management in the prime of her career has to sting for Harvey, who filed for private arbitration with the courts in March.
Rousey answered by taking the issue up with the California State Athletic Commission. After hearing both sides, the CSAC sided with Rousey and released her from the fighter portion of her agreement with Fight Tribe Management.
Despite claiming to be a non-litigious person, per Pro MMA Now, Harvey is now ready to pursue the necessary course of action in ensuring that “Fight Tribe Management's contributions to Ronda's career are fully recognized and fairly rewarded.”
“I never thought for a moment that once she made it to the top, Ronda would turn her back on us and refuse to honor her legal and moral obligations,” said Harvey.
While the CSAC released Rousey from the fighter portion of her agreement, Fight Tribe Management could still be entitled to a percentage of the UFC star’s commercial earnings, especially those from modeling and acting.
The CSAC has deferred that ruling to the California Superior Court.