Scott Zerr of Maximum Fighting Championship wrote the following response to our previous report from HCF's CEO Keith Crawford:
The Maximum Fighting Championship will take the opportunity to respond to the complaint registered by HCF -- which in itself is mind-boggling when you'd think Mr. Crawford would be more interested in figuring out how not to lose his partner's money coming off the flop that was his last show in Calgary .
It's pretty hard to figure how he can throw around his bank roller's money and continually lose it -- I don't think drawing 1,000 people cuts it when you consider his rental on the building and fighter payroll. All those big MMA names and you can't get close to a full house -- tells you something doesn't it?
The MFC never publicly offered our opinion on the HCF card. We waited for the results.
And the result of all the big talk about Emelianenko vs. Bobish and all the international fighters from Costa Rica and Armenia was a pathetic turnout and next to nothing as far as mainstream media coverage (not to mention how practically everyone who attended the fight commented on Bobish's "enhanced" physique).
The HCF says it supports Canadian talent. Interesting. Consider that Marcos Vinicios (born in Brazil , now at home in Vancouver ) was signed to a multi-fight contract. Great - I admire his talent. Then consider that his own promoter (Mr. Crawford) throws him to the lions by having him booked to fight first Edwin DeWees (legit injury forced him out) and then re-booked against Sean Salmon. And look back at the first HCF -- it was pretty much a case of bringing in overpaid U.S. guys to beat on under-qualified Canadians. Wouldn't want to build up that homegrown talent I suppose.
As for Mr. Crawford's comments on the MFC main event for Nov. 23, obviously we feel he should mind his own business. For a guy who not very long ago was one of the country's biggest detractors of MMA (calling it barbaric, not a real sport and was doing everything he could to try and stop it) it's an interesting take. If Brad Zazulak or his manager weren't interested in the fight, there was no gun to their heads to take it. In fact, the MFC believes strongly in Brad's future and we have the expectation that he will be among our best in the middleweight ranks.
The MFC was at the forefront of bringing MMA to Canada and we will be here for the long haul. Mr. Crawford is great at spending other people's money -- and frankly that's about all. His shows have never made any significant money, if any at all. Mr. Crawford is a bully -- something I have been subjected to first hand and then less than 24 hours later, he is made to phone in an apology by his then-partner.
Mr. Crawford states he has put in 10 years and considerable financial resources. If you don't know, the early part of that decade was spent denouncing MMA and saying how muay thai fighting was the next big thing (another partnership down the tubes) and also spent trying to promote arena football in Canada (no need to ask how that fared). As for his financial resources, he can sure spend other people's money well. Does he ever make any?
In his letter, Mr. Crawford likes to associate himself as being among North America 's top promotions. I would think that you would need to put on a few more shows before touting yourself in such a way. And the last time I saw Mr. Crawford, he and his staff were busy handing out handfuls of FREE tickets to his show in Edmonton -- 200 paid plus 600 freebies - another great business decision.
Mr. Crawford goes on to complain about the "renegade, start up" commission. Funny, this same commission is the one that Mr. Crawford worked with for his first HCF show. And because he didn't like the way the rules were laid out and he ended up giving away 800 tickets just to have the seats full (which wasn't accomplished anyway) now he's full of sour grapes.
If Mr. Crawford is so concerned about mismatches, perhaps he should take care of his own house first. Last HCF show, 9-0 fighter vs. Pro Debut; and a past show that he was associated with saw a 16-0 Mac Danzig vs. Pro Debut. Even the UFC had Melvin Guillard with 35 fights face Rick Davis with 3 fights. But numbers don't always show the true story. Victor Valimaki at 3-2 fought Dan Severn who had 85 fights to his credit. Valimaki won by unanimous decision.
The MFC takes a lot of time when it comes to matchmaking. We have NEVER had a cakewalk main event. Look at the track record -- Roger Hollett vs. Victor Valimaki; Jason MacDonald vs. Patrick Cote ; Scott Junk vs. Jimmy Ambriz; Victor Valimaki vs. Jared Kilkenny and Victor Valimaki in a title fight vs. Jason Day.
Finally, as for Mr. Crawford's statement on the MFC and its Owner/President Mark Pavelich being unscrupulous, I suppose it's easy to criticize success.
Ask fighters who've fought under the MFC banner before -- ask Roger Hollett and Patrick Cote. Ask Adam Braidwood and Mike Maurer (CFL's Edmonton Eskimos) and Ryan Lawley (Edmonton Police officer) and guys from Bowman's MFS, and Donald Sanchez and the guys from Canuckles MMA and Dan Severn and Georges St. Pierre (taught a seminar just like Tito Ortiz is doing Nov. 10).
Ask them how they've been treated by the MFC.
Paid on time, every time.
Hotel -- 4 stars.
Mainstream and MMA media coverage -- at the top.
Press conference and after-party -- first class.
Mr. Crawford today called our organization pissant. Fine. I guess all those stories on Sportsnet.ca and the mini-documentary done about the MFC Lucky 13 main event on Rogers Sportsnet, and an appearance on TSN's Off the Record, and by The Canadian Press and on sports section front pages in the Edmonton Journal and Edmonton Sun (not to mention front page photos and names in the crowd like the former Premier Ralph Klein and Edmonton Oilers and Edmonton Eskimos, and top city businessmen, etc., etc.) don't count for much. HCF is on The Score -- congrats, and what channel is that again this week? And how much media attention was generated by the HCF show? Being a bully and poor businessman hasn't done very well for Mr. Crawford.
If anyone with any commission or other sanctioning body is so concerned, come to the MFC show on Nov. 23. I invite you to judge for yourself to see how Brad Zazulak fairs against Shonie Carter.
Maximum Fighting Championship
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