Ronda Rousey may be free to seek new management after the California State Athletic Commission ruled to release her from the fighter portion of an agreement with former manager Darin Harvey and Fight Tribe Management, but this bout is far from over.
The ruling stated that the UFC women's bantamweight champion and Harvey never filled out the proper commission-approved forms, or appeared in front of the commission together, to certify their business relationship in regards to mixed martial arts, therefore making the whole agreement invalid and unenforcable.
That didn't stop Harvey from sounding off on his impact on one of the UFC's biggest stars.
"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," Harvey said in a statement. "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. She deserves all the credit in the world for her accomplishments, but she never would have achieved such unprecedented success without the unwavering financial investment, career guidance and professional support Fight Tribe Management and I provided her."
Rousey (9-0) has develop into a household UFC name and is starring in "The Expendables 3", "Fast and the Furious 7" and the "Entourage" movie, all coming out within the next two years. But on the other hand, there is evidence to support that Harvey provided substantial services, including a hefty financial commitment to her career.
MMAjunkie.com posted further details on its site.
"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."
It's a big investment that as of now, will not be financially recognized or rewarded. The contract, which was finalized in 2013, would have given Harvey and Fight Tribe Management a cut of Rousey's fight earnings, pay-per view earnings and other income from her entertainment endeavours outside of the octagon including modelling and acting.
The CSAC has only ruled on the fighting portion of the contract and deffered ruling on the commercial issues to the California Superior Court.
The battle wages on and it's no surprise Harvey is left with a bitter taste in his mouth.
“I am not a litigious person, but 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. After months of radio silence and without even giving me the courtesy of an explanation I was forced to go to court to compel Ronda to private arbitration per the terms of our agreement," he said.
"Before that could be sorted out, Ronda's legal team ran to the State Athletic Commission, demanded an expedited hearing and tried to get our entire agreement thrown out on a technicality. During our four-hour hearing last week, I finally heard Ronda's side of the story. Frankly, it's pathetic and I'm not surprised the Commission chose not to include any of that in their written decision. The Commission did properly reject Ronda's attempt to invalidate the entirety of our agreement, and I am very pleased with that aspect of their decision."
"Our case against Ronda will now proceed. I am confident that when all the facts are presented to an impartial private arbitrator, Fight Tribe Management's contributions to Ronda's career will be fully recognized and fairly rewarded.”