Pavelich, Ford in MFC Stalemate
Following a second loss to reigning MFC welterweight champion Pat “Bam Bam” Healy, it was expected that Ryan Ford would get to work and climb the ladder back into contention.
That journey has stalled however, as new contract negotiations between Ford and the Maximum Fighting Championship have reached a stalemate. According to MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich, Ford has pitched monetary demands that are far and above every other fighter in the history of the MFC including its current champions. Pavelich called those demands “outrageous.”
“Ryan wants to make more money than any of our champions and the guys with UFC experience, and I’m not willing to do that. It’s totally wrong and against the ethics of this business for him to be paid more than those fighters,” added Pavelich.
“I would love to re-sign Ryan because we have some very good plans for him but we can’t afford his ego. This is my business – I don’t do anything else except mixed martial arts and put on sold-out shows. I will not go out of business by paying fighters exorbitant amounts of money. Look what happened to the IFL and Elite XC. They paid fighters ridiculous amounts of money and went broke. Look at the number of shows that tried to make a big splash by signing one or two guys to huge contracts. They did one or two shows and were never heard from again.
“I have always paid fighters what they are worth. Paul Daley, John Alessio, Pat Healy, Antonio McKee, Aron Lofton, David Heath – all of these guys agreed to contracts and were paid exactly what they agreed to. Yes, Ryan Ford sells a number of tickets to the local fans but the MFC is not a local organization. We are one of the biggest organizations in North America and we are not a one-man show.”
Pavelich has personally stuck by Ford during a number of legal issues outside of the ring, virtually taking him under his wing to steer him on a better path. That bond has been frayed but is not broken by the latest contract scuffle.
“Ryan is a big part of the MFC but no one fighter – not one person in any position in this company – is bigger than this organization,” noted Pavelich. “Everyone outside of the MFC has said we’ve catered to Ryan, made him the main event, given him the title shots – all of that stuff. He’s deserved it but he’s not bigger than the show itself.
“Jason MacDonald was homegrown by the MFC and he was never given an easy ride. And the MFC didn’t fall apart when Jason left to go to the UFC. In fact we’ve become 10 times bigger. Ryan was given two cracks at the title and lost both times by not following the game plan that his trainers laid out for him.
“Ryan hasn’t won the title, he’s never fought in the UFC, and yet he wants to make the kind of money that champions and guys with four or five UFC fights can demand. Ryan hasn’t yet reached the level to back up his demands.”