UFC matchmaker Joe Silva - who rarely makes comments directly to the media - has weighed in on the Gegard Mousasi contract controversy.
Unfortunately, it hasn’t really cleared things up.
Earlier this week a rumour emerged that Mousasi’s management had misled him about the deal the UFC was offering him, which prompted him to sign for Strikeforce.
Contacted by Fighters Only on Monday, Mousasi was reluctant to comment on the rumour. "I am fighting in Strikeforce now and Scott has always been honest to me,” he said. “I have a contract with Strikeforce and I am going to honor that."
But that did not stop the rumour mill continuing to grind away with suggestions that Mousasi’s manager Apy Echteld (of M-1 Global) had misinformed him about the size of a UFC offer he was being made.
Echteld was said to have told Mousasi that the UFC was offering him 40/40 ($40,000 basic purse, $40,000 win bonus).
And at the pre-event press conference for UFC 101 yesterday, UFC president Dana White said of Mousasi, “He was lied to. Fact”.
But on a Strikeforce conference call that took place yesterday, Echteld denied lying to Mousasi about the figures. He said the UFC was “maybe trying to get Mousasi cheap”.
However, he did acknowledge that the UFC had sent a ‘cease and desist’ letter regarding the planned Mousasi-Babalu match on the August 15th Strikeforce show.
Last night the UFC took the rare step of having Joe Silva address the situation publicly, by speaking to the Carmichael Dave show on CBS.
“Gegard called me about a week ago. He asked if it was true that the UFC offered 40/40 (40k to show, 40k bonus to win), Silva said. “I told him no, because we never actually made an offer.”
Silva explained, “When Affliction folded, we obviously looked at a lot of their talent available. Mousasi was interesting, but he had also just signed a deal to appear in the EA Sports video game. We had gotten word from above to stay away from anyone involved in the EA game process.”
Silva said Mousasi did indeed call him to find out whether the figure of 40/40 he had been told was true. According to Silva, he explained that an offer had not been made for any figure at all, but of one HAD been made, it would have been at his Affliction rate of pay, around $125,000.
“Had we made an offer it would’ve been more than [40/40], and that’s what I explained to Gegard.” Silva said.Link