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Gary Turner out against Antonio Silva: Turner letter to EliteXC

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icarus4321

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Management TEAM GARY TURNER
Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Without any notice, Elite XC removed British heavyweight Gary 'SMILER' Turner from their February card vs. Antonio Silva in Florida. They don't even have the politeness to inform the fighter in person but Gary needed to learn it thru their website!

The reason we publish this email to Elite XC is mainly because it's not only an insult to Gary Turner but to the whole British MMA community.

+++

Sirs,

This is highly upsetting.

I've discovered on the internet this morning that I've been dropped from my fight with Silva. Dropped? Finding out on the internet? Bit of an insult don't you think?

To quote Gary Shaw himself, 'we put the fighters first, they are the stars. We will do everything we can to put them first.' I was at the press meet in London when he said this. This does not seem to ring true at all in practice, and even if Gary Shaw believes this, his staff definitely do not subscribe.

Let me explain the effects of Elite XC playing with someone's life. My life.

I spoke with Dave O'Donnell of Cage Rage this morning. He says you contacted him late last night (I missed his call - I had already gone to bed!) and told him to tell me that you have dropped me due to my eyesight and the question whether I could achieve a license in Florida. As explained quite clearly to you I was licensed in 2006 twice by Florida. I provided you with the medical documentation that achieved my license to fight in Florida. I personally contacted Florida State Athletic Commission who confirmed that the medical documentation I presented was acceptable, and they confirmed that with these presented facts I would be licensed in Florida. I believe that either JT Steele is incompetent or even negligent for not checking his facts (as evidenced below in previous emails) or is hiding behind a different agenda.

The fight was offered, and basic terms offered. A negotiation took place and the basic terms agreed on. Offer and acceptance. Elite XC publish and advertise the fight. I put my life on hold.

I throw myself into training specifically for this fight. I book in trainingpartners. I book in sparring with the British Army Boxing Team. I am traveling the UK to ensure I get to spar and train with the best of Britain. My kickboxing, boxing and grappling coaches throw their commitment behind me. I book in specific training partners to ensure I am prepared for Silva.

I become my training!

As soon as Elite XC announced the fight publicly I spent time marketing the fight on the internet and contacting friends in Florida and the USA and Canada, ensuring that I could ensure good ticket and PPV sales. I even have a group of people here in the UK that are looking at flying out to watch the fight live.

I have my own business as a Building Surveyor who is Chartered (closest thing to this in the US is probably an Architect), and I have cancelled all my work running up to the fight in order to immerse myself in my preparations. This loss of business, and the knock on business it would generate, is obviously highly costly to me, and that work is now lost.

The timing of the fight is bad for personal relationships, with me not going to be at home on 14th February, which is Valentine's Day in the UK, an important date for any relationship in the UK! Obviously my fiancée is upset that I won't be doing anything with her that day, as I have put my sport before her.

Further, I have not earned money since the fight was accepted, yet have experienced numerous costs in training, let alone my living expense and mortgage that my fiancée will have to cover for this period. Can I ask what I am supposed to live on?

And then you decide to drop me, without even contacting me first. It is not just me who is affected.

Your 'decision' also affects everyone involved in my training. My coaches make personal and financial sacrifices to support me. The same with my training partners. Our personal lives are adversely affected by all of our commitment to prepare and be the best we can be the day of a fight.

So now the fight doesn't take place, apparently at your unqualified 'whim'. I now have to go on the internet and explain why this fight is not taking place. I have to explain that I can, and have, a license to fight in Florida. I have to explain that I had nothing whatsoever to do with the fight not taking place. I have to make it clear to other promoters that I am a committed sportsman who when HE AGREES to something to do whatever necessary to perform to his best. I have to make it clear that I am a professional who checks he can do what he says he can do prior to making an agreement. I have to confirm with everyone who questions that I had nothing at all to do with your decision to stop this fight from taking place.

Obviously I am very upset this morning, but have tried to remain objective in this email.

I want to know the real background as to why this fight is not taking place and the reasons behind your decision. And what you are going to do to put it right.

GARY TURNER


http://www.mma.tv/tuf/index.cfm?FID=1&a=322&TID=0

Last edited 1/22/08 6:06PM server time by icarus4321
Edit note/reason: n/a

Post #1   1/22/08 6:05:38PM   

icarus4321

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It appears as though Ricco Rodriguez will be taking Turner's place.

Post #2   1/22/08 6:06:58PM   

cowcatcher

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you cant help but feel awful for this guy, but ricco is a bigger name so im guessing when they found out suave was available turner became expendable. i hope everything works out for gary from here on out, its tougher than a lot of people think to be a fighter, especially when you arent a "superstar" of which there are very few.

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Post #3   1/22/08 6:36:03PM   

The8One5

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2 opponents have ducked antonio silva recently, lol

Post #4   1/22/08 8:14:29PM   

SmileR

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I hope they still give him his purse for the fight!
It just goes to show that the MMA companies are all about the money rather then the fighters.

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Post #5   1/22/08 8:16:53PM   

GraMMA

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Ricco is a bigger name and not the threat at this point that Smiler is.They want to put Bigfoot and Kimbo at the forefront for an eventual hw title fight and of course they don't want their boys to lose.But it could happen,look at KJ-and he still got the title shot.

Post #6   1/22/08 9:58:13PM   

rabbit915

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I agree that Ricco is a bigger name and a better fight for Bigfoot but at the same time this is unacceptable. Turner should at least get his purse and the EliteXC should be ashamed for its conduct in the situation.

Post #7   1/23/08 12:47:57AM   

Kpro

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Even if he gets his purse, he has no shot at the winners purse.

I'd get sue happy if I were Turner, depending on the legalities.

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Post #8   1/23/08 4:33:31AM   

icarus4321

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Ricco is certainly a bigger draw in the US, but once you have a fight set, and marketed, you do not simply replace the fighter because you think you can get a bigger draw with someone else. This is a terrible business practice by Gary Shaw and will burn bridges with the UK market.

Post #9   1/23/08 10:13:02AM   

rcg916

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Smiler is more of a threat to Bigfoot than Rodriguez...

Smiler is also a top guy, this is too bad. He should sue for breach of contract.

Post #10   1/23/08 3:33:57PM   

icarus4321

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I'm sure the fact that Turner is a bigger threat, and a lesser draw in the states, was a factor that played in replacing him. Elite XC wants to build up Silva, and a win over former UFC champ (seems like an entirely different life ago for Ricco) will do more for him. It's too bad for Turner too.

The UFC really should take this opportunity to sign Turner. He would be a great addition to build up in the heavyweight division, and would be a good pull for the UK shows.

Post #11   1/23/08 4:12:25PM   

pv3Hpv3p

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that's a straight shitty thing to do... Gary seems well spoken and intelligent... Hopefully this situation can be turned around and something good can come from it.

Post #12   1/24/08 2:14:37PM   

mmadb

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Why the hell wouldn't they keep him on the card and have him fight someone else at least? Why just shaft him completely? That's just balls.

Post #13   1/30/08 11:17:46AM