Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey is the biggest star Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) ever had, according to promotion president Dana White, after "Rowdy" racked up nine straight wins and took Hollywood by storm.
But there was a time when she was "destitute" and unknown to the masses.
That's why her former manager, Darin Harvey of Fight Tribe, is looking to get his piece of the pie, arguing that it was his investment -- to the tune of $170,376 -- that helped give Rousey the tools she needed to be successful in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA).
MMA Junkie has some of the numbers:
The agreement between Rousey and Harvey was drafted in May 2012, but it wasn't finalized until January 2013. Harvey said the agreement encompassed not only fighting, but acting, modeling and other commercial activities, according to the ruling.
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.
Late last week, the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) released Rousey from one piece of her existing contract, because Harvey failed to follow protocol after it was drafted. Since the commission never certified it, a necessary step in protecting fighters when making deals, it is currently unenforceable.
Harvey responded with an official statement on Friday to Pro MMA Now:
"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. 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.
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. 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."
Naturally, there are two sides to every story; however, Rousey has remained tight-lipped following the ordeal.
The champ -- who can currently be seen in this video filming her latest movie role -- is expected to get back into action this summer. No opponent has been identified at this time, but names like Cat Zingano and Alexis Davis are front runners, while Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm remain fantasy match ups.
Stay tuned to MMAmania.com for more details on the second half of Rousey's upcoming arbitration as they become available.