Bellator vet Lucas Pimenta finally has received his pay from an ill-fated event in Texas.
“He almost quit MMA, and he’s back and focused and training again,” Pimenta’s manager, Wade Hampel, said.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation confirmed that Pimenta was cut a check for $14,800, which was close to the maximum he could receive when the Ultimate Warrior Fighting promotion went belly-up.
“There was $200 paid to another person who didn’t receive monies owed for the event and the rest was paid to Mr. Pimenta,” wrote Susan Stanford in an email to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
The Brazilian fighter’s manager was left struggling to pay his bills when the UWC was shuttered after holding four events in the Lone Star State. UWC promoter Oscar Enriquez said he lost his life savings in the process and was forced to buck retirement for a job in construction.
Unfortunately, he also had to stop payment on a check due to Pimenta for his work, which included wins over John Malbrough, Mitch Whitesel and “The Ultimate Fighter 13? cast member Shamar Bailey in a three-event, winner-takes-all welterweight grand prix.
The events were overseen by the TDLR, which regulates combat-sports events in Texas.
Enriquez had secured two $15,000 bonds to cover taxes on the gross receipts for the show and fighter purses. But getting the money was far from an easy task for Pimenta, who hasn’t fought since a submission loss this past September in Legacy Fighting Championship.
While the TDLR ordered Enriquez to pay a variety of fines, Pimenta waited as the commission sought to recover his money from the bonding company.
“Part of the investigation includes making sure all other fighters and workers (judges, referees, physicians) were paid, that the people did in fact fight or work at the event,” Stanford wrote. “The bond money is then divided among the claimants.”
In the interim, Enriquez did send $1,500 to Pimenta’s wife via wire transfer, and the fighter’s primary sponsor, Dom Fight Gear, donated 50 percent of its earnings this past February.
However, the hit to Pimenta’s pocketbook forced him to take a job as a construction worker.
Pimenta (8-2) still works the job, Hampel said, but is now considering a fight against UFC vet Pete Spratt in the near future.