You can add Ralek Gracie
's name to the growing list of fighters who are upset with Japan's Dream organization, and his complaint against his former employers is all too familiar.
Gracie (3-0) told MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani on Monday afternoon's edition of "The MMA Hour" that the FEG-backed promotion has not paid him a single penny of what he's owed for his win over Japanese legend Kazushi Sakuraba
on May 29. And after waiting patiently for more than four months for the check to arrive, Gracie is through keeping quiet about it.
"I fought [Sakuraba] on May 29 and under my contract I was supposed to be paid 30 days after my fight, in full, and I haven't been paid yet," Gracie said. "The Dream organization puts on a wonderful show. They're, in my opinion, the top show in terms of production, but on the back end, as far as handling the finances, they haven't really taken care of me in a way that I expected and a way I feel is honorable and a way they should."
Gracie may be the most recent fighter to lodge such allegations against Dream, but he's by no means the first. MMA pioneer Gary Goodridge
, who recently said he still hasn't been paid for his fight on the Dynamite!! 2009 New Year's Eve event
, and Dream featherweight champ Bibiano Fernandes
, who reportedly wasn't paid until September for a bout in March, have both made similar complaints to the media.
Much like Goodridge, Gracie said he's not only been unsuccessful in securing payment for his fight, but also hasn't even been able to get a response from the organization lately.
"I had two different people contacting them," Gracie said. "I sent them emails personally, and they haven't even responded to my emails. They're just completely avoiding everything and it's a complete mess."
Gracie said he knows that some other fighters on the card, such as Strikeforce welterweight champ Nick Diaz
, have been paid for their services, but at this point he's resigned himself to the possibility that he may never see a dime for his win over Sakuraba.
"I was told that I was going to be paid every month for the last three or four months, so at this point, what I've been told and what the truth is are two different things. I'm not really expecting it anymore."
Instead, Gracie said, his goal in going public is to warn other fighters about the potential financial pitfalls of fighting for Dream.
"I think it's important that fighters know, before going to Japan, you should have a deal that either gives you your money up front or in some kind of escrow account, to make sure the money is available after the fight," said Gracie. "...I feel like they've had two shows or three shows since my fight. I don't understand how they're still doing shows and they're just signing fighters up and fighters aren't getting paid. So to me it's not the right way to do business and it's not the right way to treat people."