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Canadian Promotion MFC Deals Low Blow to Fighter

It's no secret that fighters and promoters around the MMA world are constantly battling over paydays, matchups, career trajectories and other assorted issues. Sometimes, things boil over and explode, as we've seen even at the highest levels of the sport.

But that doesn't mean organizations shouldn't try and hold themselves to the highest professional standard.

In a Feb. 16 "press release" written by the Canadian-based Maximum Fighting Championship and posted to their Web site, the company crosses a line in announcing a matchup change.

MFC ostensibly sent the update to notify its fans and the media that light-heayvweight Chris Price had pulled out of his expected debut match against Nick Penner. But from the opening words, it is crystal clear MFC cares far more about attacking Price than informing fans of a status update.

From a large graphic with the words "The Quitter," to the assertion that Price has "likely torpedoed his entire career" to the fact that the release fails Public Relations 101 by forgetting to mention the date of the event in question, it's a simple hatchet job on Price.

But things really get bad in the fourth paragraph, in which the release claims that Price ran into passport problems because of child support he owed. It also mentions alleged marital problems. To complete the trifecta, the press release also quotes two anonymous sources who bad-mouth Price.

Two things are obvious here:

1) MFC feels they were wronged by Price
2) MFC struck a low blow by divulving a personal, family issue to the world

The personal information may or may not be true, but even if it is, it's not MFC's truth to share. Even if missed child support was the cause of a passport problem that made it impossible for the American-born Price to travel to Canada and compete for MFC, there's no justification for the company to expose a sensitive family situation, simply to get the last word.

MFC could have easily just informed its fans that a passport issue precluded Price from participating, and that their contract with him was terminated, and that would have been enough.

Instead, they took the low road.

Let it be said that MFC has generally been a good promotion. They've had over 20 events dating back to 2001. They've had fighters like Patrick Cote, Paul Daley, Jason MacDonald and Thales Leites fight under their banner. They have television deals with HDNet and The Fight Network. They've helped MMA grow in Canada.

But then again, it's not the first time for this type of behavior. Company owner and president Mark Pavelich has had ugly public feuds with Drew Fickett and Ryan Ford, among others. Pavelich often talks about taking the promotion to the next level, and competing with the UFC, Strikeforce, etc. In fact, sometimes he takes it even further. In a letter to fans on the company website, Pavelich himself writes, "The Maximum Fighting Championship is a 100 percent professional sports organization, no different in the way we run our day to day operations [than] the NHL, NFL and NBA."

Not this time. Not even close.

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