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Shine Fights CEO: 'We're Not Done'

It's been a tough time for Shine Fights CEO Devin Price. After losing the main event in his company's first pay-per-view offering due to a court injunction in Florida, he then found out that the entire event had been cancelled by the North Carolina Boxing Authority due to a failure to meet certain regulatory requirements.

And that was just his Saturday.

These recent developments may have dealt a serious blow to the MMA organization's short-term plans, but Price insists it's not the end for his company, calling it nothing more than "a hurdle to get over."

"We're not done. We're already planning our next event," he told MMA Fighting on Tuesday.

The trouble started for Price and Shine Fights on April 20, when Don King Productions sent a cease-and-desist letter in an effort to stop them from promoting a main event featuring boxer Ricardo Mayorga, with whom DKP had a contract. Price said it was his understanding that the contract covered only Mayorga's boxing career, leaving him free to make his MMA debut for Shine Fights against Din Thomas on a May 15 event.

"We already had the event set up when we got [the cease-and-desist letter]," Price said, adding that Mayorga contacted him about participating in an MMA event -- not the other way around. "We weren't going to be bullied."

A motion for emergency injunctive relief filed by DKP landed Shine Fights in a Florida court on Friday afternoon, just one day before the event was scheduled to take place in Fayetteville, N.C. The hearing went on well into the evening until the judge finally called it quits for the day and ordered the participants to come back the following morning.

"Their opening statement alone took about two hours, which was an hour more than what was allotted," Price said. "Usually an injunction hearing doesn't take that long. I never dreamed that the judge would open the courtroom up on a Saturday morning have us come back on the day of the event."

Early on Saturday afternoon the judge ruled in favor of DKP, granting the injunction and ordering Mayorga not to participate in the bout. Part of DKP's argument hinged on the accusation that though Shine Fights wasn't promoting Mayorga in a boxing match, they were promoting him based on his boxing career.

The judge agreed, but it's an argument Price still takes issue with.

"[Boxing] is part of his past. We can't change that. What I think some people don't realize and what I think the judge didn't quite realize is that, MMA and boxing are two different sports."

Nonetheless, after the ruling Price had to turn his attention to North Carolina. Despite the lack of the advertised main event, Price said the organization was still prepared to put on an event.

"We didn't start with Ricardo Mayorga, so we're not going to end with Ricardo Mayorga. We still had a lot of great fighters. We had guys like Braulio Estima, Jamal Patterson, [Murilo] "Ninja" Rua. We were ready to go ahead with the event."

But according to the North Carolina Boxing Authority, Price failed to provide a bond to cover the full amount of the fighter salaries prior to that day's deadline, and the promotion also did not provide its own ringside doctor.

Price said he was perfectly capable of paying the bond, but was stuck in Florida due to the hearing and was unable to get the checks to the commission in time. As for the lack of a doctor, Price said Shine Fights had one doctor withdraw at the last minute and a replacement didn't arrive promptly enough to satisfy the commission.

"We scrambled to get a new doctor, but [the commission] said there wasn't enough time. We offered to drop the first fight just to give everyone more time to be seen, but they wouldn't do it."

With the event called off at the last minute, Price said that it's the fighters he felt for the most. He plans to compensate them by paying them some portion of their contracted salary, though he wouldn't say exactly what percentage of their salaries the fighters would receive.

"The fighters are definitely going to be compensated. They deserve to be, because they did sacrifice to be a part of this. ...I know what goes into a fighter's training camp because I've seen what my brother [former "Ultimate Fighter" contestant Dorian Price] goes through. I wanted to make sure the fighters all got something, and by the end of the week they should all have their money."

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