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Titan FC promises to compensate fighters after late-notice event cancellation

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A group of Titan FC fighters started a GoFundMe page this week to raise awareness that they were not being paid for an event that was canceled on just nine days notice. It seems like they got their wish.

Titan has listened to the criticism and vows to make good. COO Lex McMahon told MMA Fighting in a statement Wednesday that the fighters scheduled for Titan 36 will get paid and be booked on an upcoming event.

"Titan FC will provide compensation to the fighters who were scheduled to compete at Titan Fc 36 on December 18th," McMahon said. "We are also working on getting them rescheduled at an upcoming event. We are working on this issue now and will let our athletes and their management teams know the details in the coming days. We understand the unforeseen cancelation of the event has impacted the fighters and we are working diligently on a solution."

The event was canceled Dec. 10 due to the health issues of Titan CEO Jeff Aronson. A statement sent out by Titan last week said that Aronson underwent an "unexpected surgical procedure," faced complications from it and the promotion was "logistically not prepared to move forward" in the absence of its leader. The card was scheduled for The Scottish Rite Center in Kansas City and to be streamed on UFC Fight Pass.

"Titan FC's dedicated staff made every effort to go through with the card, but with Aronson away and unable to handle his duties as CEO, the promotion was logistically not prepared to move forward with Titan FC 36," the statement read. "While the cancellation of any event is the last thing any promotion wants to do, Titan FC is confident that 2016 will be an amazing year for the fans and the great fighters who have helped the organization grow into an MMA powerhouse in less than two years. The dates and venues are being worked on and a schedule of events for 2016 will be released shortly.

"CEO Jeff Aronson will address the fans and fighters as soon as he is physically able to do so."

Anthony Gutierrez, who was scheduled to fight Andrew Yates on the card, told MMA Fighting that a group of fighters banded together and decided to put together a GoFundMe page. Gutierrez said they didn't want to necessarily take money from fans, but to keep the situation in the public eye. When the GoFundMe page reached $125 on Tuesday night, Gutierrez shut it down and said he would send the money back to donors.

"We just figured if we started a GoFundMe because we couldn't get any word from them that eventually they would compensate us," Gutierrez said. ... "It was going to receive much coverage from the MMA community, because everyone was busy [with UFC 194 fight week]."

Tim Elliott, who was supposed to defend his flyweight title in the Titan 36 main event against Pedro Nobre, said it's an unfortunate situation all the way around.

"I feel bad," said Elliott, who added that he is now a free agent. "Jeff isn't feeling well and now fighters are complaining they aren't getting paid. I feel like he never really got a chance to defend himself.

"I wasn't too worried about it either way. I've been happy with what Titan has done so far, as far as pay goes. That's how it goes sometimes in MMA. Shows get canceled. But there are guys who really rely on this money. I'm lucky enough to not be one of them."

Gutierrez said he was counting on the Titan pay in time for the holidays. His purse isn't much, Gutierrez said, but he needs it to for life's bare necessities.

"I'm not looking to buy anybody presents," Gutierrez said. "I'm just looking to make my car payments and rent."

Per McMahon's statement, the fighters should be getting what is owed to them.