Blue chip UFC sponsor Monster Energy on Monday said the company is looking into allegations by Dominick Cruz that Hans Molenkamp, a business development rep with the energy drink company, took advantage of his position with fighters for personal benefit.
“We take any such allegations seriously and are looking into it at this time,” a Monster spokesperson wrote to MMA Fighting. No further details were offered.
Cruz, a former bantamweight champion, used his post-win speech at UFC 259 to call for a charity fight with Molenkamp, a longtime MMA supporter and practitioner who’s served as a link between the sport and Monster sponsorships for over one decade. The former bantamweight champion alleged Molenkamp tied individual sponsorships to personal social media posts and interviews. He said there were others who’d made similar complaints, including UFC President Dana White.
“Look at my face, look at my body, I get beat to death for a living,” Cruz said at the UFC 259 press conference after beating Casey Kenney via split decision. “So when you try to force me and you text me if I don’t comment on your page, if I don’t give you an interview, that you’re going to take what pays my bills? What are we doing? Monster sponsors me, not you.”
A phone number used by Molenkamp for several years had been disconnected as of Monday.
White backed Cruz’s claim that he and several fighters had clashed with Molenkamp, but said it was Monster’s decision whether or not to take action. White said on the whole, Monster had gone above and beyond for UFC fighters when doling out additional money on individual sponsorships; the energy drink company re-upped with the promotion in February as a title sponsor.
“Is Hans a goofy dude? Yeah, he’s a very goofy dude,” White said. “But they’re a sponsor. These guys are a sponsor, they’re great sponsors, [and] they pay these guys a lot of money. ... It’s a privilege to get money from a sponsor. So if you don’t like the way they do business, don’t do business with them.”
The UFC executive publicly clashed with Molenkamp on social media in 2019 after the rep claimed to connect him to former pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek.
Molenkamp this past week started a GoFundMe for funeral expenses for his former MMA coach. A post announcing the online fundraiser was filled with comments about Cruz’s callout.