Vinny Magalhaes is done fighting for M-1 Global, but he apparently still managed to use the company to make a hefty payday.
The man still recognized by M-1 as light heavyweight champion put his title belt for sale on EBay. As of Tuesday morning, the page was gone, as Magalhaes announced over Twitter he had sold the gold for $100,000.
On Monday's edition of The MMA Hour, Magalhaes, who is waiting out a period in which M-1 can match contract offers from other promotions after a bitter parting of the ways, explained his motivations for putting the belt up for sale.
"Somehow I cannot fight until September or so, so I may as well just keep myself relevant by making news," he told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani.
Most fans remember Magalhaes for his stint on the "The Ultimate Fighter 6," where he lost to Ryan Bader in the season finale card. Since then, Magalhaes, a Rio de Janeiro native and ADCC gold medalist, has gone 7-1. That includes all five of his victories in M-1, where he hooked on in 2010, with all of his wins coming via stoppage.
The marriage between fighter and promotion came went south when a public war of words ensued between Magalhaes and M-1 representative Evgeni Kogan. Magalhaes claimed Kogan was openly rooting for his opponent during Magalhaes' last M-1 fight.
"I've never had a problem with M-1 as a company," he said. "They always paid me for the fights they were supposed to. My only problem is with Evgeni Kogan, which was a personal problem. He was at in my last fight, he decided to root against me, and since that day things haven't gone well."
Magalhaes doesn't regret making his complaints with Kogan public.
"I mean, when he rooted against me he didn't do it behind the scenes," Magalhaes said. "He made it public ... He said I was an unemployed gigolo fighter, what does that even mean, is he calling me a prostitute?"
His contract expired at the end of December, but not without several hitches.
"I have no obligations to fight for them." he said. "I had a contract to fight for them through January. They had a show in November, they didn't use me, they had a show in December, they didn't use me, and in January my contract expired."
Because Magalhaes held the belt, though, the company had a 60-day window in which they could exclusively negotiate with Magalhaes, followed by a 120-period in which they could match any offer from another promotion.
This means he won't be free to deal with other promoters without M-1's interference until July. But that's OK with him.
"I've just decided not to talk to anyone for 120 days," he said. "So if there's no one to talk to, there's no offer, and if there's no offer, there's nothing [for M-1] to match. Sometime in July I can walk away and sign with whoever I want."
In the interim, the Xtreme Couture fighter is keeping busy by helping train Chael Sonnen for his July rematch with Anderson Silva. Magalhaes confirmed to The MMA Hour that he has received death threats from fellow Brazilians for working with Sonnen, who has made no secret about his thoughts for the country.
"It might just be some kid trying to be the tough guy on the Internet," said Magalhaes. "But nothing you think it actually might happen."
It would seem inevitable for Magalhaes to return to the UFC. He welcomes the notion, and he says he would like another chance to fight Bader, who TKOd him in their bout. He makes it clear, though, that he's not specifically trying to troll Bader for a rematch.
"I fought Ryan Bader, that's the only fight anyone remembers," he said. "Everyone says I got a glass jaw, I got dropped, but in reality, that's the only fight that I ever lost by TKO, that's the only fight ever. TUF finals, I've never been dropped or KOd oterh than that fight. Everyone says I have a glass jaw because of that fight, but that's the only one. I want to give payback to Bader because he's the one who forced me into that situation."
"I won't walk into UFC and call out Bader. He's a top-six fighter right now. You don't want to walk into a promotion and start calling out people. But if I get two or three wins, maybe I can get a fight with him."
Magalhaes, of course, know the perils of Ebay, so it remains to be seen whether the high bidder will actually follow through.
"I don't know if these bidders are for real, if they're going to really spend $14,000 [the high bid at the time of the interview] on a belt that isn't worth not even a dollar, so it's up to them to pay that much. Maybe they're looking to pay that much because it's my belt not because its an M-1 belt."