Recently, I wrote an article about the situation that took place at Fury 4 which Rashid Abdullah sucker punched the promoter and was taken to jail. The sucker punch caused the promoter to need 16 stitches, a root canal, and crown on his front tooth, and will set him back $2,500.
The focal point of many discussions has been the fighter’s contract. Although I didn’t go into detailed specifics of Abdullah’s contract, which led to the assault, I did explain how he didn’t fulfill his end of the contract; hence he was only paid $1 (the state of Texas says you have to pay a professional fighter). For the most part, people understood the logic behind the fighter getting paid $1 to compete, but there were some who were outraged.
Here are the details surrounding Rashid Abdullah’s contract. To start, he wanted $1,200/$1,200 ($1,200 to show, and another $1,200 to win) and 100 tickets to sell. In the contract, there’s a stipulation where if a fighter doesn’t sell a certain number of tickets, their purse is penalized. The previous times Abdullah has fought for the promotion, he was given a purse similar to what he requested, but has never sold a ticket. So it would be hard to justify paying someone that kind of money. The promoter, not wanting to put that kind of pressure on a fighter and deal with similar mishaps in the past, renegotiated to a lower purse, and only asked Abdullah to sell 30 tickets; both he and his manager accepted the offer.
The week of the fight, Abdullah informed the promoters that he had $900 from tickets sells. Then at weigh-ins, when it was time to turn in ticket money, Abdullah returned 29 tickets and no money. Both Abdullah and his manager were aware that he would not be paid because he never attempted to sell any tickets. This was communicated via text with Abdullah from one of the promoters the night before the fight, so it should not have been a surprise. Abdullah’s manager made a Facebook post stating he informed the promoters to make sure cops were at the venue the night of the fights. This would tell me he knew Abdullah is unstable, and would possibly react in a violent manner.
After Abdullah’s arrested, he eventually landed in Harris County jail. Well, the habitual biter, and now we can add sucker punching to his list, has found himself in deeper trouble. Once processed, it came back that Hamidullah Abdullah, Rashid’s real name, is a fugitive of his home state of Illinois. There is a felony warrant out for his arrest. The warrant is for cyber stalking and violating a protection order.
On Monday, February 16, Abdullah was arraigned on assault charges from his actions at Fury 4; he will return to court on March 3 for sentencing. Once this process is complete, Abdullah will be extradited back to Illinois to face the felony fugitive charges. It’s unlikely Abdullah will ever compete in combat sports again; two strikes, and you’re out.
With this information now public, I don’t understand how people can bash a promotion/business for trying to have a successful and profitable show, and give fans a great product. Outside of the UFC, the majority of fighters, with few exceptions, are required to sell tickets or be penalized. You would think fans would want to support a promotion that gives them a product they enjoy.