Bellator’s Rick Hawn says sponsor stopped check after loss to Michael Chandler

Maggie Hendricks

UPDATE: MMA Fighting reports that HTFU, a clothing brand, has agreed to pay Hawn.

Bellator's Rick Hawn lost to Michael Chandler last Thursday in a title fight. Hawn, an Olympian in judo, was submitted in the second round. The fight was a part of Bellator's first broadcast on Spike, and was viewed by just under a million viewers.

Still, Hawn says one of his sponsors wasn't happy his performance, and stopped his check.

So one of my main sponsors from my fight canceled his check cuz he wasnt happy with the outcome or my performance. Read his explanations below.

"At this point, a stop payment has been placed on check which cannot be cashed or deposited now"

"I will not comment on Rick and his fight. That is not my place. But what I will tell you is this: I took a huge chance with him. TV exposure was great…but it only holds weight if he wins or puts on a good show. Neither happened. At the end of the day…not one sole (sp) will run to [my] store and buy product because they [saw my logo and saw] Rick loose (sp) the fight. I've made it my career and business to know what nets a return on investment for the brand…and this is the number 1 reason why I DO NOT hand out money or product to fighters."

Its funny how all my pics wearing his product are still up on his company pages even after he says and does all this stuff!!

A lawsuit is pending so I cannot comment on who it is just yet but stay tuned.

This isn't a sponsor dropping a fighter after a bad performance or two. It's a sponsor making a deal to pay a fighter, and then breaking that deal.

When a sponsor signs on with a fighter, it's a risk. That fighter may lose. That fighter may get injured, or not perform the way you or your company want him to. But that's the risk you take when getting involved with MMA or any sport where companies sponsor individual athletes.

When Cain Velasquez's sponsors signed onto the UFC heavyweight champion's fight on Fox last November, they knew there was a chance he would be knocked out in the first round. They took that risk because the rewards of being associated with the champ are so great. Hawn's sponsor did the same.

Hawn's sponsor wants to have it both ways -- get the glory of working with a winner without the risk of having a loser on their payroll. It doesn't work that way. Hopefully, Hawn's lawsuit will expose the business for being so low.

Thanks, Bloody Elbow.