One side has finally spoken out in Ronda Rousey’s dispute with her management team. And, boy, did he.
Rousey’s now former manager Darin Harvey said in a statement (h/t Pro MMA Now) that when he met Rousey, she was "destitute" and without his Fight Tribe Management organization, she "never would have achieved such unprecedented success."
"When I first met Ronda Rousey four years ago, she was destitute and UFC President Dana White was quoted as saying a woman would never fight in the UFC," Harvey said. "I set out to make Ronda a star and prove Dana wrong. The results speak for themselves. Ronda is now a highly sought-after model, spokesperson and actress, not to mention the first and still reigning female UFC champion."
Ronda Rousey (right) posing with her then-manager Darin Harvey in 2012.
This week, the California State Athletic Commission ruled that the contract between Rousey and Harvey’s Fight Tribe Management is invalid and unenforceable with regard to her professional MMA career. California Superior Court or arbitration will determine the validity of the commercial aspect of the contract.
Harvey said that Rousey deserves credit for all her accomplishments, but she could not have done it without his team and him.
I set out to make Ronda a star and prove Dana wrong. The results speak for themselves. Ronda is now a highly sought-after model, spokesperson and actress, not to mention the first and still reigning female UFC champion.
"I am not a litigious person, but I never thought for a moment that once she made it to the top, Ronda would turn her back on us and refuse to honor her legal and moral obligations," Harvey said.
After months of no communication between the two parties, Harvey said he went to court to try and compel Rousey to "private arbitration per the terms of our agreement." Rousey’s legal team then went to the CSAC to try and get the management agreement thrown out.
Harvey said he finally heard Rousey’s side of the story last week during a four-hour hearing.
"Frankly, it’s pathetic, and I’m not surprised the commission chose not to include any of that in their written decision," Harvey said. "The commission did properly reject Ronda’s attempt to invalidate the entirety of our agreement, and I am very pleased with that aspect of their decision."
Harvey said his case against Rousey will proceed and he’s confident a private arbitrator will rule in his and Fight Tribe’s favor.
Rousey is currently filming the "Entourage" movie and her silver-screen debut will come in August with the release of "The Expendables 3." In just a little more than one year in the UFC, Rousey is the biggest star in the company with a seemingly promising future in Hollywood.