This article is part of ProMMAnow.com‘s (www.prommanow.com) continuing series about the “Nemesis Fighting: MMA Global Invasion” event which took place Dec. 11, 2010, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Our previous articles from this series include our initial report from John Dodson who said he and other fighters from the card had not been paid, and our interview with Francisco “Kiko” France who fought Keith Jardine in the main event and who talks about his personal experience of what took place.
In the following article, ProMMAnow.com’s Susan Cingari speaks with Seth Petruzelli who was hired to commentate at the “MMA Global Invasion” event.
Just like a tropical storm, Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s Nemesis Fighting’s “MMA Global Invasion” blew into the Dominican Republic and left many victims in its wake. Ironically enough, bad weather from a real Tropical Storm (Tomas) had forced the promoter to cancel its Nov. 13 show and reschedule it to Dec. 11.
“[Some of the fighters] arrived in Dominican Republic the day before weigh-ins (Thursday) and thought the fights were on Friday. The other half of the fighters landed the day of fights (Friday) and thought they were supposed to fight the next day (Saturday). So from the beginning, the promoter didn’t tell the fighters anything and were extremely disorganized and not prepared,“ Seth Petruzelli, who was hired to commentate the event, told ProMMAnow.com’s Susan Cingari.
By all accounts, the newly formed Nemesis Promotions, an LLC which Florida records show was registered on Oct. 6, 2010, under the two names of Robert Fill and Tim Fields, looked legitimate.
They managed to get some big name fighters on the card, including former UFC stars “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine, Eliot “The Fire” Marshall, Terry Martin, and “The Headhunter” Paul Buentello, and the event was being held at the well-respected Barcelo Hotels and Resorts in Punta Cana, DO., a worldwide hotel chain that has been in business nearly 80 years and has more than 46,000 rooms in 17 countries. But looks can be deceiving.
“The day of the fights there was no time keeper, judges or scorekeepers! They had to grab people out of the production and the audience! For the first fight, they didn’t realize that they didn’t have a time keeper and the fight went about one minute over the five minute mark and someone had to enter the cage to tell ref to stop them from fighting,” Petruzelli reported.
In true MMA style though, these fighters did not disappoint, even though many of them knew that something was very wrong.
Petruzelli continued, “The fights were amazing. Every fighter put their heart on the line and put on a great show! Even though they had no one in back telling them when it was their turn to fight or [when] to make their walk out. All the fighters helped each other out and ran the backstage production of the show themselves, too, the whole time knowing that something isn’t right with this, but kept on fighting anyway because they trusted these scumbags.”
The next day, the fighters arrived in the lobby at 10 a.m. as instructed by Nemesis to pick up their checks. But by 12:30 p.m. they were still waiting in the lobby with no sight of the promoters. Furious, they went to Robert Fill’s room, and in what sounds like the plot of a made for TV movie, his bags were packed and he was preparing to leave.
John Madrid, Keith Jardine’s, manager then entered Fill’s room, and after 30 minutes he came out with what appeared to be good news, telling the fighters that Fill was going to pay them.
“All the fighters asked, ‘This won’t bounce, right?’ Not only did we ask that but we taped it with a few camera phones,” Petruzelli reported. “Fill said, ‘Of course not, I could go to jail if I knowingly wrote bad checks.’ So as the fighters were getting paid, Keith Jardine pulls a favor from his bank guy and gets the dollar amount in the account that they are giving us checks out of, and of course it’s empty! So as he wrote Keith’s check to Keith, Keith asks again…’Will this bounce?’ Bob Fill says, ‘No!’ ”
“At this point, it’s me, Paul Buentello, Keith Jardine, John Madrid and a couple others,” said Petruzelli. “Bob Fill immediately started back peddling, saying, ‘Oh it should be in there, what account did you check, I thought it was in there, not sure where the money is…etc.’ So we sat and grilled him for about four hours before we finally figured he wasn’t giving us money cause he had none (we think). So we came up with the idea of having Nemesis fight company sign the rights to the fight production video over to the fighters so that we can recoup some of the losses from not paying us! So we began drafting a legal document stating that. This took another three hours as we continued to ask Bob Fill where his partners went (Tim Fields and Robert Weisberg), where did the money go, etc. As soon as the document was done, we had him sign it and made copies. We filmed this with our phone cameras.”
“Keith”s manager is still to this day trying to get the rest of the hard copy so that we can put it on Internet Pay-Per-View and try to get us fighters paid,” Petruzelli said. “We think the PPV will be next week sometime. It will be $9.99 and that is well worth it cause the fights were amazing! Not only that, but these fighters work hard for this money and it goes to their families and their training! They thought the promoters had as much integrity as them and trusted the people you’re supposed to trust where the hard copies of the video production was.“
If you want to help out these fighters you can order the online Pay-Per-View when available. Petruzelli explains, “Please spend the 10 bucks on this. Nobody got a dime, and it would help all the fighters out. You can follow me (Seth) on Twitter @silverbackseth or on Facebook on my fan page which is ‘Silverback Seth Petruzelli‘ click ‘like’ to follow so that I can tell all of you when and where the PPV will be and how to get it! Thanks guys!”
I attempted to contact Tim Fields on both his mobile phone and email numerous times, but he never responded. Emails were also sent to every address listed on the Nemesis Fighting Promotion Website. Stay tuned as this inquisitive reporter plans to enter the “Octagon of Reporting” and take down this opponent.