Following his disastrous fight at UFC 83, former UFC fighter Kalib Starnes drops a press release to explain his actions.
“I would like to begin by saying that I was very happy to fight in Montreal, and that I trained really hard for my fight. I know that there were many people, including myself, who were disappointed with my performance, and I would like to apologize to my coaches, trainers and the fans for what happened. It was by far the worst fight of my career, much to the credit of my opponent who proved to be a real monster in the ring, I think that they should keep him in a cave somewhere and feed him raw meat!
During the fight I received a broken bone in my right foot and I find out tomorrow if I need to have surgery and get a pin put through it so that it will heal properly. I also have severe bruising on my left thigh, lumps on my head, a fat black eye, a sprained jaw and damage to the nerves in my molars.
My injuries weren’t enough to satisfy Dana White, who made comments after the fight insinuating that I would have been better served allowing myself to be knocked out. Comments which prompted me to ask to be released from my contract.
Those commenting on my performance and wondering why I asked to be released from my contract, a contract which they had repeatedly refused to renegotiate, should keep in mind how fighters are compensated by the UFC.
In my last fight for example I was coming off a win against one of the UFC’s top middleweights Chris Leben. I trained for over three months for the fight, with all expenses coming out of my own pocket. Food, travel, accommodations, supplements, equipment, coaching, and cornermen. The athletic commission requires a pre fight medical exam, blood tests, eye exam, and often an EKG, ECG, MRA/ MRI, or CT scan. All of these expenses are mandatory, and are incurred by the athlete.
I was then injured in the bout and received a huge gash on my forehead, which caused the doctor to halt the bout prematurely. The cut became infected and I spent about two and a half months recovering, during which time I was unable to work or generate any income. The UFC, a company which earned hundreds of millions of dollars that year, paid me less than $5,000.
You should also keep in mind that I was fighting for the sixth time for the organization and my second time on live PPV, on an event which generated tens of millions of dollars. In short I paid somewhere between $20,000 to $30,000 dollars for the privilege of having my head split open.
For him to come out and make a statement like that as though I should be willing to suffer a brain injury while being paid less than $10,000 is beyond comment. How much is a brain injury worth anyway?
Since the fight, extremely biased articles and commentary have appeared everywhere; articles which were of course reprinted quite extensively by those lacking the imagination to make up their own lies. Accusations flew and continue to fly about every aspect of my life and character. I’ve heard reports that I appeared on a radio show in Montreal attacking the UFC, that I threw the fight in protest, that I’ve been abandoned by my team over my performance, that I escaped from a polygamist colony in Texas as a child, that I was homeless for years surviving on nothing but peyote caps and good intentions, etc, etc.
I’ve been bombarded by questions from every media organization you can imagine. You’d think that I had knocked up Britney Spears, or strangled Paris Hiltons pet Chihuahua. They ask me clever questions like: Why would you want to be released from your UFC contract? Were you injured? What was it like on that reality show? Exactly what is a ‘hollaback girl’? Do lion-tiger hybrids (ligers) really exist? Which is better, chocolate, or vanilla? And finally; Why is your cardio always in question?” But I don’t answer them, ‘I just light my cigarette, and smile.’
I have been asked to appear on Inside MMA Friday to discuss it further. If you’re confused about the quote, look it up. I will make copies of my medical records relating to UFC 83 available upon request.
I regret having to discuss this matter in the press, and would have preferred to discuss this matter in private. I was not given this opportunity and feel as though I was forced into a position where I had to respond publicly to the pointed and biased case building against me in the press.
Regardless of my dissatisfaction with my contract, I will say that to the best of my knowledge the UFC honored all agreements made with me while I was under contract with them. I do not blame the UFC in any way for my loss, and I hold no grudges against Nate Quarry or his corner.
This sport is as much about losing as it is about winning. There is a winner and a loser in every fight. I tried to win but on that night I couldn’t do it and I lost. Instead of allowing me to lose with dignity I was booed and called names and ridiculed beyond anything which seems reasonable to me. I tried to box with him and I couldn’t find my range, I tried to kickbox with him and I broke my foot, I tried to take him down and grapple with him but I was unable to, I tried to work in the clinch but that didn’t work either, in short, I failed. No excuses. “