Promoters who sabotage other shows

Since I couldn't post on Travis Fulton's thread I had to do my own. I will copy and paste the portion I am responding to.

From: Travis Fulton

Date: 10/05/04 10:29 PM
Member Since: 01/01/2001
536 Total Posts Ignore User

Im no longer in the promoting game, it was too much work for too little money. I will be sticking to fighting for now. I guess the alure of promoting events was something to the effect of possibly winning the lottery. When you fight, you know what youre getting paid, but when you promote an event you may make way more than you anticipated. Sadly you can lose more money than you invested into the event as well.
Basically what Im saying is that promoting is a tough business. Sometimes it can be very hard to turn a profit. In the mid-west its hard to come by a sweet deal like what the WEC and KOTC have going with the casinos. Its seems that new promotions are popping up all over the place. Some of these events are promoted by shady characters, and sometimes they are promoted by legit people who want to see our sport evolve.

On occasion a new promotion may step into someone's backyard and most of the time they bring in a bigger and better event. The usual reaction for these shady promoters is to go out of their way to sabotage this new promotion.

I have dealt with this myself when I ran a few events at a venue in which Brad Kohler used to run shows. Of course he falls into the "shady promoters" category, but the owner of the venue did like what he was eeing and supported the sport until Kohler had screwed him over by promoting an event, selling over 300 tickets in advance, not doing the show, and then disappearing with the money and leaving the venue to explain what had happened to 300 angry fans. Kohler tried to tell fighters I was a bad guy, and that they shouldnt fight down there and would call local businesses and trash talk our events, thus preventing us from getting many sponsors.

I have been helping a good, legit, promoter put together fight cards on a few occasions. I dont promote the events nor do I get a percentage of the profits. Im just helping out a good person who cares about this sport. This promoter is very legit and takes very good care of the fighters. Unfortunately there are a couple of guys who promote events in the same area. These guys are very shady, and I know this because Ive had business dealings with one of them in the past. They refuse to pay the fighters more than $50 by hiding behind the "amateur" status.

I helped the good promoter with an event a few weeks back and these shady guys tore down posters, caused a couple of fighters to back out because they said that we were the shady ones, and spread rumors all over the area that the event was cancelled. I could name names, and in the future I probably will. At this point I will let them sweat a little and see if they will change their ways. Anyways, one of these guys is always on the UG acting very polite and pretending that he cares deeply about the sport, but his own partner had told me for the last few years that this guy was mainly responsible for keeping MMA illegal in the state of North Dakota because he constantly harrassed the state athletic comissioner, and usually resorted to insulting him.

Just some insight wanted here basically. Would the MMA fans support a promoter knowing that he/they are shady and care more about $$$ than the advancement of our sport?

"I could name names, and in the future I probably will. At this point I will let them sweat a little and see if they will change their ways."

Hmmm let them sweat a little bit... LET'S NOT. I have a pretty good feeling that I know just who you are talking about Mr. Fulton. Could it possibly be Chris Nelson and his partner Bruce Nelson? Yeah.. I think it must be. First off allow me to introduce myself.. Deb Nelson, Chris' wife. I believe that for someone to sweat a little bit that they would first have to get worked up over it to begin with... that hasn't happened... and apparently it won't. For that matter is why I am posting... Chris obviously couldn't care less how others run their mouths and talk BS that has no backing... it actually seems to be slightly amusing to him (the lengths that some people will go) I on the other hand am not at all amused for that matter but greatly offended and I will be spending a lot of time telling you why in the following posts. Oh and regarding the email .. you can play hardball if you choose or feel you need to but I certainly hope you can try to dig up or make up something better then legit travel expenses paid. I’d say more on this subject if I felt you were in any way owed an explanation.

Why am I offended? You wrote “Unfortunately there are a couple of guys who promote events in the same area. These guys are very shady, and I know this because Ive had business dealings with one of them in the past.”

Saying “these guys” is just wrong when you have only dealt with one and no nothing of the other.. whatever your past dealings are with Bruce are that.. of the past and I guess I have to ask you if Bruce was shady then, what would that say about you? I believe you have spilled it out on here before.. which to me is just like WOW because how much lower can a person go then that and still have nerve to even speak the word LEGIT?! And that’s just my view as a spectator of the sport. I can assure you that there will be none of that going on at any DFC event. And I don’t know how that could be good for the sport because that’s your concern... right?

I will apologize now for any rambling I may do steering away from my point but at this point I am pissed... I am pissed that you would make this post and that you and the “good promoter” you were helping would email Chris with such BS and I’m pissed that he sits back and doesn’t feel the need to respond!

I have known Chris for 5 yrs now... from the very beginning of our relationship he told me that MMA was always going to be in his life and he had plans so basically if I was going to have a problem with that to end it then. Since then we have been married and have 2 children together bringing us to a family of 6 (with my 2 from my previous marriage) That makes for a pretty busy life all on it’s own.. and I can tell you that he has stuck to what he said back when we first got together. Which leads me to another one of your statements.

“ one of these guys is always on the UG acting very polite and pretending that he cares deeply about the sport”

Where is the act?? He has put so much time into trying to get MMA legalized in ND and recognized as a legit sport that I actually have felt resentful... and this is why I am so offended by your comments.. I’m not going to sit back and hear someone talk total BS about my husband and his intentions.. when I am living it.. being affected by everything he puts into it.. I’ll agree with you and add to it.. promoting can be tough.. and when you have a family, a home taking a loss can be damning! and what the hell.. he’s already going be upset with me for posting here so yeah, the last show took a pretty good loss.. and I don’t think a lot of people understand how risky it is and how easy it can be to lose money when you spend a lot out to ensure that the show is ran properly.

With all the risk involved Chris had a hard time trying to get someone to partner up with him who was also willing to take the risks involved. He knew Bruce was good at matchmaking and had fighter contacts so he went to Bruce and that’s how it goes. I haven’t seen anything shady from Bruce while he has been Chris’ partner and I think he’s done a great job with his part of the show. Although I do have issues with a promoter fighting in their own show, I understand that it was his last fight.


The DFC pays to be sanctioned and follows the regulations that apply. They have a ring Dr., LPN, EMT’s, medical examinations, qualified refs and judges, REAL security, event insurance ect.

Do you see anything shady with that? Does your “good, legit promoter” do all that to ensure the safety of the fighters, spectators and protect “the advancement of the sport”? I’ll add that during a DFC show if a fighter would be caught drinking before their fight they would not be fighting. I heard that your legit promoter allowed a fighter to drink betweens rounds in Moorhead, that’s taking great care of the fighters.

I was also told that your legit promoter had ring girls doing dollar dances during intermissions at playmakers . I bet that will advance the sport. I attended both DFC’s and I thought they were great shows, done very professional like the 2nd even more then the first. I have heard so many compliments as has Chris and Bruce and you can expect them to keep getting better because after each show Chris has said “now what can I do to improve this” He knows there is always room for improvement.. and that is because he does care and he really wants to see the sport accepted and for it to grow and to be a part of that.

Oh and many thanks to Clayton Miller, Gjermund Larson and Fred Ettish for your posts giving credit to DFC for putting on such a great show!! Hearing those things from people who were actually there and a part of the show is great! Fred was an awesome REF and Clayton and Gjermund had great fights it is all of you, the fighters, refs and all the officials. that made the show!

I want to comment on just a few more of the statements made and then I believe I may be done blowing off my steam. Refusing to pay fighters more then $50. hiding behind the amateur status... there is no hiding behind amateur status.. cut and dry amateur is all that is allowed in this state however because $50.00 doesn’t cover the expenses for some fighters out of state or out of country travel expenses were increased accordingly.

And to the following statement “these shady guys tore down posters, caused a couple of fighters to back out because they said that we were the shady ones, and spread rumors all over the area that the event was cancelled”

That is just a frivolous accusation. DFC had plenty of posters removed as well and no one wrote you or her emails crying about it. As far as causing fighters to back out of the show... I remember VERY WELL being in labor and thinking I was in it alone because Chris was going to attend your Playmakers show to corner for a fighter, luck fully he came back to check on me before the fights began. A lot of people involved with DFC attended that show... I’d call that support not sabotaging. Chris got the emails and phone calls accusing him of sabotaging that show also. You people have your facts wrong. I think all in all your good promoter needs to open her mind.. look inside her shows and take some personal responsibility for sabotaging her own show.

Last but not least in regards to the following statement “his own partner had told me for the last few years that this guy was mainly responsible for keeping MMA illegal in the state of North Dakota because he constantly harrassed the state athletic comissioner, and usually resorted to insulting him.”

I wouldn’t call trying to get it legalized harassment.. and if it weren’t for him getting things going.. who would of?? I don’t recall hearing any one other then Chris and Jeff Gummeringer testifying in front of the Senate Committee regarding the legalization of MMA in ND. Where the Secretary of State (state athletic commissioner) introduced Chris to the committee and stated that over the past couple of years he had gotten to know Chris pretty well and that he seemed very passionate about the sport. Regarding the insults, although their discussions at some times got heated Chris always maintained a good working relationship with the state and fully intends to continue doing so. As far as it being his partner that supposedly made this statement before they were partners... oh well... people talk... looks like they are running a pretty good operation now. Ok.. I’m done... let the bashings begin : P

First off I would like to ask that my name not be brought into this mess.I have heard both sides of this story and I would like to stay neutral but if I had to pick one side over the other than most people know where my loyalty goes.

I did compete in the last DFC show.It was not so much because of who the promoter was but more to the fact that I was looking to avenge the only loss I've had since I came out of retirement.This was originally set up in one of Becky Levi's events that got cancelled and I would've done this for any promotion even it had to be for Jamie Levine or Chad mason.

Travis and I have been friends for 8 years now and I have heard all of the stories about rival promotions and how the majority of them work.I've never heard anything in particular about Chris but I've heard things about Bruce which I don't want to divulge in a public forum.

One thing I do find odd though is that Kyle Olson was scheduled to fight in Chris's show and fought in Travis's instead.

And damnit why didn't I get a lapdance?I must've gone to the wrong show(j/K)

No mention of your name other then the thanks that was given for your great comments on the show.

Kyle double booked himself... that's all I know. There was 15 fights at DFC with no fighter fighting twice. Although Kyle, in my opinion is a great fighter and would have been welcomed at the show there is no hard feelings what so ever about him not making it.. and from what I hear I think they probably needed him more.

I fought at the show and I was treated very well. I have no idea about the other things being discussed, so I will keep my mouth shut about them. Bruce and Chris both seemed to be very nice and honest to me. That's all I'm going to say.

Thanks for your post as well Lee.. another great fight contributing to the show.

Mrs. Nelson, I guess I don't understand why you are the one who has to stand up to Travis Fulton's accusations. I know you are pissed but it should be your husband out in front. I have went a few rounds on the internet with your husband on the IFC Sturgis thing, but I do my homework. North Dakota is the worst state to get changes done in business, sports, you name it. I have been through the process up there in my family's grocery business and currently with the banking commission. We have Federal Courts ruling with us and North Dakota still went to trial 3 times.
Gjermund Larson is a good friend of ours, and he said he has been treated well up there, that the fights were evenly matched. Lee Loff has spoken well of the promotion. If folks have some specific facts, they should put them out there.

IrishMike, my husband doesn't feel the need to stand up to Travis I on the other hand disagree.. as I said I am offended. I found it to be way to hard to keep my mouth shut. People talking BS is a pretty big pet peeve of mine. I'm more for facts and any other way makes no sense to me. With this little deal I have seen a lot of BS cut and dry especially from Travis' good promoter. All hasn't been said on here.

I don't know enough to comment on the sturgis stuff.

Rather ND is a hard place to have changes made or not he's trying and will continue to do so. Whoever thought the lottery would go through? lol

I am all for people putting out the facts.

Actually Travis was talking about the XKK scumbag promoters.

All kidding aside, I have dealt with all above mentioned and have nothing but good things to say. I hope you guys work your differences out because mud slinging is NOT a way to become popular.

Chris or Bruce should've come forward before the Mrs.. I know that she is hot because she feels her relatives are getting slighted(I went through it myself) BUT this is business. And we will never get the sport where we need it to be if everyone keeps taking things personal. It's business, and this happens in corporate America all of the time. It would probably be better for all parties to let this thread die. Just my opinion.

Well I find it very cowardly that Chris has to hide behind his wife...or post behind his wife's screen name. I think this entire thread validates my point completely.

Also, who are you Mrs. Nelson? If you are Chris's wife, then fine, but what role do you play in the game? I know plenty of women who are lied to and have no clue what their husband is doing. Why should you be any different?

Bruce Nelson is a liar and a thief. He stole money from me and admitted that he was a coward and only wanted to fight hand picked opponents in his own events because he didnt want to lose in his own backyard, while at the same time he made all of the locals fight tough, trained, legit fighters.

Bruce Nelson had a belt made and fought against a 0-16 Roger Stiner to win it.

I could rattle on and on, but maybe I dont feel the need to. I have hundreds of people who can back me up and tell you that Im a good guy and treat fighters good and dont screw them over.

Were the fighters treated well at the DFC events? Yeah Im sure they were. Were they treated with respect? I bet they were.

Fact is that they were paid $50 to fight...that sucks and you can pay more than that. But thats not the point here.

What the fighters dont know is how you spread rumors the NFA event was cancelled, tore down posters, and tried to steal fighters. Those are facts and you know it!!!!

Thank you and TTT for Chris and Bruce Nelson for being cowards who are scared to death of me and have women who dont know the real stories fight their battles for them.

Mike Camp, Chris is my only relative involved Bruce Nelson is no relation.

I'm sure my husband see's things your way and that's why he chose to let Travis' thread die rather then to respond.. But then there are those who put it to the top so apparently not everyone shares your view. As for me making this thread.. I wish I hadn't felt the need, I'm a pretty friendly person who would rather just see everyone get along.. but knowing all that I have known from the beginning of both of the promotions.. letting one end come on here and throw out a bunch of BS as Travis did.. is simply put more then I can sit back for.
I realize that it's business but I also know that people talking BS can be damaging.

Exactly, but the BS is coming from the Nelson's end, and with 13 posts in all, Im assuming that you dont know anything at all.

BTW why would anybody believe you? Does anybody expect you to take my side over your husbands? Hell no, but you are misinformed and your husband is a liar and a coward and a terrible fighter right along Bruce Nelson.

Just stay on your side of the fence and stop talking shit and trying to sabotage other people's events. People will realize sooner or later that the DFC are the bad guys.