Fury 2 Cancelled Amidst Embezzlement AllegationsA mixed martial arts event scheduled for this Saturday in Macau has been cancelled amidst allegations that the promoter has embezzled nearly $13 million in Hong Kong currency. Damien Roche, the promoter and former Director of the Kontact MMA Training Center in Hong Kong, is in hiding.

Fighters scheduled to compete on the card, including Strikeforce signee Carina “Beauty But The Beast” Damm, were stranded in Macau after it was discovered that all hotel rooms and return flights had been cancelled. The fighters are now pursuing alternative means of returning home.

Note: An updated article with Damien Roche’s account of the events has been posted here. Roche’s comments, which were not available during the initial stages of this story when this article was posted, directly contradict the accusations made by Roche’s former associates, Kevin Don and Olivier Doleuze. Don and Doleuze’s accusations are detailed in the article below.

 

Fury 2: “Armageddon” was set to take place this Saturday, October 9th, at the City of Dreams Grand Hyatt Ballroom in Cotai, Macau. The promotion’s debut event in May went off without any major issues and Saturday’s card had been scheduled to crown two promotional champions. UFC veteran Jess “The Joker” Liaudin was initially matched against Eiji Ishikawa for the Fury Welterweight Championship, while Antony Rea was to face Jason Jones for the Fury Light Heavyweight title.

However, upon arrival in Macau earlier this week, fighters learned that the event had been cancelled after the venue allegedly discovered that Roche had embezzled $600,000 HK from them in payments. It was then revealed that Roche had been fired from his position as Director of the Kontact MMA Training Center on Monday after accountants discovered that he had allegedly stolen over $12 million HK from them as well. With hotel rooms cancelled, allegedly by Roche, fighters had nowhere to stay and realised that they were stranded in Macau with no return flights until next Monday.

Unfortunately, Roche also allegedly cancelled all of the return flights and pocketed the money, forcing fighters to find other means of returning home. Roche is currently wanted by the Hong Kong police and has gone into hiding. The owner of the Kontact gym, who had fired Roche, filed for bankruptcy and has not returned phone calls requesting comment on the situation. Employees who worked at the gym now find themselves without a job as a result of Roche’s reported actions and the subsequent closure of the establishment.

With the aid of their respective managers, some of the fighters who were scheduled to compete on the Fury 2 card have worked out alternative arrangements to return home now that the event is off. However, the arrangements have been made at their own expense. Other fighters remain trapped in Macau with no immediate way home.

MMARising.com will have further updates on this story as they become available.

Update: Jess Liaudin, who was originally scheduled to face Eiji Ishikawa on the card, withdrew from the event before travelling to Macau and was not among the fighters stranded. Former two-division King of Pancrase Kiuma Kunioku also withdrew from the card prior to these recent events. He had been set to face Vincent Latoel.

Note (October 18, 2010): Numerous sources have confirmed to MMARising.com that initial attempts to reach Damien Roche by phone and e-mail failed. Thus, requests for comment on this matter went unanswered for days as Roche was unavailable to address the accusations during the time that fighters and managers were stranded in Macau. All accusations directed towards Roche were made by Kevin Don, Olivier Doleuze and (reportedly) the City of Dreams casino itself. MMARising.com reported only on the information that was provided, as Roche could not be reached for comment prior to or immediately after the event’s cancellation.

 

  1. [...] way home. MMARising.com will have further updates on this story as they become available. Fury 2 Cancelled Amidst Embezzlement Allegations | MMARising.com __________________ SHW: Minowaman HW: Fedor, Bigfoot LHW: Mousasi, Mo, Nogueira, Shogun MW: [...]

  2. Mike Dizack a Team Tompkins fighter was scheduled to fight on this card and is stranded until Monday in Macau. We have had updates from Mike through his Facebook page and he is doing alright. He is lucky to have a of friends with him to help support Mike. If they were not there I know he would be struggling to find a way home. We hope he returns sooner than Monday.

  3. [...] much for Kontact.. Fury 2 Cancelled Amidst Embezzlement Allegations | MMARising.com However, upon arrival in Macau earlier this week, fighters learned that the event had been [...]

  4. Both Damien ROCHE and Olivier DOLEUZE ( the owner of Kontact) should be questioned by the police.
    Olivier Doleuze for lack of control and probably completly inexperienced in management and finance has let the situation to deteriorate !

  5. Best wishes to all of you (and fighters you know or represent) who have been affected by this. Hopefully everyone can safely get back home by early next week.

  6. met damien roche in manila for the said mma event , something was fishy about him, and now this..!!!

  7. thats bad news for HK and macau producers, now the fighters wont trust them , in the philippines there is an event called URCC and they always have foreigners and the promoters never had a problem paying the foreigh fighters…surprosong that it would happen in a first rate city like macau or hk

  8. Our fighters Vitaly and Sergey Shemetov were sched to fight. I thank God that their spirits are still up. Where are the good promoters at? These guys lay it on the line and for what? My goodness.

  9. Damien Roche is hiding in Thailand friends saw him and instead of controling that situation he create he left run with fighters money …and want to come back to pay them weird …look like a criminal busted !

  10. Gentlemen,

    Everyone is quick to offer information without facts, so lets please discuss certain facts:
    1. The event was cancelled by the decision of Kontact.
    2. Damien resigned and was not working at Kontact during this time.
    3. Kevin Don replaced Damien, and was the person who was to handle the event and also the person responsible for sending the information to this site.
    4. Kevin was Damien’s assistant and the one that contracted the fighters and in the end is responsible for paying the fighters.
    5. Damien is here in Thalaind working on a project that predated the event and was always planning on being here after the event.
    6. If any monies are stolen why are charges not filed by now?
    7. Damien has made contact with most of the fighters and trying to resolve the problem.
    8. More facts will follow this, but please challenge these facts with proof instead of personal opinions based on a factually incorrect blog, posted by Kevin Don who in the end is the reason this event was cancelled.

  11. Yes, most of what you posted here has already been mentioned by me in updates elsewhere, but no further articles will be posted here until Damien follows through with promises that he has made to fighters. An official statement from the City of Dreams, which was supposed to be made days ago according to Damien, was never released but my understanding is that Damien’s involvement was exaggerated by Kevin.

    Please understand that I’ve been working on this continuously throughout the past week and am waiting on further action from Damien. This issue hasn’t been ignored and updates will indeed follow once Damien has done what he says he is going to do to prove his innocence. There are still questions that remain unanswered.

  12. Robert,

    Here are some more facts:

    1. I spoke to COD in person and they informed me that they did not cancel the event it was the decision of the contract holder.
    2. I asked them to have a press release stating the facts over a week ago.
    3. The consultant of Entertainment declared that perhaps it would be best not to have a release.
    4. I disagreed and sent two PR’s thus far with facts and still awaiting their approval.
    5. They have requested more time, and thus unlike those rushing to print unconfirmed and slanderous information I will patiently wait.
    6. You are capable yourself of validating some of these facts with common sense.
    7. As Damien is being patient and allowing a proper press release to be written, he is working on a project that predated the event and not hiding.
    8. This project that originally was going to occur in Hong Kong has now been moved to Thailand as a result of your slanderous postings.
    9. Which BTW I haven’t confirmed this but knowing you are damaging a man’s reputation and affecting business of others, and knowing you can correct the problem, but choose not to until fighters are compensated may be considered black mail.
    10. I will confirm that Damien has made some arrangements to certain fighters, however he does this from his conscious, and not because of a contract that may in the end actually prove he was not responsible.
    11. Perhaps you can be a conscious man and start with you own due diligence.

  13. You may wish to familiarise yourself with what Damien has said before assuming that you know what I am and am not aware of. I will speak with Damien directly. It was his idea to “prove” his innocence by paying the fighters, so that is also something that you need to speak with him about.

  14. Seth Fishman I am Kevin Dons brother, he did not steal any money and he has not fled the country. He is not under arrest or suspicion by the police. If Damien is not responsible then why is he offering to pay the fighters their money ? Why are the police looking for him ? Why has he fled to Thailand ? Why doesnt he come back to Hong Kong and speak to the police if he is innocent ?

  15. Perhaps realize that I was personally involved after the cancellation and affected in this matter. My position is that I have a deal that has been postponed, and eventually will be cancelled if Damien’s reputation remains as you presented him. Likewise your postings is what made everyone go to Damien for the money, so understand the deal Damien made was a result of your article and postings. So if a man agrees to pay monies he does not have to by contract because he his pressured, what is that? Perhaps now realize if the deal is cancelled the investors will have no choice but to pursue their loss. I tried to resolve this properly so I am covered, are you covered? Do you really know the consequences of what you wrote, and are you certain your facts are correct? If Damien is ruined because he was forced to pay monies he did not owe and tried to make good but couldn’t because he isn’t in a position to earn now, are you justified? Oh well let the record show I asked you to do your own fact checking and verify your facts. Also let the record show that you are going to cost investors on a predated deal money because of your article. This is nothing more than documented courtesy now. Have a nice day and maybe check your facts in the future and consult an attorney before forcing people to pay monies they may not have to!
    Yeah as for speaking with him directly, that was what you should have done in the first place, so congradulations on the first step in verifying facts. As for my facts never claimed to know them all, but then again I never wrote a story making false claims did I? I never accused anyone of crimes that now affects their career and others investments!

  16. Seth, I e-mailed you and Damien 50 hours ago with detailed questions about all of this that you have still yet to answer. You wanted to be contacted directly, but you are avoiding answering any of the questions posed to you.

    Please let me underscore two things. First, I repeatedly stated in the article above that Damien had allegedly done these things based off of all of the commentary and evidence that was initially available. Since Damien had his phone off and nobody could contact him for nearly 36 hours before I wrote anything, it was not possible to get his side right away even though they were trying to. People did try to get his side.

    Secondly, I did say that further updates would follow once more information was available. Damien has said that the City of Dreams was supposed to put out a release which absolved him of blame, but that has not yet happened and nobody can get any answers from them as of this time. If you would like your side told, then please answer the e-mail and all of the questions that I posed to you rather than avoiding them.

    Edit (October 19, 2010): Damien has replied to all of the questions that I posed to him and answered in considerable detail. While the City of Dreams is unfortunately still refusing to comment, an updated article has now been posted.