A planned lightweight bout between Yana “Foxy” Kunitskaya and Danielle “The Curse” West was scrapped along with the rest of the Starlight Events: “Gladiator World Cup 2012” card on Friday night in Marbella, Spain after promoters allegedly fled with the event money prior to the show.
The mixed K-1 and MMA charity fundraising event had been scheduled to feature a kickboxing tournament and a number of mixed martial arts bouts. According to West, one promoter has since been jailed, while the second promoter is among those who is still owed money from the failed event.
Kunitskaya (8-1-0) and West (4-3-1) had been set to face off in one of the featured MMA bouts on the card, which included a $15,000 K-1 tournament and was designed to raise funds for charity using the slogan, “We Fight For Children.” All competitors weighed in as planned on Thursday. However, problems arose on the day of the event when fighters arrived at the venue only to discover that the promoters were nowhere to be found.
More than three hours after the event had been scheduled to begin, fighters were each informed that all fights were off and that the promoters had allegedly fled with the event money, including fight purses. One promoter turned himself in to police on Saturday and was subsequently placed in jail. The second promoter was first believed to have been assaulted by one of the competitors on the card, but it was later confirmed that this was not the case and that he was in fact one of the victims of the theft.
West remains hopeful that her bout with Kunitskaya can be rebooked for sometime later this year in England. Kunitskaya has battled visa issues that have prevented her from travelling to and competing in the United States, but she has remained very active with recent bouts in Lithuania, Russia and Poland, and should be free to compete in the U.K. should the opportunity arise.
Article updated with additional information.