Press conference in Sofia: Orsat Zovko explains why the FFC 19 was cancelled, thanks the fans
Press conference on the occasion of the cancellation of the FFC 19 event that was to take place this Friday in Bulgaria was held this Wednesday on famous Levski stadium. The event was cancelled on the initiative of the former UFC fighter and BFMMA President, Stanislav Nedkov.
Only a day before that Mr. Nedkov held a press conference at the same place where he explained his motives and said the reason he advised the Ministry to cancel the event laid in the procedural mistakes the FFC made ahead of its first event in Bulgaria.
FFC President Orsat Zovko, FFC's partner in Bulgaria Georgi Dimitrov and FFC match-maker Marko Petrak talked to the media representatives.
“There was a mistake in communication with Bulgarian MMA Federation and maybe we did some small mistake in the procedure in the technical part. Maybe if there was enough will we could fix it on time, but OK. Whatever happened, happened. I'm happy that Georgi had very successful meeting with Mr. Stanislav Nedkov and I will see him today before I leave Sofia. I hope we will agree that we will work together in the future because that is in the best interest of Bulgarian fighters,“ said Mr. Zovko and added:
“But to mention a couple of things. First of all I want to say thank you to all Bulgarian fighters and fans. Honestly, I was really surprised with all the support we had in Bulgaria. That's the main reason I stayed hard on this position and why we don't want to give up on Sofia. Honestly, all of us in the FFC were surprised how support we got, how many e-mail, how many people called us from Bulgaria. It was a really big surprise.”
“Federation must work in the interest of athletes”
The Bulgarian MMA Federation claims one reason they wanted to stop the event from happening lied in the fact that there were too few Bulgarian fighters on the fight card. Zovko disagrees.
“When we were planning the FFC 19 fight card, we had six Bulgarian fighters. Even before this event in Sofia, since we were planning another event in Sofia December 4, we were planning to push some Bulgarian fighters on our other events because our next event will be in September in Austria. Then we go to Italy, Greece… I really appreciate what Bulgarian fighters did as well as fans from Bulgaria and we decided to add more Bulgarian fighters to FFC events and roster,“ said Mr. Zovko and explained FFC will not give up on the event in Bulgaria and that he plans to organize the biggest fighting sports event Bulgaria has ever seen.
“I want to thank Mr Stanislav Nedkov for we made an agreement and I'm looking forward to our cooperation in the future. I can promise you that, if everything will be OK, next time there will be no technical mistakes in the procedure and we will clear everything with the Bulgarian MMA Federation in very short time. Very soon we will announce our first event in Sofia on December 4 officially.”
“All Associations and Federations should work primarily in the interest of the fighters. It is good that Mr. Nedkov recognized that in the end and agreed we would work together in the future. I can promise that on December 4 we will do even more. We will do the biggest fighting event in Bulgaria ever. We will bring big stars, top FFC fighters and it will be the biggest event ever.”
Zovko explained why he came to Bulgaria to hold a press conference…
“I wanted to do this press conference because I felt I had obligation towards Bulgarian fans and fighters as well as to all FFC fans in general. On our web-portal, Fight Site, we have around 2 million views per month and lots of people are waiting for this press conference. That's the reason why I did not want to cancel it. That's the reason I'm here.”
"Nobody gets anything from war"
The tensions between FFC and BFMMA seem to be solved.
“I mean, if there was a war between us, nobody would get anything from it. After the war you must sit and talk again. So it's better to sit and talk before it escalates. I think it was good for both parties that we made an agreement on cooperation in the future. Bulgaria is a huge market for fighting sports, Bulgarian fighters proved themselves many times that they are really good. From my experience they never choose opponents what I really appreciate. I like to work with such fighters. Fighters that do not choose opponent are real fighters. That's the reason I will push Bulgarian fighters even more.”
In the end the FFC President thanked Bulgarian fighters, gyms and coaches, while Marko Petrak expressed his regret to all the fighters who will not fight this Friday.
“I would like to thank all the fighters who were to fight this Friday and their teams in the FFC’s name. They worked hard for it, trained, they lost weight and we are really sorry it came to this. We appreciate their effort tremendously”, concluded Petrak.
All those who bought FFC 19 tickets will have their money refunded via ticket distributer (Ticketpro).