EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK LUINDULA
By Edrich Pienaar
On Monday 13/02/2017 news broke that Patrick Luindula’s contract with the EFC was terminated. Shortly thereafter the “God of War” released a video statement wherein he had some strong words for the EFC’s VP of Talent, and matchmaker, Graeme Cartmell.
The former middleweight fighter took some time to answer some questions for South African MMA.
Take us through the events leading up to the termination of your EFC contract.
Honest truth is there is no event leading to this, I knew this was coming. The moment I had a heart attack EFC’s response to it was basically no response at all. So that alone showed they didn’t care.
I guess having a media company that doesn’t kiss the EFC’s ass and only promotes them was also an issue. As media I believe in reporting the truth, be it good or bad. As he mentioned in the letter that I was posting negative things about the EFC.
Is stating that a fight contract hasn’t been signed and that EFC is selling the public fake fights and telling the public specific fights are being pulled off the card before they announce it is posting negative comments? Well I guess to Graeme it is.
You stated in your online post that Graeme Cartmell doesn’t respect the sport and fighters. Can you please clarify?
If you have ever been to the back stage of EFC, you would see the treatment fighters and their teams get. For the EFC it is all about having a big show and making money. The way he speaks to fighters he has no respect, he has no consideration for the hard work it takes to be a professional athlete.
Do you share this opinion towards EFC President Cairo Howarth?
Does anyone have access to him? President Cairo Howarth is a good man. I have met him backstage several times had brief chats with him. Honestly in EFC Graeme is the Dana White (The President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship) of EFC, just a shit one, with no match making experience or public relation or people skills. He literally runs the EFC and everyone else is just there for the sake of being there.
In your statement you also mentioned that The EFC takes the fun out of MMA. In what way does it do that?
When we all started combat sport, at least most fighters, we did it for fun. Competing, to prep for a fight and eventually fight was exciting enjoyable. In the EFC there’s just too much drama surrounding everything. If you win too quickly it’s an issue. It’s almost as if they want to dictate how one fights and where the fight should or shouldn’t go.
The EFC (Graeme Cartmell) sent you an email to the incorrect fighter who in turn sent it to you. How did that make you feel?
That shows the disrespect and inconsideration they have for their athletes that they don’t even have a database with their email address. If you have a look on the EFC website you would of noticed EFC removed my profile over 2 months ago. So they had already terminated my contract a long time ago. Sending the email was just a formality, which he couldn’t accomplish.
Did it come as a shock to you when you received the notification of the termination of you contract?
Not all, honestly I played him. I wanted the termination because other opportunities presented themselves to me from other organizations. But they all were concerned about the EFC contract. Even though I was no longer on their website they needed a written letter from EFC confirming my termination. Believe me when I tell you I had worse news to publish about EFC that I kept to myself. I strategically played my hands which I knew would lead to this.
If he (Cartmell) wanted to punish me he should have kept me on the contract and just not give me fights which would have killed my martial art career, but he failed himself.
This wasn’t the first time you and Graeme Cartmell had some issues. What was the first issue about? Was this issue ever fully resolved? Did Graeme ever apologize to you?
I once commented on a post about the EFC paying fighters crap. He called me and was very disrespectful. I emailed him back and told him shit and made it clear to him he doesn’t put food on my table rather I put food in his. Without the athletes the EFC is nothing. The second time I revealed that Henry Fadipe was injured and the fight between him and Dricus du Plessis was off which they didn’t want the public to know He texted me threating that if I don’t reveal my source he would fire or cancel any EFC athlete’s contract that ever does an interview with me. Once he realized I had it in writing he tried to bargain with me.
The issue is the EFC wants the media to paint this picture that they are a perfect organization and yet they’re not willing to pay for media coverage stating they don’t need media coverage from anyone they do a better job on their own.
This notion that the EFC has created a platform for fighters, and they should be grateful, is a lot of nonsense. The EFC need the fighters not the other way around. If they were paying enough for fighters to make a living out of this sport we would be singing a different song.
Despite saying you would not fight in the EFC again, what made you get back into the Hexagon again?
Truth be told I was done with the sport. My company (Step Up MMA) has been keeping me too busy. And I am honestly enjoy spending time with my daughter, which I can barely do when I am training hour after hours and getting home too exhausted.
The choice to fight again is to show the EFC, and other fighters, that there are other options available on pro level and there is better treatment and better opportunities. It is my way of giving back to the sport to promote other promotions, which I was already doing as a combat sport and MMA reporter.
You and the EFC bumped heads again when you started your company, Step Up MMA. Please take us through this.
The issue with the EFC is that they do not like any media company that promotes other organizations. To make matters worse I was signed to them, so promoting other organizations and singing songs of praises for others while they were fucking around kept them up at night. I personally didn’t give a shit, because I knew I was doing right by my fellow athletes.
You put up a post on social media knowing that your contract would be cancelled. Was that the outcome you were hoping for?
Damn right it was, being signed to EFC is like living with your ex-wife and her new partner. Need I say more? Lol
Now that you are a free agent, have any other promotions approached you to compete for them?
Two international promotions had approached me before, but I couldn’t do anything due to my contract with the EFC. Now I am open to hear who else is interested… would like to fight few more fights before hitting the international circuit.
Do you feel that you and the EFC would ever be able to resolve this issue? Would you ever compete in the EFC again?
I fight for fun. Until the EFC stops hiring clowns which have no joke effect, and hire individuals that live and understand the principal of martial arts, I have no interest in ever going back. Although if Graeme signs a fight contract to fight me I will definitely go back. In fact that’s the only way I’ll go back there…