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Airing out some dirty laundry

I didn’t want to have to do this publicly but this method is my only recourse.

Last spring I was approached by an editor for the UK MMA magazine “Fighters.” There’s at least one other major MMA magazine in the UK with a similar title so to make sure there is no confusion, the editor of “Fighters” is a guy by the name of Paul Clifton.

Paul recruited me and made all kinds of promises and said a lot of great things that he never delivered on. To make a long story short, I’ve written four total articles for two separate issues and I haven’t received anything in the way of compensation.

I’ve been trying to secure payment since the middle of the summer and am only going public as a last resort. I’ve also warned them about going public with this situation on multiple occasions. I’ve either received excuses, no response, a promise to send payment with no payment ever being sent, or a returned e-mail.

I was even in contact with one of Paul’s subordinates several weeks ago and agreed to a “settlement.” I wasn’t completely happy with the amount we agreed to because it was well below my rate and would have never written for the magazine in the first place at that submission fee. I still accepted the off because something is better than nothing and I just wanted to move on. Unfortunately, even after giving them an out, Paul’s subordinate suddenly stopped responding to my e-mails and left me with no other choice.

I doubt I will ever receive anything from them but I didn’t want to allow them to screw me over like this without a fight. I also wanted to warn fellow writers while also making readers of their magazine aware Paul Clifton commissions writers to submit articles and in my case, never compensates them what was promised.

I’ve been a freelance writer for much of my life so I’ve experienced this before. Believe it or not, many deals with print publications are done with handshakes. Paul presented himself as a man of his word and he’s clearly not as it pertains to this instance. But according to one of his subordinates, he has a reputation for dishonest behavior.

If anyone from “Fighters” wants to dispute anything said here, I will gladly give them equal time. They should be forewarned though, as I have e-mails to verify EVERYTHING that’s been said here and I won’t hesitate to post them publicly if they have questions about the accuracy of anything that I’ve written here.

There aren’t a lot of freelance MMA writing jobs out there that pay so I’m not telling anyone not to write for one of Paul Clifton’s magazines. However, I am warning you to make sure that you’re extra careful when you work for this guy.