Promoters Blame DMX For Postponed Coolio Bout Against Eric Martinez

A mixed martial arts celebrity fight featuring rapper Coolio has been postponed.

The cancellation of the entertainer’s bout against MMA boxer/actor Eric Martinez is the latest development in a continuing saga surrounding the event, which was scheduled to take place Saturday (Dec. 12) in Birmingham, Alabama.

New York-based rhymesayer DMX was originally recruited to take on Martinez in a three round fight for Thunder Promotions’ Alabama Pride, but backed out of the event when the promoter refused to fix the fight for the rapper or guarantee his safety.

Thunder Promotions, which later filed a $1 million lawsuit against DMX in November, soon found a replacement for the rapper/actor in Coolio.

"As CEO of Thunder Promotions LLC, I have endeavored to promote the highest quality of fight entertainment. Toward that goal, my company has resisted any and all efforts to participate in fights that were less than above board and legitimate," Riccardi said in a statement. "With this event, Thunder Promotions LLC had expended a great deal of time, effort and money promoting an event that was to be headlined by the rap personality DMX. When he decided to back out of the event due to our refusal to fix his fight, it left Thunder Promotions LLC with little time to promote an event with a replacement headliner."

Amid talk of DMX being a bigger attraction than Coolio for Alabama Pride, Thunder Promotions postponed the bout on Friday (Dec. 11).

Ricciardi, admitted the last minute change was not enough to properly promote the rapper’s bout and the event’s second main event that involved UFC fighter Jeff Monson taking on Travis Fulton.

In its lawsuit, Thunder Promotions claims DMX’s cancellation resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars and damages.

In addition, promoters accuse the Yonkers rap star of failing to return a $6,000 deposit that was given to insure his participation in the fight as well as conspiring with his manager to scam them using a fake management company called Built For War management.

The postponement of the Coolio fight has not prevented Thunder Promotions from scheduling its next MMA fight, which is tentatively set to take place on January 23.

A full fight card as well as the location of the event will be announced in the coming weeks, said Ricciardi, who added that “any comp tickets will be honored at the next scheduled event with a VIP upgrade."

Despite cancelling the Coolio bout, Ricciardi was adamant about his company’s intent to press on with a renewed focus on delivering worthwhile events.

“With this lesson learned, I can assure everyone and all that Thunder Promotions LLC will continue with a vengeance and the public can anticipate future events that we will promote that will overshadow any promotion in the State of Alabama and elsewhere,” he said.