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Felice Herrig Details Fallout with Michele Gutierrez


Felice Herrig

Chicago fight fans likely remember seeing Felice Herrig and Michele Gutierrez palling around together at local MMA shows. Together they launched a video game, posed for photo shoots and worked under the same management. It seemed like a fun friendship.

Fast forward to 2012. The next time fans see them together will be inside the Bellator cage in Hammond, and it’s doubtful they’ll even touch gloves before the fight.

In the press release to announce the rematch between the two fighters at Bellator 84 on December 14, Herrig said that Gutierrez was unethical “as a fighter and in business”.

Gutierrez responded to those claims in an interview with Chicago’s MMA. “I have no idea what she’s even talking about. Basically she’s doing what she can to try and ruin my image,” Gutierrez said.

Herrig expounded on her press release quote and why she categorized Gutierrez that way.

“I’m not surprised she would act like she doesn’t know what I was referring to. This is her M.O. and it took this many times for me to realize there is no changing a zebra’s stripes,” Herrig said. “From staying at my gym and (Facebook) messaging potential opponents of mine after training with me, to slandering me to a mutual sponsor and causing them to not pay me (or her) after I promoted and worked for them for 3 months, to contacting a sponsor directly and manipulating them to send money directly to her instead of through our management channels, and to slandering me to as many people as she could in the industry, whom I have never even met  — doing all this while putting on a smile and front like she was my friend the whole time is sickening,” Herrig said.

Herrig added that the MMA community as a whole understands who is in the right in regard to their falling out.

“Unluckily for her, I have befriended many people in the industry who she had talked about me to, so there is no secret about it. I want to be clear that it’s not my intention to keep talking about this but if she keeps acting like this “grudge” is a mystery to her and I am some “bad person” for it, then I’m gonna call her out on what she did.”

Gutierrez responded to Herrig’s claim that she is unethical in her interview with Chicago’s MMA. “I didn’t hurt her family, kill her dog, steal her paycheck or sleep with her boyfriend. So anything and everything else is just childish,” Gutierrez said.

Herrig said that assessment is mostly true, but that Gutierrez did indeed cost her money.

“Did she steal my boyfriend? No. Did she steal money from me? Theoretically yes she did, and it back fired on her because that sponsor was a crook himself and called her out on Facebook about the whole thing causing a PR nightmare for herself and my management,” Herrig said. “She says she has changed and is in a better place now, for her sake I really hope she has but I put myself out there for her to many times to believe she would ever change her attitude towards me. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me 2, 3, 4 times? Shame on me I guess,” said Herrig.

The two fighters became friends after their first bout in 2009, when Herrig submitted Gutierrez with an armbar in the second round. It was her first win as a professional MMA fighter. Times — and attitudes — have changed since then, with Herrig being quoted as saying she’d like to “shut (Gutierrez’s) mouth once and for all”.

While Herrig would love the spectacular finish, she’ll settle for the win.

“I am not looking past Michele and of course the plan is always to finish the fight. I know she likes to run so if I have to chase her for 3 rounds it might not happen. If we engage I am confident in my training that I will be able to do what I need to do. I am focused 100% on winning this fight,” Herrig said.

The fight will take place at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, and will conclude Bellator’s seventh season. Tickets are on sale now and are available at Horseshoe Casino, Ticketmaster, www.thevenue-chicago.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is a former TV producer who turned to new media in 2005, and he is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is also the play-by-play announcer for the XFO. His work has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided and more.

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