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The Brief But Destructive Wake of Praetorian Fighting Championships

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Praetorian belt by ZBro'sMartinez contacted ZBro’s Championship Belts, a company in Michigan, and told them he needed three belts on a rush order for his July show. ZBro’s delivered the belts. Martinez never delivered the payment.

“He still owes me $1800 for 3 belts,” Marcus Zeoli, owner of Z Bro’s told Chicago’s MMA.

“I made the belts that he said he needed in a rush for a July show. He then canceled the show. We have messaged back and forth many, many times in the last few months. Every time he promises and sets up a day to pay me, that day comes and goes every time — at least 10 times now. Then I noticed he restricted me on his page. I did not want any bad blood but enough is enough. When I posted that I would be selling his belts to the public due to non-payment he unfriended me and blocked me (on Facebook).”

Zeoli revealed some of his texts to us and they show the lengths to which Martinez tried to avoid paying his bill. Martinez texted Zeoli telling him he will “coordinate payment to be sent” and that he would “see if I have someone local near u and if not then I will send u via USPS and this time I will do it.”

Three weeks later Zeoli had still not received payment. He texted Martinez to inquire about it, and at that time Martinez told him he was “working out details and was going to reach out to u.” Martinez again asked Zeoli to trust him that payment would be made soon and that he was getting ready to “announce big things.” But Zeoli still hasn’t got paid.

Zeoli sent me two screenshots of their text correspondence. He says he has about 15 in total where Martinez promises him payment. It’s 2013. There’s nothing to “coordinate,” you don’t need USPS and you certainly don’t need someone that lives close to the person you owe money. You wire it, PayPal it, use the quick pay feature from your bank. It takes all of about ten seconds to complete a simple financial transaction these days. I half-expected Zeoli to show me a text with Martinez claiming The Pony Express was closed on Sundays.

“I called Alex today (Nov. 5) and he didn’t answer. I left him some text messages saying I would sue him for not paying me which he returned with ‘do what you have to do’. As soon as I posted what a scam artist he is my page blew up with messages from about eight different people who all say they were screwed over and never paid by Alex.”

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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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