On June 7th, 2016, Augustus Invictus, a candidate for the Libertarian Party’s nomination for U.S. Senate in Florida, posted the following to his Facebook page:
I regret to inform you that Bruce Nathan has backed out of our MMA fight by trying to turn it into a catered kickboxing match with headgear at a minor league wrestling show. I will not subject myself to any further dealings with Nathan, and I will state my many reasons why.
Brought to my attention recently was this public statement of Nathan’s:
“NOW IS THE TIME TO JUMP IN!!! Tickets are on sale!! This guy I am fighting believes in white supremacy, drinks goats blood, and is a pagan. I will pound him for all the good people in the country that have opposing views. Come see it live!!! We still need some sponsors!!!!”
Besides the fact that my half-Puerto Rican children would be quite shocked to learn that I “[believe] in white supremacy,” referencing my religion as a reason to “pound [me]” seems to be in pretty poor taste. But this sort of defamation is characteristic of Nathan, who has used this entire event to slander me while having no intention to fight me from the very beginning.
One of the biggest issues we have had has been with money. Nathan told me that the deposit for the venue was $200 for each of us. I called to make my payment, and I was told it was actually $865 for each of us. It took me a week and a half to come up with the remaining $665, which time Nathan spent accusing me of violating our agreement. Nathan also told me that the only other cost would be $325 each for the insurance. This has now changed to $1,500 each for insurance, catering, and a police detail.
Nathan initially challenged me to a Krav Maga match. I told him I knew nothing about Krav Maga, but that if he gave me three months to prepare, I would learn it. He offered to do an MMA fight instead, and I agreed. About three weeks ago, he unilaterally changed this to a kickboxing match and demands that we wear headgear and 14-oz. gloves. Mind you it is still being marketed as an MMA match.
I was challenged to a fight, and honor demanded that I accept. By my recollection, I was not challenged to a sponsorship & fundraising competition, which I readily admit I would lose to even the most lethargic Girl Scout. My half of the venue payment alone was more expensive than my entire Floridian speaking tour last month. And now he wants to triple that cost by adding catering and a police detail.
Nathan has unilaterally changed the game at least three times in the past few weeks and has actively sought to defame me each time. I have had to ask a member of my campaign team to act as liaison and to put everything in writing because Nathan’s word cannot be trusted.
The facts have shown that Nathan challenged all of us candidates and congressmen to a fight because he assumed no one would accept. It is clear that he has been trying to back out of the fight by pricing us out, and that these attacks on my character have been part of a deliberately manufactured ploy to make me look bad so that he can save face when the event falls through.
An associate of mine did some digging into the whole mess. It turns out that I was indeed lied to, across the board. It turns out that neither a police detail nor catering were required at all by any contract we are under, so the $1,500 charge was indeed a ploy to price us out of the event. It turns out that when Nathan told me about MRIs being required for an MMA fight (and not for a kickboxing match), he left out the part about it being required for him because he was over forty years old, and that no such requirement was applicable to me. It turns out that no sanctioning body has required us to change to a kickboxing match and that he did this on his own because he did not want to subject himself to an MMA fight.
When Nathan accused me of trying to violate our agreement because my deposit for the venue was late, I told him that I would fight him in the parking lot if I had to. He wanted nothing to do with that. He has never wanted anything more than media exposure. His challenge to sitting congressmen and candidates was a publicity stunt that backfired when I actually accepted. I have requested personally that he honor the initial challenge to an MMA fight, and my volunteers and associates have issued the same demand in writing, whether through email or on Facebook. Nathan has refused in every respect to honor our original agreement.
Nathan is upset that I refuse to speak with him personally. He has begun referring to me as “The King” and belittling my volunteers as mindless subjects who must kiss my ring because I insist on speaking through intermediaries. I don’t know whether he refers to the members of his own team in this manner, but hopefully everyone now understands why I had to ask a volunteer to speak with him and insist that everything be in writing. I have no interest in a hearsay competition with someone like Nathan; I wanted witnesses and written evidence for everything.
In any event, it is a great disappointment to me, both personally and politically. I was hopeful that we could revive a bit of honor in politics by demonstrating what it means to uphold the ancient tradition of responding to a challenge from one man to another. But such is American politics.
I do, however, thank Nathan for getting me to train, regardless of any bogus event. Life is as much about the journey as the goal, and I have gained far more from fighting in the past three months than I could have hoped to gain from a public circus anyway. It has been a humbling experience, as I have been beaten senseless by men twice my size and by men smaller than me. It has been a rectifying experience, as I have lived a healthy life, trained daily, and cut junk food, alcohol, and drugs from my diet; all of which are changes I should have made long ago. It has been a learning experience, as I have had the honor of studying with great fighters and great men. Fight or no fight, I would not change the hardships of the past three months for anything.
I will continue to train in the martial arts, not to make a public circus of a petty fight but to maintain a martial life. For virtue is its own reward, and martial virtue is the greatest of rewards.
That being said, I am still apologetic to have to let down everyone who wanted to see the fight. But I sincerely believe that this is less disappointing than if you had shown up to watch an MMA fight only to see us wearing headgear and boxing gloves for a damn kickboxing match. I cannot have anything to do with that sort of sham.