Cassie Crisano said on March 2 in an exclusive interview with Long Island MMA Examiner Eric Holden that people in the MMA community are trying to boycott her due to an ongoing feud with TUF 9 fighter Frank Lester.
"People are protesting against me, hoping that I'll lose fans and Twitter followers," Crisano said of the situation.
The Crisano vs Lester 'beef' stems back to Dec. 2012, when a fight broke out at a weigh in for “Battle of the Spartans IV”, an amateur show held in Ruther Glen, Virginia.
The situation got ugly during a weigh-in between two women’s competitors, Crisano and Shanie Rusth. Lester was on hand supporting Rusth, who is his girlfriend.
A heated exchange took place between Crisano and Rusth at the scales, after which Rusth reportedly spit on Crisano. Seconds later, a fight broke out between the participants. During the melee, Lester allegedly struck Crisano before the participants were broken apart by others at the weigh-in.
There is no video tape of the incident, so the feud became a "he said, she said" situation.
“Spartan Promotions strives to bring exciting amateur fights in a manner of class, integrity and sportsmanship," James Jones, the owner and operated of Spartan Promotions, said following the incident. "We are in the business of promoting events to showcase the talent and spirit behind Mixed Martial Arts. We do not, in any way, condone the actions that took place tonight at the weigh-ins for Battle of the Spartans IV.
“Spitting or striking of an opponent outside the cage does not hold to our core values. We thank those that intervened to stop the situation from escalating. We will be cooperating with the authorities as they move forward in their investigation.”
UFC vet War Machine has Lester's back on the matter, as he weighed in on the situation via Twitter.
"ANY female MMA fighter who scraps @cassiecrisano better submit her and NOT LET HER TAP," War Machine tweeted on March 1. "Break that s***! What's next, people pressing charges after they get hit too hard IN a fight? Late punch after the bell? LMAO! This world is S***!"
Crisano takes the approach that "no press is bad press," as she says the Twitter boycotts have actually netted her dozens of new followers.
"I gained over 300 new followers from them tweeting out my Twitter handle," Crisano said. "I also got two new sponsors, so it's no big deal. I have the people that matter continuing to support me."