A judgment won this past Thursday in a Dutch court awards damages to the Russia-based M-1 Global that amount to several hundred thousand euros and bars Bellator middleweight Vyacheslav Vasilevsky from fighting in Bellator or any other organization. Neither Vasilevsky or his representatives were present in court.
M-1 asserts that the middleweight has been in breach of contract for over a year and is tied to the promotion until mid-2013. Vasilevsky signed with Bellator this past November and made his promotional debut this past Friday at Bellator 61, where he advanced to the semifinals of the promotion's season-six tournament with a decision over Victor O'Donnell.
But Vasilevsky's manager, Sam Kardan, who said he and his fighter were unaware of M-1's legal action and weren't notified of it, believes M-1 does not have an enforceable contract with the fighter.
"When Bellator signed him back in November, I know at that point, the fighter requested – and I believe Bellator has done the same – requested a copy of the (M-1) contract," Kardan said. "If he was presented a contract, I'm pretty sure Bellator would not have signed him. I'm pretty positive of that. So for almost six months, [M-1 hasn't] presented any kind of contract that would state they do have an existing agreement with him."
The fighter was served notice of the pending legal action by process server.
M-1 will ask a U.S. court to uphold the judgement. Vasilevsky is a Russian national and resides in Fairfield, N.J., on a work visa.
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