The ten most notorious lawsuits in MMA history

Thursday, May 20, 2010

10) Zuffa v. The Ghost of Pride: There’s an old Greek saying that goes, “Buying from the Yakuza is like passing out at Mike Whitehead’s house — one way or another you’re going to get screwed.” Zuffa learned this the hard way when they purchased the Pride Fighting Championship from Dream Stage Entertainment, for they soon discovered that the whole thing had been held together by organized crime money and Scotch Tape (and not even real Scotch Tape, but that cheap knockoff stuff you buy at the dollar store). Consequently, in February 2008, Zuffa filed suit against DSE alleging that they were sold a clunker. DSE in turn countersued, complaining that Zuffa went back on its promise to keep Pride alive.

9) Ken Shamrock’s Career v. Zuffa:
When the Devil wants someone’s soul and needs a favorable contract drawn up, he consults with the same law firm that Zuffa uses. This doesn’t bode well for those who compete in the Octagon and end up locking horns with their employers. In fact, as Ken Shamrock found out when he sued Zuffa claiming they owed him another fight, this usually means you’re screwed. Shamrock’s argument was that the contract he’d had with them — which would’ve bound him to another bout should he have miraculously defeated Tito Ortiz in their third meeting back in 2006 or had he not retired — went both ways. The judge did not agree, rendering “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” into “The World’s Most Broke Man” when he was ordered to pay Zuffa’s resulting legal fees. Petey, my mortgage payments!

8) Suckers v. the Fertittas: Remember when you’d go to a restaurant or to some party and you’d always see the UFC and Xyience together, sometimes holding hands and giggling and acting affectionate, and even though they said they were “just friends” you knew something was up when they’d disappear for a while and return with their clothes disheveled? Do you remember that? Well, those people who bought shares of Xyience (a.k.a., suckers) remembered that, and when the supplement company went bankrupt, they filed suit against the Fertittas alleging that the owners of the UFC had a hand in all the shadiness that went down.

7) Juanito Ibarra v. Anyone Who’s Ever Talked Smack About Him: In the old days, if you didn’t like what someone wrote about you then you could legally slay them in a duel. This was called “Ye Olde Libel Killing,” and though it put a definite cramp on free speech, it made for some fun times whenever the Sunday paper came out. But how we handle libel claims has changed. Case in point: trainer Juanito Ibarra, who didn’t like what Tito Ortiz and most of the blogosphere were saying about him and decided to sue them all. Amazingly, this tactic got Ibarra nowhere, and such anonymous Internet personalities as “SuperArmbarMan12” and “DontKnowCrapAboutFiting2007” were allowed to continue on their merry way unmolested.

6) Zuffa v. Pirates:

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