It was pretty interesting to see how fast the news came and went about Fedor’s peeps suing Affliction. You can mark that up as either it being overlooked in the excitement of Strikeforce on CBS, or people just not giving a shit if Affliction is being sued or not. I’d say the latter is probably more true, but I’m gonna keep covering it. Here’s MMA Payout sharing the dry dull details of Affliction’s legal strategy:
All contracts have what is called an implied covenant of good faith, and Fedor argues that Affliction, instead of satisfying its obligation of booking a third fight for Fedor by finding a suitable replacement for Barnett, chose the path of least resistance by returning to UFC and cancelling the third show altogether, leaving the contracts with Fedor unsatisfied.
The substantive issues in the lawsuit are interesting: in contract law there is what’s known as the excuse of impossibility, and here the argument would be that Barnett’s failing the steroids test rendered impossible the satisfaction of Affliction’s obligations on the Fedor contracts, with Fedor arguing that Barnett’s negative drug test was used as a mere pretext to allow Affliction to exit the promotion end of MMA and stiff Fedor.
But then we come to Affliction’s motion to dismiss, which throws a monkey wrench into the entire substantive analysis. You see, Fedor argues that Affliction breached its contracts by cancelling Affliction: Trilogy and reaching agreement with UFC in July 2009.
Affliction’s motion to dismiss, however, points to the language of the contracts, which calls for termination of the agreements on either (i) March 31, 2009; or (ii) the conclusion of the third fight, with the contracts specifically stating that they terminate upon the earlier of the two dates. Since there was no third fight, the earlier date was March 31, 2009, and Affliction argues in its motion to dismiss that it cannot be alleged to have breached a contract in July 2009 that had expired four months earlier.
Now at first I was on Affliction’s side. After all, they’re the ones who lost millions of dollars promoting Fedor, and that’s before you factor in how much they lost from being cast out of the UFC. Fedor suing them after making how many millions off them seemed kinda dickish. But even though you can tell Affliction was letting their inner fanboy overwhelm their business sense, this is still a business. They still booked Fedor for a third show, and Fedor still did everything right up to flying over to America before being told he wasn’t going to fight. Dude deserves to get paid, regardless of whatever weaseling Affliction tries to pull on the contract end.