Are Zuffa lawyers gonna have to smack a bitch?

For all the talk that Randy Couture is planning on jumping ship to M-1, everyone at the new org better pray there was no sign that someone from their company talked to Couture or offer him anything. Why? Because that’s one big fucking lawsuit, and the UFC doesn’t exactly need a good reason to try and execute competition using the legal system.

I tend to get shit all over every time I bring up legal situations, so let me preface this by saying that I’m not a lawyer. The information in this post doesn’t represent concrete legal information, and obviously it would take real lawyers several months in court to decide if what I’m saying is correct or not. If things were cut and dry then we wouldn’t really need a legal system in the first place.

That being said, if Randy Couture left the UFC because he was offered more money to fight in M-1, that seems to be a pretty straightforward case of tortious interference:

Tortious interference with contract rights can occur where the tortfeasor convinces a party to breach the contract against the plaintiff, or where the tortfeasor disrupts the ability of one party to perform his obligations under the contract, thereby preventing the plaintiff from receiving the performance promised.

I’d be literally shocked if the UFC didn’t have it’s lawyers all over this situation, watching and waiting to see how deep the parties involved bury themselves before papers are served. You might even see Randy Couture return to the UFC in a few weeks on account of the potential bitchslap that could be unleashed because of this. Of course, everything would be dressed up to look like a contract renegotiation to satisfy everyone’s pride, but it could still happen.

All of this is on the assumption that Randy Couture didn’t leave the UFC to chase after Fedor in M-1. It’s still very possible that he did leave on his own without any kind of contact, but the timing is about as fishy as it gets. I guess we’ll have to sit back and watch the fireworks. If they don’t happen in the octagon, you better believe they’re gonna happen in a courtroom.

  • ajadoniz

    Is cocaine inexpensive in Canada? I ask because you have been on a roll with the posts, nonstop. It’s good, but I can’t keep up.

    P.S. Down with those commie bastards!

  • Mobb Deep

    Its choke Fightlinker, “Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch”

  • john

    Sorry for the unrelated comment, but I was really disappointed that Fightlinker did not have a post about this today!

  • Xavier

    Legal analysis: 100% correct. Nice post.

  • jeff aka whaledog

    I am a lawyer, and I’m here to help. (seriously).

    I would not assume that Randy has a deal with M-1, or that he spoke to M-1 before resigning from the UFC. If M-1 did not induce Randy to resign then there is no possible claim for interference with contract.

    Nevertheless, just to give you a better idea about the law in Nevada, here is what the Nevada courts have said about intentional interference with contract claims:

    In an action for intentional interference with contractual relations, a plaintiff must establish:

    (1) a valid and existing contract;

    (2) the defendant’s knowledge of the contract;

    (3) intentional acts intended or designed to disrupt the contractual relationship;

    (4) actual disruption of the contract; and

    (5) resulting damage.

    J.J. Industries, LLC v. Bennett
    119 Nev. 269, 71 P.3d 1264

    If you assume for argument’s sake that Randy talked to M-1 before resigning (which, again, not an assumption I would make), then Zuffa’s potential claim would hinge on two things:

    1) Did Randy breach the agreement? If the contract does not Randy to agree to any particular fight, and it expires in a few months, then Randy would have the argument that he has not breached the agreement if he fights in M1 after the contract expires.

    2) Did M-1 had the intent to induce a breach? According to the case cited above, “[O]ne does not commit the necessary intentional act-inducement to commit breach of contract-merely by entering into an agreement with knowledge that the other party cannot perform because there is an existing contract between the other party and a third person. Indeed, the United States District Court of Nevada, interpreting Nevada law, explained that the plaintiff must establish that the defendant had a motive to induce breach of the contract with the third party.”

    The rest of the elements would be proven rather easily.

  • Cyrus

    Well, let me start by talking about little bit about sales person contract breaches. Long time ago, lots of sales people would breach their contracts (which made sales people promise not to do business with contacts gained during their employment tenure) and carry their business contacts over to their next job. Hundreds of these people got sued, and yes, it was pretty obvious that they breached their contracts. However, courts finally ruled that it was injurious to the livelihood of a salesperson to not be able to carry along sales contacts gained by working for a new employer. Wow! Did this stop employers from keeping their clauses in the contract? NO! It just stopped those clauses (and potentially whole contracts, but usually just those clauses) from being enforced. Ok, so, some questions:

    1. Has Randy breached his contract? Will Randy breach his contract? Maybe he hasn’t done anything wrong yet, maybe he never will. Who knows what Randy’s contract says. I bet Zuffa’s got a huge nondisclosure on those things because they’d probably make Zuffa look bad if they got out to the public.. Has anyone ever heard of a leaked contract from Zuffa (especially a recent one) – I’d love to see one!

    2. Is Randy’s contract even valid? From what I understand, UFC contracts are pretty harsh and one sided. It’s funny, but contracts aren’t necessarily valid if they are too one-sided. Also, MMA’s a growing sport and the rights of fighters are liable to be decided by case law. A court could rule Randy’s contract as invalid, or some of the clauses as invalid (similar to the sales person case I mentioned above) Illegal contracts are not enforceable. This is the kind of thing that really scares the shit out of the UFC. Fighter rights. The right to move around from promotion to promotion easier. I’d love to see this tested in court, it’s the best way to loosen UFC’s stranglehold. Again, would have to see the contract and how the courts play out – but MMA rules can possibly end up different than other sports – even boxing. Who knows.

    3. If there is a breach – was M-1 really the cause of the breach? And to what extent? Randy wanting to fight Fedor isn’t good enough. Hiring Fedor is not the cause for Randy breaking his contract. That’s like the: “bitch wore red” argument for rape. That’s enough of an argument for fightlinker, but not for the courts. Knowledge of his contract by M-1 won’t cut it either. Maybe they were looking for a way to plan for his future fully within the lines of his contract. The president of M-1 was saying that they were planning for the end of 2008 when he’s no longer contract obligated. That’s planning for the future. Telling Randy: breach your contract, we’ll give you a million bucks would be different – but M-1 wouldn’t be the only responsible party.

    So, I mean… we just need to know more about this stuff guys before we can decide what’s gonna happen. But, I’m excited. I’d bust a nut if this turned into a whole fighter rights thing and the contracts started getting dissected in federal courts… It would be bad for Zuffa and they know it too, so I don’t know if they’d take it that far. Randy’s a hero and when people see those contract they’re going to probably hate Zuffa even more.

    When’s the next low blow show u fuckers? You should do it daily or at least weekly.

  • John

    Look on the bright side mabye Dana and Randy will have a boxing match….

  • http://www.edenmachine.com EdenMachine

    If the company is Russian – how does that factor into the equation? Russian hosting companies usually flip the big “bird” to the rest of the world when it comes to software piracy and stuff.

    Also, if M-1 announced that a fight betweek Randy and Fedor was definitely going to happen next year – how could it not be a breach bc they couldn’t promise that with Randy’s say in the matter. It would definitely show intent to breach on both parties.

  • http://www.fightlinker.com fightlinker

    Cyrus … we did one on Saturday after UFC 77, and general rule is we’ll release a show every Tuesday morning except on PPV weekends when we’ll do special post event shows (live soon)

  • http://www.myspace.com/96273771 Tommy

    Is Hughes ever gonna blame himself for his teams failures? If a fish stinks it stinks from the head first. I Really hate that guy.

  • http://www.myspace.com/96273771 Tommy

    Hey Link did you watch the Tuf show tonight? What a way to show your guys not to beat up on your teammates, by beating up one of your teammates, hurting his hand and his chances at winning the match. Oh and personally I thought the frst round was a tie. Sure Dan got the konck down but to me he lost the rest of the round.

  • Mike

    You’re pretty much right on this, though I doubt they made any real offers to Randy. You can bet UFC’s lawyers will investigate to see if there was any dealing between the parties if this ever goes to court.

    In the end, I think we’ll see Randy back once the reality of years in court for nothing hits him. It just doesn’t make any sense.

  • Matt

    I’m not a lawyer, but I play one on TV.

    In that pic, is that Lorenzo in the back? If so, fucking sweet beard bro.

  • TALC

    EdenMachine – If the company is actually Russian that would mean the prevailing law would be the CISG (U.N. convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods). That is, assuming that Russia is a signatory (i believe so), and that the courts would treat these fighter services as “goods” (the CISG isn’t too clear on goods v. services. What this would mean, well, that would take more information and more research.

  • http://www.fightlinker.com fightlinker

    It’s already been stated that the new M-1 company is a New York company.

  • stellar53

    I guarantee if Randy doesn’t fight in the UFC (finish his contract) he will not be fighting anywhere else until he does so……

  • kentyman

    #3: john, we totally heard it too, but weren’t sure if it was really Rogan farting. Anyone have a clip we can watch?

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