Michael Rome got his mittens on a copy of the Ken Shamrock vs UFC decision that went down last week and it looks like Ken kinda got the screw based on a few unfortunately chosen and interpreted words. Here’s the two important bits:
Eventually the parties settled on a two-fight deal, with the following recital in the contract:
G. Fighter has determined the first Bout will be his final, after which he will retire, but has agreed to one additional Bout with Zuffa in the event Fighter should elect not to retire, or to come out of retirement to fight again.
The contract also had the following term that is standard in all Zuffa promotional agreements:
10.3: If at any time during the Term, Fighter decides to retire from mixed martial arts or other professional fighting competition, then Zuffa may, at its election, (i) suspend the Term for the period of such retirement; (ii) declare that Zuffa has satisfied its obligation to promote all future bouts to be promoted by Zuffa herunder, without any compensation due to Fighter therefore, or (iii) elect to provide fighter with a note of acceleration.
It seems to me that the gist of the contract was that Ken was gonna retire but would have another fight with the UFC if he chose to come back. Unfortunately for him, Zuffa took a closer look at the wording of section G and realized they had a way out.
The way the court decided the first part, Ken Shamrock was the only one who ‘agreed to one additional bout with Zuffa’ … there was nothing in the agreement saying Zuffa was obligated to provide him with one. From there the other section from the contract came into effect, giving the UFC the power to cut him. So just a note to all fighters and managers out there: triple check any extra provisions added onto the standard UFC buttrape contract, because they’re probably not as tight as the rest.