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.