As if they weren’t already on Dana White’s sh*t-list, fellow MMA bloggers journalists Cage Potato have inadvertently gotten themselves in hot water with the UFC again. Their article about the UFC sponsoring Jon Jones included the photo caption shown below:
Apparently the fact that it’s a joke and not to be taken seriously wasn’t plain enough for Zuffa’s liking, because they’re demanding an official retraction.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Zuffa, LLC, dba the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), today announced that it served a demand for retraction upon the parent entities and executives of the website CagePotato regarding certain false and defamatory statements attributed to UFC® President, Dana White, in an April 14th website posting.
As detailed in the formal demand for a retraction prepared by UFC® attorney, Donald J. Campbell of the Las Vegas law firm, Campbell & Williams:
“The claim that Mr. White would financially wager on the outcome of a UFC® event is outrageous in the extreme. Indeed, in the verified complaint we are presently preparing for Mr. White’s signature upon his return from Abu Dhabi, Mr. White expressly states under oath that at no time in the history of his association with the UFC® has he ever financially wagered on the outcome of a UFC® event.”
Mr. Campbell further explained that under Nevada law a demand for retraction is the first required step in the filing of a lawsuit seeking punitive damages against a party that has maliciously published defamatory statements about another.
Bloody Elbow points out that Zuffa is probably pissed because there would be serious issues if the president of a fight promotion (owned by casino owners to boot) really was betting on his own fights, and the problem here is that it was presented similar to a legit quote with no clear indication that it’s only a joke. Then again, as one of their own commenters pointed out: “If this lawsuit goes through, sites like The Onion are f*cked.” To be fair, that’s a clear-cut satire website and things get murky when you mix gags in with the real stuff, but it’s a fact that all kinds of websites do fake quotes all the time, including this one. Should we really be required to add “*not a real quote” in tiny letters every time we do it? No seriously, I’d like to know before I get sued.
I’m not sure if this lawsuit would hold up in court, but like many suits, I presume the goal here is to threaten Cage Potato into submission before it even gets that far. They operate on a bigger budget than us, meaning they’re like a shoestring whereas we’re like a ball-hair, but by that analogy, Zuffa’s legal department alone is like the main cables on the Golden Gate Bridge. Bottom line, my advice to CP is to post a short n’ sweet retraction and nip things in the bud before they find themselves looking up Lionel Hutz in the yellowpages.
UPDATE: Retracted. Wise move, CP. Let’s hope that’s the end of it.