Last week Mark Cuban's HDNet Fights made headlines when it sued Zuffa, parent company of the UFC, in district court in Dallas. As first reported by Sherdog.com, the suit seeks declaratory relief concerning Randy Couture (Pictures)'s contractual status under a promotional contract with Zuffa.

New details of the action have been revealed in the complaint obtained by Sherdog.com. According to the filing, HDNet Fights has entered into a contract with Couture that is scheduled to commence upon the expiration of his Zuffa promotional agreement. At that time, the company plans to promote a fight between Couture and Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures) in Dallas, assuming terms can be reached with the highly regarded Russian heavyweight.

The existence of an actual contract between HDNet Fights and Couture is believed to be key to the company's action in Texas. Without it, it is unlikely that the court would find an actual controversy ripe for adjudication.

According to the filing, Couture has stated that he believes his Zuffa promotional contract expires with the stated term of the agreement in July, while Zuffa maintains that the contract remains valid indefinitely under the infamous "retirement clause." In the complaint, HDNet Fights characterized Zuffa's contention as "outrageous."

"Zuffa's position regarding Couture is both illegal and involves critical timing," the filing states. "First, like all fighters, Couture's ability to fight at a championship level will diminish as he ages. Through their actions, Zuffa seeks to ensure that Couture is prevented from gainful employment and practicing his craft until he cannot be an elite fighter. Importantly, the law in Texas is clear that indefinite employment restrictions such as Zuffa claims to be enforcing are per se illegal and against public policy."

Both sides agree that the one-year non-compete provision contained in Couture's employment contract with the UFC expires on Oct. 12, meaning that even with a favorable outcome concerning the term of Couture's promotional contract, the earliest Couture-Fedor could take place would be in the fall.

The complaint also recognizes Zuffa as the undisputed market leader in the MMA industry.

"A key technique utilized by Zuffa to maintain their iron grip on the MMA industry is litigation and intimidation," the complaint reads. "Just a cursory review of court dockets in Nevada demonstrate the remarkably litigious nature of Zuffa and their willingness to tie their opponents down with expensive and lengthy court battles regardless of merits."

In a nod to pending litigation in Nevada, where Zuffa has sued Couture and as yet unnamed defendants for, among other things, conspiracy to commit tortous acts, the complaint notes that "HDNet did not want or intend in any way for such an agreement to induce or cause Couture to breach his UFC Fight Contract or any other agreement(s) he might have with Zuffa and/or UFC or to interfere with any valid contract that Couture might have."

Accordingly, HDNet Fights' contract with Couture will only become effective upon a declaration by the court that Zuffa's promotional agreement is void, invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, or upon a declaration of the effective date on which Couture's contract with HDNet Fights may begin without violating any provisions of his contract with Zuffa.

Adam Swift is the Editor of MMAPayout.com and a regular contributor to Sherdog.com.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

FTC reopens investigation into UFC business practices

  • 7 days ago
  • 14 views

Is ZUFFA, the parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), running a mixed martial arts (MMA) monopoly? The answer in 2012, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), was "No." But a read news >>

WSOF releases Jessica Aguilar from contract to allow her to pursue better fights

  • 4 days ago
  • 1 views

WSOF women’s strawweight champion Jessica Aguilar was considered by many to be the number one fighter in her weight class prior to the UFC launching their own strawweight pound division. She now appe read news >>

Heavy underdog Yves Jabouin: Thomas Almeida's undefeated record means little

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Despite six years under the Zuffa banner, including a solid 5-3 mark in the UFC, Yves Jabouin enters UFC 186 as tonight’s biggest underdog outside of the main event.Filed under: Featured Videos, News read news >>

Ciara Irvine Starts New Conquest at SFL 40

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

Muay Thai fighter Ciara Irvine has big plans for her transition to MMA. Her conquest begins at SFL 40 on Saturday night in Tacoma, Wash. read news >>

How to watch Demetrious Johnson vs Kyoji Horiguchi UFC 186 'Prelims' fights live online

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

Before the "Johnson vs. Horiguchi" mixed martial arts (MMA) pay-per-view (PPV) fight card gets underway later this evening (Sat., April 25, 2015) at 10 p.m. ET, live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, read news >>

How to watch Anthony Pettis vs Rafael Dos Anjos UFC 186 'Prelims' fights live online

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

Before the "Johnson vs. Horiguchi" mixed martial arts (MMA) pay-per-view (PPV) fight card gets underway later this evening (Sat., April 25, 2015) at 10 p.m. ET, live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, read news >>

How Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, 'Fight of the Century,' came to be

  • 28 days ago
  • 7 views

A look at how one of the biggest fights in recent boxing history came together. read news >>

The UFC's Top 5 Greatest Fights

  • 28 days ago
  • 4 views

The UFC is airing a special on Fox Sports 1 that runs down the five fights they picked as the best in the promotion's history. Check out the fights that they picked. What are the best fights in UFC h read news >>

UFC fight bookings roundup - 4/9 – 4/23/15

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

The UFC has booked another slew of fights over the last week. Here is a quick rundown of what they put together. Since the UFC has decided to produce 50+ events in 2015, there is a remarkable amount read news >>