The following information was obtained in an published article by Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. To read the original source, please click HERE .
Zuffa LLC. has filed suit against Ken Pavia, founder of MMA Agents, for passing along trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents to Bellator Fighting Championships. In the suit, it alleges that Bellator, who is listed as a co- defendant, used the documents to help run their promotion.
According to documents filed Wednesday in Clark County District Court, Pavia passed along confidential contracts, including fighter agreements, after being asked to do so by Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney in an email sent on July 4.
Pavia responded to Yahoo! Sports Thursday via text message saying "I want to get a better understanding about this before I comment. Rebney referred all calls to Bellator's attorney Patrick English, stating he didn't know enough about the suit to comment.
An email, allegedly sent from Rebney to Pavia, was attached as an exhibit in the 16 page suit filed by Zuffa. In the email, Rebney wrote "...You’ve been great about sending us ‘All’ of the seminal docs from the UFC, so that we can re-do them and implement them for Bellator.”
Later, in the same email allegedly sent from Rebney to Pavia, Rebney stated "“Please list each in terms of what it is for and how the UFC uses them/implements them. … Then I’m going to have our team Monday re-type them and we will sufficiently alter them such that they will appear to be ours and not theirs.”
In response to Rebney's e-mail, which was sent by Pavia who was in Las Vegas for UFC 116, Pavia said "“Still I (sic) Vegas. May take 24 hours to organize as some forms go to the guys in my office.”
The email addresses in the emails Zuffa included in the suit are the email addresses for Rebney and Pavia.
Zuffa also included other unnamed individuals and corporations that they believe were also involved in breach of contract. According to court documents, “The improper disclosure of Zuffa’s operations documents and confidential information by Pavia, MMA Agents, and the Doe and Roe Defendants constitutes a distinct act of dominion wrongfully exerted over Zuffa’s personal property."
Zuffa seeks actual and punitive damages and a permanent injunction barring Bellator or Pavia from using Zuffa’s assets, including its intellectual property.
UPDATE—The following was issued by Bellator's legal counsel Patrick English:
“I’ve looked at the paperwork, and I understand what’s going on here, and it is literally much ado about very little,” English said.
“There were documents sent by Mr. Pavia to Bellator, but they are not of a competitive nature and they would give no advantage or disadvantage to the viewer. The bulk of them in no way, shape or form would be considered confidential and are not what I consider to be documents that Zuffa should be concerned about.
“I did attempt to reach out to Zuffa [Thursday] and, unfortunately, have not gotten a return call. It happens that Bellator has not used any of the documents in any case.”
English also stated that Rebney's email "was phrased in an unforntunate way."
Jason's Take— Okay, I have been singing Bellator's praises for a long while now. I have always thought that they would become the clear number two MMA promotion in the States. It seriously pains me to see something like this surface.
I have had the opportunity to speak to Bjorn Rebney on multiple occasions and he has always been nothing short of a class act. But if this ends up being true, it will be very difficult to look at the promotion, and Rebney, the same way again.
I'm at a loss of words right now, which is a rarity.
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