Bellator sues Arizona promotion Desert Rage

October 10, 2011

MMA Fighting reports that Bellator has filed a lawsuit against Arizona promotion Desert Rage Full Contact Fighting (“Desert Rage”) claiming the local Arizona promotion interfered with its upcoming show October 22nd in Yuma, Arizona.

The lawsuit filed in the US District Court in Illinois (where Bellator’s principal place of business is located) states that Chance Farrar was paid to assist with Bellator’s April card in Yuma, Arizona. The Complaint filed by Bellator claims Farrar was given access to Bellator fight contracts as well as pertinent information related to negotiating with fighters. It also claims Farrar knew the terms of fighter contracts and knew the length and conditions of the contracts.

The Complaint goes on to allege that Bellator did not enlist Desert Rage to secure fighters for its upcoming event October 22nd in Yuma, Arizona. It began the process of finding fighters in August 2011. Bellator discovered that Desert Rage would be holding an event that same night in Winterhaven, California–9 miles from the site in Yuma where Bellator would hold Bellator 55. It also learned that the local promotion offered more money to fighters under contract with Bellator. A cease and desist letter (attached to the Complaint as Exhibit A) was sent to Desert Rage requesting that it not contact fighters under Bellator contract. In addition, Bellator claims that Desert Rage officials told fighters and others in the MMA industry that Bellator had cancelled its event on October 22nd. As a result of these claims, Bellator believes that ticket sales would be impacted.

Bellator has sued Desert Rage and Chance Farrar for 1) Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations; 2) Interference with Prospective Advantage; 3) Negligent Interference with Prospective Advantage; 4) Deceptive Practices under Illinois state law. and 5) Common Law Unfair Competition.

Bellator is requesting an order from the court which would stop Desert Rage from holding an event on the same night as Bellator 55 and from holding an event “within 50 miles of Yuma,” until after October 25th. It also is requesting that the court order Desert Rage and Farrar to not communicate with any fighters that are under exclusive contract of Bellator or are negotiating with Bellator. Bellator is also requesting actual damages of over $75,000, exemplary/punitive damages and attorney fees and costs.
CM_ECF LIVE, Ver 4.2 – U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois-CM_ECF LIVE, Ver 4.2 – U.S

Interesting notes in the Complaint:

– Bellator claims its production costs for Bellator 55 exceed $500,000
– Bellator is seen on television weekly by 250,000 viewers nationwide
– Farrar admits to receiving Bellator’s cease and desist letter although he personally denied telling anyone that Bellator’s card was cancelled.

As of this writing Desert Rage and/or Chance Farrar had not filed an Answer (response) to the Complaint.

H/t: The Fight Lawyer

Payout Perspective:

It does not appear that a non-disclosure agreement was signed by Farrar when he helped Bellator in April. But, it appears from the Complaint that Farrar was privy to Bellator fighter contracts and information related to fighter contracts. Whether or not the information Farrar received from working with Bellator was used by Desert Rage or himself will be important to this lawsuit. Certainly, Bellator is arguing that this information was used in recruiting fighters for Desert Rage’s card. More damaging to Desert Rage and Farrar is the claim that the Arizona promotion told fighters that the Bellator card was cancelled. It will be interesting to see how the court rules in this case.

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One Response to “Bellator sues Arizona promotion Desert Rage”

  1. chance farrar on March 1st, 2012 12:19 AM

    What a joke! There was no factual basis for the suit and they dismissed it accordingly.

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