Update on Bellator-Desert Rage litigation
October 19, 2011
Last week we reported that Bellator had sued Arizona promotion Desert Rage Full Contact Fighting claiming the Arizona-based promotion interfered with contracted Bellator fighters for its upcoming event in Yuma on October 22nd as Desert Rage was set to hold its own event nearby on the same date.
The most recent movement in the case has Desert Rage filing a jurisdictional challenge to Bellator’s lawsuit. As a company in Illinois, Bellator filed its claim in Illinois. However, Desert Rage has opposed the filing and is requesting that the lawsuit either be dismissed or transferred to the district court in Yuma, Arizona. The hearing date to determine the jurisdiction issue will be held in December which is interesting considering that its well after the October 22nd events of both companies.
In its motion, Desert Rage includes the affidavit of Chance Farrar, the individual Bellator alleges to be the central person to have had contact with Bellator contracted fighters and had knowledge of its contracts as Farrar worked with Bellator this past spring. In his affidavit Farrar claims not having a contract with Bellator and worked as a “fight coordinator” for Bellator’s April 2011 event in Yuma. Notably, he states, “I did not have any written contract with Bellator in relation to this (April 2011) event.” He also states that Desert Rage had planned its October 22nd event in July which would trump Bellator as it claimed it started planning for its event in August.
Based on the affidavit, its interesting that Bellator did not have Farrar sign a non-disclosure, non-compete agreement prior to having him work with the company. Obviously this is Monday-morning quarterbacking and perhaps Bellator did not have a reason to suspect this could happen. But, as a fight promotion, planning is everything. Its interesting that some sort of instinctive relief (a request from the court to stop a party from doing something) was not requested by either party as both promotions are set to hold its events this Saturday. The hearing date for the motion is set well after the events and the effect of that would make the lawsuit about money. Or, just a moot point.
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