Alvarez lawyers request preliminary injunction to appear at UFC 159
January 20, 2013
Eddie Alvarez’s attorneys will seek a preliminary injunction to allow the free agent lightweight to sign a Zuffa contract to fight at UFC 159 on April 27, 2013. The Order to Show Cause hearing is set for January 25th.
According to Court papers filed in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey by Alvarez’s attorney, Zuffa will not promote or contract with Alvarez until it has Court permission. It has to do so within 90 days of the event. Thus, the deadline is January 27th (the hearing is set for Friday the 25th since the 27th is Sunday).
The hearing is to show cause as to “why Bellator should not be restrained from interfering with Alvarez’s prospective contract with Zuffa and why Alvarez should not be permitted to contract with Zuffa, so that he may participate in Zuffa’s April 27, 2013 event.
As in all preliminary injunctions, the threshold Alvarez’s attorneys must prove for the Court to grant the preliminary junction is:
1) the likelihood of success on the merits;
2) that Alvarez will suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is denied;
3) that granting the preliminary relief will not result in even greater harm to the nonmoving party (Bellator); and
4) that the public interest favors such relief.
If granted, Alvarez’s attorneys would post a bond pending the outcome of the litigation.
Elements 1 through 3 are questionable especially element 1 which we believe Bellator will base much of its substantive argument. Bellator briefing opposing the preliminary injunction should be filed this week. It will be interesting to see what the state court will do here considering the general notion that preliminary injunctions are usually granted. Alvarez’s attorneys emphasize the uniqueness and short duration of a fighter’s career to stress the need that Alvarez should be allowed to participate in the April card.
In the pleadings, Alvarez’s attorneys hypothesize that the Court should grant the preliminary injunction notwithstanding the fact that the Court may decide in favor of Bellator on the merits. Thus creating the scenario that Alvarez fights on the April card for the UFC but then Bellator will have the rights (although limited) to re-sign Alvarez. The attorneys for Alvarez also point to a $500 bond indicated in the Bellator contract. Usually, posting bond is much more and this would be a nominal amount. If the Court grants the injunction, Alvarez’s attorneys would need to post bond pending the outcome of litigation. A $500 bond would be worth the amount he could make at UFC 159 based on the proposed contract Zuffa has already offered Alvarez.
MMA Payout will continue to monitor this week.