16 for 16: No. 16 Former Bellator employee sues company, organization sues back
December 19, 2016
As 2016 comes to an end, we take a look back at some of the bigger legal and business issues in MMA this year. It’s clear we know the top 3 or 4 business stories but in the coming days we’ll walk you back through some other stories.
- Former Employee sues Bellator, company sues back
In May 2016, Zachery Light sued Bellator and parent company Viacom for wrongful termination. The lawsuit includes allegations of disobeying laws by forging medical information for fighters. He also claims that he was pressured by Scott Coker and Rich Chou not to press issues related to this. He also claimed that Mike Kogan was hired by Bellator in an executive capacity while at the same time managing fighters that were put on Bellator cards. Light claimed that due to stress from the job he took a leave but was terminated upon his return.
In response to the lawsuit, Bellator filed a Cross-Complaint citing Light for conversion, theft and a breach of written contract.
The Bellator Cross-Complaint claims that Light requested a loan from the company and was given $9,403 and entered into a written agreement with Light that made him pay back the money on an agreed schedule. Bellator claims that he never paid back the loan. In addition, Bellator claims that he did not return “thousands of dollars in VIP ticket sales” related to Bellator 136 in Irvine, California.
Light filed an Answer in August denying the allegations made in Bellator’s Cross-Complaint.
A Case Management Conference was to be heard to give a status on the case in November but it appears that there has been a continuance of this. Light now works for MMAAA per Bjorn Rebney at the organization’s debut press conference earlier this month. It will be interesting where this lawsuit will go or if the parties will determine to settle the case before any salacious information about either Light or Bellator’s business practices surfaces for the public.