While I predicted that Bellator would in fact assert such a claim in my post, Dave Herman To Fight For Shark Fights in September -- I Expect Another Lawsuit, back in July when Loretta Hunt first reported that Dave Herman had signed a one-fight contract to fight Aaron Rosa in a heavyweight bout for Shark Fights in September, I could not have predicted that Shark Fights President Brent Medley would back down so quickly to Bellator's claim for tortious interference given his strong statements back in July when the fight was inked.
As you will recall, when Loretta Hunt asked Medley if he was worried about potential litigation given Bellator's ongoing litigation with Herman, the fact that Bellator sent Shine a cease and desist letter for attempting to sign Herman, and the fact that it appeared that Bellator had, in fact, also filed a complaint against Shine on February 9, 2010 (Case No. C-000040-10), according to Loretta Hunt Medley responded as follows:
After speaking with his own attorney, Brent Medley [Sharks' matchmaker] was not worried about any legal action Bellator might take against the Texas-based promotion to prevent Herman from fighting for him.
'Contractually, with all the smokes [sic] and mirrors gone, I’m not sure Bellator will be able to issue a cease and desist letter that will hold,' said Medley.Now, Loretta Hunt's latest piece provides as follows:
Medley also questioned why Bellator would want to take such action.'My number-one question to (Bellator) would be why would they want to issue (a cease and desist letter) when the fighter doesn’t want to fight for them?' asked Medley. 'I don’t see why you’d prevent a fighter from making a living. If they decide to take legal action, in my eyes, it shows Bellator isn’t as fighter-friendly as it presents itself to the public.'
If Shark Fights had proceeded with the bout regardless of Bellator’s legal stroke, it was likely that Bellator would have filed for a temporary injunction preventing Herman from competing, acknowledged Shark Fights President Brent Medley. The promoter, who launches his first pay-per-view effort in September with a talent-laden roster, said the prospect of fighting over Herman in court wouldn’t have been cost-effective for his company.
'We wanted the fight and we knew there would be some problems when we signed it,' said Shark Fights President Brent Medley. 'At the end of the day, it looked like both sides would have had to spend money that we could put into our organizations and our upcoming events. It wouldn’t have mattered who won -- the attorneys would have walked away with the money.'
Medley said his company also took heed that Herman had filed for injunctive relief in March asking that Bellator be bound from interfering with his prospective bouts, but that a New Jersey judge denied the request.Given that Medley knew (or at least should have known) that Bellator would attempt to put a stop to any Herman bout for Shark Fights, given that he purportedly talked to his lawyer and was confident Shark would prevail on the merits of any dispute, and given that he still signed Herman to a September fight, why the sudden 180 degree change in position now? The only thing that changed from July until now is the fact that Bellator asserted a predictable claim against Shark Fights.
'Even if we were in the right, we stood the chance of a judge ruling against us,' said Medley.
Stated differently, if the fact that "both sides would have had to spend money" and "[i]t wouldn’t have mattered who won" is enough to make Shark Fights back down now, why bother signing Herman in the first place given that Medley knew about the Bellator Herman litigation in July.
All he did, in effect, was get the fans excited for a fight that was never going to happen.