Friday, April 29, 2011

UFC 129 Fight Predictions

On a flight down to New Orleans--amazing that there is in-flight wi-fi that works well.

Here are my predictions for the fights tomorrow courtesy of Tapology:

Fight Lawyer

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Full Tilt Poker and Government Reach Agreement-- FTP Can Continue Operating Abroad and U.S. Based Players Will be Able to Request Withdrawals From Accounts

My friends over at MMAPayout have an in-depth look at the recent indictment against major online poker sites, including Full Tilt Poker ("FTP"), and what it means to the MMA world.  I highly recommend you check out the article.

Following up on this story, yesterday the "United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York ("this Office") and the defendant Vantage Limited d/b/a/ Full Tilt Poker" entered into an agreement "in which this Office agrees to grant FTP access to, and use of, the defendant-in-rem domain name (the "Domain") for certain limited purposes . . ."

At the outset, the agreement makes clear that FTP's access to the domain under the agreement is contingent on FTP no longer providing the ability for (or facilitating) U.S. based poker players from engaging in online poker for "real money."

Specifically, the agreement provides:
FTP hereby agrees that for the duration of the Agreement, it will not allow for, facilitate, or provide the ability for players located in the United States to engage in playing online poker for "real money" or any other thing of value.
That said, the agreement expressly allows for online play outside the United States:
The Agreement does not prohibit, and, in fact, expressly allows for, FTP to provide for, and facilitate, players outside of the United States to engage in playing online poker for real money through the Domain, or any other domain names, sub-domain names, websites, or Internet-based means of communication under the control of FTP. 
While I don't know enough about FTP's revenue stream, i.e. how much comes from abroad as opposed to the U.S., this may somewhat mitigate against the negative effect the indictment has on the MMA world.

The agreement also provides a bit of good news for U.S. based poker players as FTP has been given access to its domain to facilitate the withdrawal of funds held in accounts with FTP by U.S. based poker players:
This Agreement does not prohibit, and, in fact, expressly allows for, FTP to utilize the Domain (and any other forms of communication) to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. players' funds held in account with FTP. While withdrawal of funds is expressly permitted, the deposit of funds by U.S. players is expressly prohibited. FTP agrees that any financial transactions with players located in the United States shall be strictly limited to the return of those players' funds held in account with FTP.
So it looks like U.S. account holders will be given the opportunity to request withdrawals from their FTP accounts.

With respect to its term, the agreement provides as follows:
This Agreement shall remain in place until: (i) the conclusion of the litigation in United States v. PokerStars, et. al., 11 Civ. 2564 (LBS) in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; (ii) a superseding Agreement is reached between this Office and FTP; or (iii) this Office and FTP mutually agree to terminate the Agreement.
Finally, the agreement provides that it "does not constitute an admission of liability as to any matter nor a consent to jurisdiction."
Fight Lawyer

Friday, April 15, 2011

New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative Supporter MMA Elite Announces Exclusive Sponsorship Agreement with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

Congratulations to my friends -- and supporters of the New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative --at Ultimate Brand Management® (UBM), owners of MMA Elite®, MMA Authentics®, Ultimate MMA®, Familia Gladiatoria®, Savage®, on signing an exclusive sponsorship agreement with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.   

I am a big fan of Jackson and wish the folks at UBM continued success as they grow their brands.
Los Angeles, CA; April 14, 2011 (For Immediate Release) - UBM® announces an exclusive sponsorship agreement with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Rampage is excited to be a part of the MMA Elite family and plans to incorporate MMA Elite® products into his everyday life. Further to this, Rampage will be wearing the official MMA Elite® gear for open workouts, weigh-ins, walk-outs and in the cage. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is a former UFC Light-Heavyweight title holder. Jackson rose to prominence in Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships where he was noted for his powerful body slams. Jackson is the first person to unify any of the UFC and Pride FC championship belts. Jackson is currently ranked as the #4 Light Heavyweight fighter in the world by Sherdog and Yahoo! Sports. He currently holds a professional record of 31-8.
MMA Elite® was first introduced to the UFC® when Quinton “Rampage” Jackson wore MMA Elite® tee bearing his name and inspired by his persona as his official walk-in tee for UFC® 92 against Wanderlei Silva. After a devastating knockout, Quinton announced to the record setting crowd, “I am here and I’m not going nowhere!” In the same manner, MMA Elite® reiterated Mr. Jackson’s sentiments. Through its relentless past and present MMA Elite® sponsorship of top MMA athletes, including BJ Penn, Cain Velasquez, Jose Aldo Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Mark Coleman, Gray Maynard, Frankie Edgar, Kevin Randleman, Bobby Lashley, Jon Jones, Cheick Congo and Urijah Faber, the brand has the attention of loyal MMA fans worldwide. MMA Elite® can be found at Walmart™ and other major retailers around the world. A full line of MMA inspired lifestyle apparel and accessories are designed under the MMA Elite® brand.
MMA Elite® is recognized, as the largest MMA fighting and lifestyle apparel brand in the world today.
UBM® is a full line premium mixed martial arts fighting and lifestyle apparel and licensing company based in Los Angeles, California. UBM® brands include MMA Elite®, MMA Authentics®, Familia Gladiatoria®, Savage® and Ultimate MMA®.
Jackson appeared on television for a second time as a coach on the reality series The Ultimate Fighter opposite Rashad Evans. They were scheduled to fight at UFC 107, but this bout was cancelled when Jackson took the movie role to play B.A. Baracus in The A-Team feature film. Jackson plans to continue fighting in the cage while pursuing his television and film career.
For more information, check us out on the web at on Facebook, go to MMA ELITE and on Twitter we can be found at @MMAELITEBRAND.
For more information please contact: Steven Jolna: President of Ultimate Brand Management at (323) 728-4503.
Ultimate Fighting Championship® -
Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, and headquartered in Las Vegas, NV, UFC® produces over twelve UFC live Pay-Per-View events annually and 30 live arena events around the world. UFC programming is distributed in the United States on Viacom, Inc’s SPIKE TV and on Comcast, Inc’s VERSUS network. Globally, UFC programming is broadcast in over 130 countries, territories and jurisdictions, reaching over 500 million homes worldwide, in 20 different languages. Ancillary businesses now include with over 5 million unique visitors per month, the best selling UFC Fight Club , affinity program, UFC Fan Expo™ festivals, branded apparel, trading cards, articulated action figures and other media including best-selling DVD’s and a U.S. bimonthly magazine.
Ultimate Fighting Championship®, Ultimate Fighting®, UFC®, The Ultimate Fighter®, Submission®, As Real As It Gets®, The Octagon™ and the eight-sided competition mat and cage design are registered trademarks, registered service marks, trademarks, trade dress and/or service marks owned exclusively by Zuffa, LLC and licensed to its affiliates entities and other licensees in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other marks referenced herein may be the property of Zuffa, LLC, its affiliates or other respective owners.
Fight Lawyer

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Right Hook Radio Talking about the New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative and Legalization Efforts in New York

I was on the New York State Young Republican radio show, "The Right Hook," talking about the non-profit, the New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative.

I also discuss efforts to legalize mixed martial arts in New York.

I come on around minute 24.

Listen to internet radio with The Right Hook on Blog Talk Radio

It is always good to get some coverage for the NYMMAI and especially on a local radio show.

Fight Lawyer

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sonnen Ordered to Pay $10,000 Fine

Following up on my posts, Chael Sonnen Guilty Plea and Chael Sonnen Sentencing Postponed Until April 8, 2011, according to a minute entry of the Court entered today, Judge Michael W. Mosman ordered that Sonnen pay a fine of $10,000.  No mention on the docket yet re whether he will be forced to forfeit his real estate license and whether he will get the recommended sentence of two-years probation.

Specifically, the minute entry provides as follows:
Minutes of Proceedings:  Sentencing Hearing before Judge Michael W. Mosman as to Defendant Chael Patrick Sonnen. Defendant is ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $10,000.00, due immediately in full. Defendant intends to pay the fine after the sentencing hearing. Formal Judgment to follow. Defendant advised of right to appeal. Counsel Present for Plaintiff: Michelle Kerin. Counsel Present for Defendant: Ronald Hoevet. (Court Reporter: Bonita Shumway) (mjp) (Entered: 04/08/2011)

According to Mike Chiappetta, the Judge followed the parties' recommended sentence:
U.S. attorney's office spokesperson Gerri Badden told MMA Fighting that Sonnen was sentenced to 24 months probation, a $10,000 fine, and forfeiture of his real estate license as the result of his Jan. 3 guilty plea.

Fight Lawyer

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pavia Holdings, LLC's Lawyers Move to Withdraw as Counsel

Following up on my coverage of the Zuffa/Bellator/Pavia litigation -- here is a post with earlier links and here is my most recent post -- on April 5, 2011 counsel for Pavia Holdings, LLC, L. Joe Coppedge and Michael B. Lynch, filed a joint motion to withdraw as counsel.

According to the affidavit of Coppedge filed in support of the motion, "[e]arly this year, [Coppedge] changed law firm affiliations, and [his] new firm has a conflict with my continued representation of Pavia Holdings, LLC."

The motion indicates that Coppedge was "formerly with Coppedge Emmel & Klegerman PC and is now with Shea & Carlyon, Ltd." 

The affidavit doesn't spell out the conflict but my best guess is that the Shea firm may have represented Zuffa in the past

With respect to Lynch, who served as lead counsel for Pavia Holdings, Coppedge's affidavit states that he is "advised" and "understand[s]" that Lynch "is no longer in the employ of Pavia Holdings, LLC."  The Lynch Law Group's address is in Princeton Junction, New Jersey.

According to the affidavit, Coppedge's understanding is that Ken Pavia has been attempting to retain new counsel.

Fight Lawyer  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Great Op-Ed in Today's New York Times on MMA by the Editor in Chief of Men's Health Magazine

Just read this op-ed piece in the New York Times, "It Only Looks Dangerous," by David Zinczenko, editor in chief of Men’s Health magazine and the editorial director of Women’s Health magazine.

David, like many before him, including former-Governor Pataki and Senator John McCain, has changed his stance on MMA, i.e. he was against it and supported the ban in New York and has changed his position and now supports the sport:
As the editor in chief of Men’s Health, I’d been a de facto supporter of New York’s ban by refusing to put a mixed-martial artist on the magazine’s cover — despite the entreaties of several editors and even my own brother, Eric, who trained in M.M.A. I edit a health magazine, after all, and this is a sport in which men use nearly every means available to beat one another into submission, from jujitsu to kickboxing to simply slugging one another in the face with nothing but lightly padded gloves on their hands. But I’ve come to believe that, in fact, the New York Legislature is wrong. Mr. Reilly is wrong. And more to the point, I was wrong (an admission my brother will hold over my head as long as I live).
Zinczenko recognizes what the John's Hopkins Study identified years ago about the risks of the sport, noting that additional padding and protective equipment does not make other sports safer.  Specifically, he states "[w]e think of more traditional violent sports like boxing and football as safer in part because of the helmets and padded gloves their athletes wear, and that supposedly protect them from harm. These are, in fact, more like the equivalent of poorly designed sunscreen — 'protection' that allows athletes to submit to even greater levels of punishment."

As I have written repeatedly, I believe that in order to bring MMA to New York the debate needed to be shifted from one of economics to one that focused on the safety of the sport and the fact that there are currently underground, unregulated MMA bouts occurring in the state on a regular basis. 

I have also written that if history is any indicator, the same mainstream media attention that led to the ban in 1997 could be effective to lifting the ban

I think Mr. Zinczenko has done a nice job of touching on both of those messages with this op-ed in the New York Times and highly recommend you read it.  Hopefully others in Albany will do the same.

Finally, Zinczenko states that he has changed his "cover" policy at the magazine:
I’ve changed my policy: This month Men’s Health features the U.F.C.’s reigning welterweight titleholder, Georges St-Pierre, on its cover. Sometimes the more raw and visceral a sport appears, the more humane it may actually be.
Fight Lawyer 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Brooklyn Review Episode on Mixed Martial Arts in New York

Here is the video from a segment on Brooklyn Independent Television's "Brooklyn Review" from Monday night re the legalization of MMA in New York. I was interviewed for the segment.

Fight Lawyer

Strikeforce Challengers 15 Main Card Predictions

Here are my main card predictions for tonight's fights via Tapology:

My Strikeforce Predictions

Fight Lawyer