Saturday, November 19, 2011

My UFC 139 Predictions

My predictions for tonight's fights via Tapology--could have gone either way in the Rua fight:

My UFC 139 Predictions

Fight Lawyer

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

UFC et al. Sue New York State Seeking to Invalidate Law Banning MMA in NY

The Wall Street Journal Law Blog has the details here.  I will have more to add in the form of updates over the course of the day.  Complaint is massive--over 100 pages.

Update 11-16:

Assemblyman Reilly weighs in on lawsuit here:
Assemblyman Robert Reilly, D-Latham, Albany County, dismissed Zuffa’s lawsuit as 'nonsense,' but said it’s ultimately up for a judge to decide.
'To claim that this is a form of expression in any way I think just contradicts common sense,' said Reilly, who has been consistently critical of mixed-martial arts. 'The UFC people have been saying for several years that it was inevitable that this would become legal in New York, and that simply hasn’t happened. The people of New York, I think, don’t want it.'
More from Reilly here:
Reilly said, 'When you put two human beings into a ring and say, fight until one knocks the other out, and then a death occurs, that's not art, and that's not freedom of expression.'

He cited at least one death that occurred after a fighter was knocked out. When it came to calling the sport, ‘art,’ he added, “It would almost be humorous if it wasn't so serious.'
More here:
Assemblyman Bob Reilly (D-Albany), a leading opponent of MMA, said the lawsuit was a 'desperate' effort to circumvent the Legislature.
'You know art when you see it and you know that this is not art,' said Reilly.
Update # 2 11-16:

Here is my attempt to breakdown the lawsuit on SiriusXM yesterday in simple terms.

Fight Lawyer

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My UFC on FOX Predictions

My UFC on FOX predictions via Tapology--title fight is tough to pick, but I am going with JDS by KO.  Also, I like Pacquiao by KO.

My UFC on FOX Predictions

Fight Lawyer

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Overeem Sues Golden Glory et al. -- Quick Summary of the Complaint

As first reported at TMZ, Allistair Overeem has sued his managers seeking "unspecified damages -- and he wants a court order to break his contract with the management team ASAP."  

I have now had an opportunity to review the complaint. 

Overeem is suing "Knockout Investments, B.V., Golden Glory, Golden Glory California, Bas Boon" and a bunch of "Does."  According to the complaint, KOI is the legal entity that manages Overeem and allegedly KOI performs its management function through its affiliate, Golden Glory.

According to the allegations in the complaint, Overeem's contract with KOI and GG was signed in July 2007 and is for a 5-year term.  The agreement has an automatic renewal provision (for another five-years) unless either party does not want to renew and then any such notice must be served six months before renewal. 

The agreement provides that KOI and GG were to provide a number of services--Overeem alleges that some of these terms are ambiguous and unenforceable (e.g., "acting as a 'confidential agent,'" "looking for personal sponsors," and "making publicity") in a personal services contract.

Under the agreement, Overeem alleges that KOI and GG are entitled to 35% of Overeem's pre-tax income.  Overeem alleges that under the contract the same 35% is due "for any deals 'within one year after this contract has expired and/or were prepared during the duration of this agreement.'"  Overeem claims the management agreement also includes a provision that fines Overeem $10,000 for any breach of the agreement and a $5,000 per-day penalty for each day the violation continues.

Overeem asserts two claims--one for breach of contract seeking "an amount in excess of $151,000" and a judicial declaration concerning the parties' respective rights under the management contract.  Essentially, he wants the court to declare that KOI and GG are not entitled to his UFC money.  Overeem also seeks an accounting.

A few thoughts -- and I am doing this quickly.  The liquidated damages clause -- i.e., the 10k penalty and 5k a day add on as the violation continues-- is not, in my view, by any stretch of the imagination enforceable. That said, there is no allegation that I saw that KOI or GG are seeking to enforce that provision.  So it may be a moot point.

Turning to the crux of the complaint.  Overeem lists a bunch of "failures" on the part of KOI and GG -- chiefly, failures to pay, including money from FEG, Dream/K-1s parent, but he really alleges nothing specific, e.g., an amount.  He also claims he was not "properly informed" and alleges that KOI and GG failed to "protect [his] interests."  Overeem also alleges that he believes KOI and GG received some undisclosed bonus arising from Overeem's signing with the UFC--nothing more.

While certainly some of the provisions in the agreement could have been written more eloquently, whatever services Golden Glory provided, it seems pretty clear based on my read of the complaint (which is biased for Overeem) it is entitled to 35% of his pre-tax income and it also seems pretty clear that they have a trailing commission for a year even after the contract has expired.  Some of the allegations arguably make KOI and GG look bad, e.g., allegedly managing him in jurisdictions where KOI and GG were not licensed and allegedly pushing him to fight when injured.  But not sure that gets him around the 35% or somehow renders the management contract a nullity. 

In any event, I read this quickly but sounds like Golden Glory has a nice little claim for the UFC 141 income, which would presumably include sponsorship money as well.

All of this said, let's see how the story unfolds as there may be more out there.

Fight Lawyer

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Randy Couture to Headline MMA World Expo in NYC in December

Looking forward to this year's MMA Expo.  As set forth below from this press release, I plan on participating on a panel with Nick Lembo and Dr. Wulkan on Sunday.  Also, plan on participating on a panel on Saturday with Eddie Goldman and Steve Koepfer.

For Immediate Release


Contact: Paul Paone

212-956-4720

paul@mmaworldexpo.com

MMA Legend Randy Couture to Headline 3rd Annual MMA World Expo in NYC, Dec 17 & 18, 2011

2011 Event Features MMA Legend Randy Couture, Renzo Gracie BJJ Open 2011 Tournament, All-New Alternate MMA-Style Tournament, Exhibit Hall with Leading MMA Products and Services, Training-with-the-Masters Seminars, MMA Business Classes, Special Events and More!

New York, NY - The mixed martial arts community will reconvene this December in New York City as the 3rd annual MMA WORLD EXPO returns to the Jacob Javits Convention Center (in the North Pavilion). The Saturday through Sunday Expo will feature an exhibit hall full of leading MMA products and services, professional MMA fighters, autograph sessions, live tournaments, training sessions, business seminars and special events.

General Admission tickets for the Expo are $20 in advance and $25 on-site for a day pass, $35 in advance and $45 on-site for a two-day pass and will go on sale Tuesday, November 1st on the show website, www.MMAWorldExpo.com. In addition to the complete schedule of events, website visitors may also purchase tickets to training seminars, tournament ring-side seats and official show t-shirts and merchandise.

Leading the list of featured events will be the appearance of MMA Legend, Randy Couture, including the US launch of his new book, The Last Round. Acknowledged by MMA fans around the world as the "greatest MMA champion of all-time," Randy Couture has recently carved out a Hollywood career with co-starring roles in the blockbuster film, The Expendables and other movies. MMA fans will be given the opportunity to pre-purchase an autographed copy of Randy's book, pose for a photo and meet Randy as he promotes his new book. In addition, reservations for the official book launch party Saturday evening following the expo at a nearby NYC hot spot. Tickets for the expo, launch party and special VIP signings will go on sale Tuesday, November 1st on www.MMAWorldExpo.com.

Another MMA legend, Renzo Gracie, will feature his fiercely competitive BJJ tournament at this year's Expo. As with last year's No-Gi tournament, Renzo Gracie has decided to open competition to all athletes willing to take part regardless of their school affiliation. Scheduled for 10am - 7pm on Saturday, December 17th, an anticipated 600 grapplers will participate among 60 divisions including a black and brown belt absolute division. Athletes interested in registering may visit www.rgaevents.com.

An exciting new tournament, GTS Fights!, will be unveiled at the MMA World Expo as a first-of-its-kind fighting style in which competitors will complete individual rounds of No-Gi Jiu Jitsu (G- for Ground) followed by Take Downs (T- for Take Downs), and followed by Muay Thai (S- for Striking). The experimental tournament is being billed as an alternate -style mixed martial arts event that stays within the confines of NYS law prohibiting MMA fights. "GTS Fights! is a natural progression for the MMA World Expo where we have held all 3 disciplines separately", said Paul Paone, MMA World Expo founder and GTS Fights! creator. "A true mixed martial arts athlete has mastered to some extent these 3 critical aspects of fighting and this new tournament will expose the competitors' potential strengths and weaknesses within the respective disciplines", Paone continued. The new tournament will feature 4 weight divisions and a total of 16 competitors. Prelim rounds take place on Saturday, December 17th and finals on Sunday, December 18th. Ring-side seats are available for a fee. Standing-room viewing is free with Expo admittance. Tickets go on sale Tuesday, November 1st on www.MMAWorldExpo.com.

The 2011 exhibit hall will feature the leading MMA vendors offering apparel, gear & equipment, health & nutrition, MMA instruction, publications and more. Show-only discounts will be available for the public and wholesale/volume deals are on tap for qualifying MMA business attendees.

Also within the exhibit hall will be a variety of special events will include Military hand-to-hand combat presentations, Capoeira performances and a virtual dream team of legendary fighters and trainers including: Renzo Gracie (World-Famous BJJ Master), Jimmy Pedro (current USA Judo Olympic Team Coach), Kru Phil Nurse (Muay Thai trainer to UFC Champions Frankie Edgar, Jon Jones & Georges St-Pierre, and Marcelo Garcia (BJJ Legend), will once again conduct training seminars within their respective disciplines. Newcomers and seasoned fighters alike will gain unprecedented access to the world's leading MMA instructors all under one roof at one time. Seminars will take place on both show days. Ticketing and schedule information is online at MMAWORLDEXPO.COM

As in previous years, the MMA WORLD EXPO will conduct an in-depth panel discussion on the legalization issues surrounding MMA in New York State. State officials, reporters, practitioners, coaches, fans and NY MMA support groups will gather in an effort to pave a pathway to MMA legalization in New York. Panelists include: New Jersey Athletic Commission executive, Nick Lembo, Justin Klein, a partner of the law firm Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke in New York City aka The Fight Lawyer and founder of the New York Mixed Martial Arts Initiative, Dr. Sheryl Wulkan, MMA/Muay Thai physician for the NJ State Athletic Control Board, licensed ringside physician with the New York Athletic Commission and current Chair for the Association of Boxing Commissions Combat Sports Medical Committee, Combat Sports veteran reporter and No Holds Barred host, Eddie Goldman, and Steve Koepfer, NY Combat Sambo head coach and founder of Coalition to Legalize MMA in NY. In addition, free business seminars designed to teach MMA school owners new sales strategies, share best practices, and network with the leading MMA business owners in the northeast will be offered as part of the 2011 agenda. Nutrition and training seminars will also be offered and are free to all attendees.

Exhibit and sponsorship sales are now open via: http://www.mmaworldexpo.com/exhibit2011.php

# # #

For more information and/or interviews with participants please contact Paul Paone

MMA WORLD EXPO; 212-956-4720; paul@mmaworldexpo.com

About the MMA World Expo: The MMA WORLD EXPO is a 2-day conference and expo designed for the mixed martial arts community, its fans, practitioners, suppliers and stars. Launched in 2009, the event has been held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Midtown, Manhattan and features an exhibition hall displaying a wide variety of MMA vendors, service providers, gyms, educational sessions for MMA business owners, general interest MMA lectures, hands-on MMA training, live tournaments, celebrity appearances and autograph sessions and more. Past celebrities and notable guests have included professional athletes: Renzo Gracie, Wanderlei Silva, Matt Hughes, Jon Jones, Fabricio Werdum, Carlos Condit, Jim Miller, Dan Miller, Ben Saunders and trainers: Kru Phil Nurse, Marcelo Garcia, Ricardo Liborio, Vitor Shaolin Ribeiro, and NYS Athletic Commission Chairwoman, Melvina Lathan. M-1 Global's Executive Director, Evgeni Kogan. Notable past vendors have included: Everlast, Combat Sports, HDNet FIGHTS, Vitamin Shoppe, Zebra Mats, MET-Rx, 5-Hour Energy, US Army. The event founder and organizer is Paul Paone.