The sport of MMA is almost as exciting outside the cage these days as the events that take place inside. In an interesting turn of events, Adam Swift is reporting on Sherdog that Mark Cuban has filed suit against Zuffa, the group that owns the UFC.
With the mixed martial arts industry focused on the Zuffa v. Couture proceedings scheduled to begin with a preliminary hearing March 4 in Las Vegas, billionaire Mark Cuban and his HDNet Fights company has quietly entered the fray, opening a second front in the Couture-UFC war, Sherdog.com has learned.
On Wednesday, in district court in Dallas, HDNet Fights filed suit against Zuffa seeking a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture under his Zuffa promotional contract. In an ironic twist, Zuffa’s co-defendant in the suit is technically none other than Couture himself.
The lawsuit filed by HDNet Fights asks the Texas court to provide the company with declaratory relief — a ruling on when Couture’s promotional contract will expire. A favorable ruling could clear the way for a highly anticipated showdown between Couture and Fedor Emelianenko this fall, potentially promoted by HDNet Fights.
The lawsuit is the first direct legal challenge of Couture’s promotional contract with the UFC. Zuffa’s lawsuit with Couture centers on his employment contract and its one-year non-compete clause, not his promotional contract. Zuffa has not entered the promotional contract into evidence in that case; however, it has offered the judge the opportunity to view it in private.