The world’s two largest MMA organizations, Bellator MMA and the UFC are heading to battle, not in the cage, but in the courtroom. The Sporting News were the first to report the news
Bellator MMA filed a lawsuit in a US District Court out of California, what they are doing is attempting to block two subpoenas from the UFC to release confidential documents that could help the UFC to defend themselves in a lawsuit from former fighters (Cung Le, Nate Quarry, Jon Fitch, ETC.).
The confidential information that the UFC is seeking from Bellator MMA includes fighter contracts and negotiations records.
According to Bellator MMA lawyer Phillip Kelly, has stated that the Viacom owned promotion already handed over 2,000 documents to the UFC to help them with their legal matter, but now the UFC wants more sensitive and highly confidential information from them. The documents that were already handed over to the UFC include a list of all fighters under contract to the promotion, dates of fights, locations for events, fighters who participated on specific events and the purses paid to each competitor.
Even Bellator MMA President Scott Coker wrote an 8 page declaration explaining why giving the extra documents to the UFC could prove to be harmful to Bellator MMA.
“For example, if individual athlete contract information were provided Bellator's competitors, they would be able to anticipate Bellator's recruitment strategics, outflanking its ability to sign the best fighters, anticipating its strategics in each respective weight class and geographic market, and compromising its strategic plans to develop the best overall promotion,” Coker wrote. “Armed with Bellator's information, a dominant market player such as UFC could easily allocate its resources to one-up Bellator on critical deals, counter-program Bellator, and appropriate its business strategies, either to obstruct and stifle Bellator’s initiatives or to exploit its weaknesses. UFC is an aggressive and ambitious enterprise, and I believe that if UFC were able to gain an advantage against Bellator by receiving Bellator’s confidential information or even simply leveraging the disadvantage caused by disclosure of Bellator’s confidential information to athletes and others, it would certainly do so.”
There is no court date set yet for when the two rival promotions will be meeting. You can view the legal documents by clicking HERE.