Friend of our site


MMA Headlines


UFC HP


Josh Gross


MMA Fighting


MMA Torch


MMA Weekly


Sherdog (News)


Sherdog (Articles)


Lowkick


Liver Kick


Fightsport Asia


Caged In


MMA Junkie


MMA Mania


Bloody Elbow


Fightlinker


Fightnomics


MMA Ratings


Rating Fights


Infinite MMA


MMA Convert


Fightline


Fight Medicine


CompuBox


CompuStrike


MMA Frenzy


Ult MMA


Fighters


Kevin Iole


Yahoo MMA Blog


MMA Betting


Search this site



Latest Articles


News Corner


MMA Rising


MMA Chronicle


David Williams


Audio Corner


Oddscast


MMA Dude Bro


Sherdog Radio


Joe Ferraro


The Fightworks Podcast


Eddie Goldman


Pro MMA Radio


MMA Torch


Video Corner


Fight Hub


The Fight Nerd


Special thanks to...

Link Rolodex

Site Index


To access our list of posting topics and archives, click here.

Friend of our site


Buy and sell MMA photos at MMA Prints

Site feedback


Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

Site Meter

« | Home | »

Report: PRIDE fighters sue DSE

By Zach Arnold | May 23, 2007

Print Friendly and PDF

By Zach Arnold

MMA Weekly has the latest twist in what is amounting to a complete implosion of Dream Stage Entertainment Inc. and the PRIDE asset sale.

According to sources, DSE requested that Pride fighters assign their contracts to “Pride FC Worldwide” (the new company created in the wake of Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta’s proposed buy-out of Pride), and most of the fighters refused to do so.

Read this paragraph carefully. If this information is accurate, it reflects positively upon what I have been arguing online for a couple of months now — that the deals PRIDE fighters had with DSE were personal service contracts. PSCs are usually not transferrable to third parties in asset sales. Meaning, if DSE sold the PRIDE assets to UFC, the PRIDE fighters would technically be free agents because the PSCs are not enforceable in court.

A class-action lawsuit by fighters against DSE Inc. in an American court is going to further complicate any sort of PRIDE asset sale agreement between DSE & UFC. Such a lawsuit would be yet another liability for UFC to consider in an asset purchase. The biggest lawsuit liability is the Ed Fishman lawsuit, in which Fishman Companies is asking for $10 million USD. Witness depositions (which is expected to include members of Zuffa LLC, the parent company of UFC) are set to begin next Wednesday, May 30th.

Topics: Japan, MMA, Media, PRIDE, UFC, Zach Arnold | 26 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

26 Responses to “Report: PRIDE fighters sue DSE”

  1. Body_Shots says:

    Eh Zuffa is probably going to leave this situation alone, DSE is so fucked up.

    I wonder which fighters are supposedly filing this lawsuit? American or Japanese fighters? Can they win this fight in court?

  2. Michael says:

    I would think that it’s the fighters that previously have fought in the UFC and aren’t too eager to go back. Diaz and Barnett come to mind, but that’s just a guess.

  3. Liger05 says:

    the story around this deal gets better and better

  4. Body_Shots says:

    I believe Barnett’s contract is ending very soon, so I don’t think he’d be apart of it and Diaz’s contract with PRIDE was non exculsive anyway, the only reason he isn’t fighting right now is because he loves to toke it up. I think it’s the guys with mutiple fights left on their deal that DSE is playing hardball with, those are the fighters who may be trying to sue.

    I also don’t think it has much to do with the UFC either, I think these guys just want to get on the open market.

    Anywho PRIDE is double-fucked and this thing looks like it’s about to stink to high heaven before it gets any better. The only reason I can see Zuffa not pulling out immmediately is because they legally can’t & have to wait for DSE to really crash and burn before they can get out. Or possibly this is just ploy by the fighters and in a court of law they have no case.

  5. Jacob says:

    “possibly this is just ploy by the fighters and in a court of law they have no case”

    Are you kidding me? If the fighters have existing contracts which you know some of them do and DSE never throws another event which is supposedly the case the fighters have a very strong position. First of all Pride FC Worldwide is not off to a great start are they? Why should the fighters take the risk in signing a contract that they are obligated to perform in and must say no to every other organization’s offer, then have to go through a “wait and see?” Once they assign the contract to Lorenzo, DSE is off the hook and they have to sue Lorenzo if they never get paid for the bouts they are CONTRACTED to get paid for?

  6. SB says:

    We are watching the whole Japan fight scene disintegrate right in front of our eyes. All in one day! UFC would be best to just avoid buying Pride or else it will be whole MMA scene in time.

  7. [...] Ratings Yet)  Loading … According to FightOpinion the Pride Fighters are in an uproar about having their contracts assigned over to the “Pride [...]

  8. Body_Shots says:

    “Once they assign the contract to Lorenzo, DSE is off the hook and they have to sue Lorenzo if they never get paid for the bouts they are CONTRACTED to get paid for?”

    There’s no way Zuffa would not honor a contract that they picked up in an assest transfer.

    And I wasn’t stating that the fighters would or wouldn’t be in the right in a court of law. I don’t know the true details of their contracts or DSE’s position during this asset transfer. It’s also entirely possible that this never gets to court.

    I just proposed some reasons why Zuffa hasn’t gotten out of this mess yet.

  9. Okay it’s official : Zach Arnold is a warlock who is shaping the future with his accusations.

  10. 45 Huddle says:

    Even if this deal implodes, where are these fighters going to go? K-1? They don’t take MMA seriously, and the fighters know it. Bodog? Maybe a few, but that is not a long term solution as they just bleed money. Aleksander Emelianenko signed a contract with them (officially), so a few fighters have gone with them. Pro Elite? Like Bodog, they can try for a few, but aren’t big enough to absorb them all.

    No matter what happens, Zuffa still made out wonderfully in this deal. They are the only company with the power to absorb all of that talent. They have Nogueira, Cro Cop, & Werdum. It is being reported that they now have Filho & Rua. They need to pick up Henderson, Gomi, Melendez, and like 3 to 5 others, and they are set. They have the majority of the best fighters then signed.

    Beyond that, the big question mark becomes Fedor. But they are better off signing Brock Lesnar, as he is more of a draw (with the right marketing) in the US Market.

    So all of these delays and lawsuits and fine and dandy, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t change much.

  11. Dooks says:

    First off, where is this suit going to happen? Japan?

    Second of all, before you PrideFC apple baggers get your panties in even more of a bunch, the fighters will have to WIN a suit! This could take YEARS. You think they want to wait that long?

    This is basically organized extortion, and it will fizzle out sooner or later.

  12. PizzaChef says:

    For some reason, part of me is hoping that later on in the VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VERY VVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRYYYYY near future, the PRIDE fighters would release a press release or statement or something and then they’ll talk about that some fighters will post something on youtube with their own personal statements or something.

    Then when we all click on the Youtube link, what we’ll get instead is Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up music video and it would of been a giant RICK ROLL all along from PRIDE.

    Yes that would be swell. *Note the 4chan in this post.*

  13. jeff aka whaledog says:

    The lawsuit (if it’s filed) probably won’t qualify as a class action.

    A class action requires that the number of potential plaintiffs be so numerous that its impractical for all of them to join a single lawsuit. Here, the number of fighters under contract is small enough that they can track down everyone who wants to be involved and see if they want to join the lawsuit.

  14. 45 Huddle says:

    So would that mean that each fighter would have to file a lawsuit individually?

  15. jeff aka whaledog says:

    It is possible the would all join the same lawsuit.

    Dook has a good pooint, too. I wonder if they have the right to sue in the U.S. or they have to go to Japan.

  16. Zurich says:

    Poor Lenny Hardt :(

  17. white ninja says:

    Dooks-

    its the height of irony that somebody would be accusing anybody of extortion against DSE – it was exactly this crime, extortion by Sakakibara and his yakuza bosses, which led to PRIDE’s self destruction

    live by the sword, die by the sword : )

  18. white ninja says:

    bringing the law suit in Japan or the US?

    the answer will probably be- bring it in the US first – that way you can tactically look to involve the fertittas, since it is likely that they are knowingly involved and cooperating in the standover tactics being engaged in by DSE in relation to fighters

    bringing the suit in japan has little value – since there are grave doubts as to whether DSE has any assets of any value left – reports from Japan are that DSE is millions of $$$ in debt (and UFC seems to have already got hold of that much vaunted video library)

  19. Grape Knee High says:

    “Okay it’s official : Zach Arnold is a warlock who is shaping the future with his accusations.”

    When you throw as much shit as Zach does against a wall, something is bound to stick. He’s wrong just as often — if not more often — as he is right.

    He’s been saying PRIDE was going under since, what, 2005? Maybe earlier? Here’s an equivalent prediction: Cro Cop will retire.

  20. Ryan says:

    Dooks, you’re wrong if the majority of Pride’s contracts are non-exclusive… and it seems like they are. While the case is pending, Zuffa/Wordwide won’t have standing to enjoin them from signing contracts with other orgs… yeah, if they lose they might have to fulfill their DSE contracts for Worldwide at that point, a year or two down the line, but they’re not holding out.

    Also, did you read the article? PSCs are not enforceable in court… seems like they’re going to win.

  21. Zach Arnold says:

    When you throw as much shit as Zach does against a wall, something is bound to stick. He’s wrong just as often — if not more often — as he is right.

    He’s been saying PRIDE was going under since, what, 2005? Maybe earlier? Here’s an equivalent prediction: Cro Cop will retire.

    Keep talking. Please.

  22. Grape Knee High says:

    “Keep talking. Please.”

    Get over yourself, Zach. You run a great blog and you’ve attracted an intelligent, thoughtful readership. That’s why I continue to come back.

    However, that doesn’t mean you’re always right. Your arrogance is unbecoming.

  23. [...] he stated at FightOpinion.com: If this information is accurate, it reflects positively upon what I have been arguing online for a [...]

  24. Fan Futbol says:

    Fellas,

    I’m a lawyer. I don’t immediately see how a dispute over the enforceability and assignability of a relatively small number of fighter contracts is the appropriate subject for a class action, which, in the U.S. requires typicality, commonality and numerosity. The described suit would have serious problems with all three. But I’ll reserve judgment until I know (a) where the lawsuit or suits will be filed and (b) what law they’ll seek to apply. You can file a law in one state or country and seek to apply the law of another state or country.

    In any event, whether the lawsuit is a class action or not, the general rule is that personal services contracts are not assignable — but you can contract around that rule, i.e., you can sign a personal services contract that says in the contract that the contract is assignable. The law is rarely black and white.

    If anyone ever gets their hands on a copy of this pending lawsuit, I’d love to see the complaint.

    FF

  25. Rob says:

    Civil lawsuits in Japan are incredibly sloooooooooow. The system is designed to encourage settling/negotiating a compromise [in order to preserve the much needed all important WA.] I doubt this’ll ever see a courtroom. There’ll be some kind of settlement…

Comments

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture.
Anti-spam image