By Zach Arnold | June 6, 2009
According to the lawsuit filing, here are the following people Ibarra sued: David Carpinello, Justin Bolduc, Punch Drunk Gamer, Yahoo Sports, Cage Potato, Serge Marches, Darragh Creamer, Fight Sports Magazin, Kris Karkoski (MMA Frenzy), Jim Bankoff, Tyler Bleszinski, Lauren Fisher, Bloody Elbow (SB Nation), Josh Kampschmidt, Robyn Lass, Ballhype, Pramit Mohapatra (Fight Ticker), Matt Boone (MMA News), Chris Howie, Sam Caplan (Five Ounces of Pain), and The Houston Chronicle. The boilerplate statement made in the lawsuit about the defendants is that the defendant “is, and at all times herein mentioned was, an individual, residing and/or transacting business in the State of California.” The filing also claims that Ibarra’s lawyers believe that some of the people they are suing used fake names (alter egos) and will be revealed whenever possible.
Here is the crux of the lawsuit filing claim:
At the time of Defendants’ publications of these false and defamatory statements, implications and meanings, Defendants knew of their falsity or were made with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity and failed to use reasonable care to determine the truth or falsity of each statement set forth above.
The statements made above would be highly offensive to the reasonable person.
Plantiff is a private citizen and his reputation is not a matter of public concern.
Defendants’ false and defamatory campaign of self-promotion was published continously over the internet twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and continues unabated to this day.”
- How is Ibarra’s legal team going to be able to prove malice here?
- How is Ibarra a private citizen given his public profile and the multiple interviews he has done over the years?
In the lawsuit filing (point 32 in the introduction), the filing itself shoots down the fact that Ibarra is a ‘private citizen.’
32. During the last 28 years, Plaintiff has been engaged in the pugilist and the mixed martial arts industries. Plaintiff has trained and/or worked with more than fifteen world champions in such fields and both Olympic Gold medal winners and Amateur champions. In addition, Plaintiff is the founder of USA MMA, Inc., a non-profit organization that organizes amateur MMA shows nationwide, the co-founder of the National Trainer and Cutman Association, the founder of the World Class MMA and Boxing Inc. fitness club and has been the recipient of numerous awards in the industry.
33. During the period from July, 2005 through July, 2008, Plaintiff was the trainer and manager of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (“Jackson”), a well known mixed martial artist and a prominent figure in the Ultimate Fighting Champion industry. During this period, Jackson obtained six straight wins, including a UFC championship. On his sixth win, Jackson became the first and only undisputed light heavyweight champion of the world.
He’s a public figure and the standard of libel/defamation shoots up significantly in the legal system here in the States.
Most MMA web sites, if they operate like I do, probably would have given a chance for Ibarra to get his side of the story out if he wanted. His legal team is going to have to prove that the bloggers and web sites he has named in this case somehow refused to give his (Ibarra) side of the story. In this day and age, you can hire any sort of PR firm who will give out statements to all sorts of writers to refute charges made against you. To file this lawsuit at this time considering when Tito Ortiz’s remarks were initially made, I mean…
IF YOU ARE ON THIS LIST OF DEFENDANTS, I want to hear from you personally. Also, if you are a lawyer out there reading this on the West Coast (I’m looking at you, Todd) and would like to comment on this case in-depth, I’d like to hear from you as well.
After reading this laundry list of defendants in the Ibarra lawsuit, all I can say is that this is not the way I would have handled this situation.