By Zach Arnold | March 26, 2011
Approximately two weeks ago, Jeff Thaler & I had a conference call (the audio content is as fresh today as it was back then) talking about the ramifications of Zuffa buying out Strikeforce. One of the main points I brought up about the deal is the way the contracts for Strikeforce are structured and issues relating to jurisdiction.
According to MMA Junkie, Strikeforce fighters who are scheduled to fight at the San Diego Sports Arena event on April 9th are now reportedly getting new Zuffa contracts. This is an important news item because what it indicates is that Zuffa has learned from mistakes they made during the PRIDE asset sale deal where they had some contracts that did not transfer over (personal service contracts) and others that required them to honor the deals (ask Mark Hunt about this).
The elephant in the room, of course, is jurisdiction. By signing new Zuffa contracts, they likely want the fighters to agree to make Nevada home court for any legal battles. By doing this, Zuffa is cutting off fighters from issuing any sort of legal challenge where California (a friendlier labor state than Nevada) might possible rule against them if a fighter wanted to challenge a contract. Zuffa is virtually unstoppable in the Nevada court system.
(They’ve used the majority of top law firms in Clark County, too.)
Of course, the flip side to that is that if a Strikeforce fighter wanted to challenge Zuffa in court, it would take some serious cash and Zuffa could threaten the fighter by icing them out for the remainder of their Strikeforce contract if there is a long-term expiration date, such as two years.
So much for Paul Daley not fighting in the UFC again. A rematch with Josh Koscheck?
Again, if you haven’t had the chance to do, go listen to the conference call Jeff & I did on this very topic. It’s less than 30 minutes long and it’s well worth a listen.