The UFC takes Randy Couture to court
According to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the UFC filed suit against Randy Couture on Monday:
Lawyers for Zuffa, LLC, the UFC's parent company, on Monday filed suit in Clark County District Court, alleging chiefly that Couture's comments about the UFC and its senior management caused the business irreparable damage and that he is in breach of the contract he signed with the company in December 2006.
The article later states the ultimate goal of the suit:
The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $10,000 and states that the amount of both compensatory and punitive damages would be proven at trial. It also seeks an injunction restraining Couture from participating in any way in any promotion competing against the UFC.
This is the latest in the sad saga between the UFC and its current heavyweight champ that began last fall. Hill details the early days of this conflict fairly well toward the end of the article.
Unfortunately for UFC fans it looks like Couture certainly won't be fighting in the promotion any time soon and it doesn't appear that he wants to. Whether he feels that the UFC has underpaid him, not shown him enough respect or simply doesn't have worthy competition, Couture appears content to sit out most of 2008.
With more players in MMA, Couture would be a prized recruit for a number of other promotions, and most would pay top dollar to sign him. Couture appears to know this and he is using that as leverage against the UFC. This lawsuit is the UFC's way of fighting back.
And, now that the conflict has reached the court system, the gulf between the two sides will likely only grow larger and the path to resolution will only be messier.
Welcome to the big stage, MMA!