(Tompkins at work.)
The first round of the UFC/Randy Couture legal dust-up was scored 10-9 for the UFC, as Xtreme Couture has asked the IFL to remove their name from tonight’s 2008 season opener (more on that later) due to Randy’s ongoing litigation with the UFC. MMAPayout reports that the camp will instead use the name Team Tompkins, named for Xtreme Couture’s head trainer Shawn Tompkins, who has been coaching the team. Team Tompkins will feature last year’s contenders Chris Horodecki and Benji Radach, and reigning welterweight champion Jay Hieron. According to Joe Favorito, the IFL’s Senior VP of Communications, “The IFL is not in any way involved in this litigation, we are doing this out of professional courtesy for Randy and his group.” According to FightOpinion, judge Jennifer Togliatti ruled for further proceedings in terms of discovery (whatever that means), with the next hearing set for March 6th.
Though this move seems like a major concession to the UFC’s complaint that Couture is promoting other MMA organizations, he still has that “false and injurious statements” thing to deal with, which won’t be as easily solved as a name change. But at least it looks like Couture won’t be stonewalling for stonewalling’s sake; he’s willing to bend on the small stuff in order to free himself from his contract. More on this as it comes…
Previously: Shawn Tompkins Gets Knocked Out Four Times
And also: Inside Xtreme Couture Episode 2