Smug © (Pic: Zimbio.com)
Perhaps we were all a little quick to bag on Josh Koscheck for taking a legal dump on “Trash Talkin’ Kids“, Stephan Bonnar‘s new irreverent line of MMA shirts. True, he does have a track record of being kind of a dick, but this wouldn’t be the first time that we’ve jumped to conclusions about the UFC Welterweight only to back track a little. Lesson learned. From now on, we’ll reserve judgment until all of the facts are in and give Kos the benefit of the doubt. Nah, not really, but here’s the latest on this story.
Koscheck sat down with the folks at BleacherReport.com to give his side of the tale. According to Kos, his problem with the shirt in question has nothing to do with being the butt of a joke, but rather stems from a preexisting exclusive contract.
“This situation is very black and white,” (Koscheck who is 14-4 in the UFC said). There’s a side of right and a side of wrong and I’m on the side of right. Stephan Bonnar and his company are on the side of wrong. I have an exclusive deal that is a conflict to use my image, to use my likeness, and to use my name.”
“I spoke to Stephan Bonnar about a year ago and I’ve had my existing contract for about two years now and I spoke to him about a year ago at AKA (American Kickboxing Academy), regarding this situation and he was understanding of the fact that there is an existing agreement with a prior apparel company with myself.”
“He spoke with myself and my manager Bob Cook at AKA when he was filming something for SpikeTV, he was in agreement and in an understanding that they would stop producing and making the shirt. Because I was about to get sued from my preexisting exclusive deal that I’ve had signed for two-years.”
“So, he was putting me in breach of this contract by producing this shirt. Now, with that being said, he was fine with that and was fine with everything after meeting at AKA and he continued to produce the shirt.”
“He basically gave me no other choice, but to go after him legally because of the fact that I’m about to be sued from another company because of Stephan Bonnar and his antics.”
Assuming that all of this information is accurate, and we’ll take it at face value here, the NGAUGE shirt basically forced Kos into a “sue or be sued” scenario, and rather than lose out on a long-term sponsorship deal so Bonnar can sell some t-shirts, he filed suit. Seems fair enough. The whole situation raises some legal questions that I don’t have the answers to: Is NGUAGE protected by parody or satire laws? Can Koscheck be sued by his sponsor for the unauthorized actions of a third party? Though these cases may never actually make it to trial, Koscheck and Bonnar may take the law into their own hands rather than take it to court.
Bonnar stated that he’s willing to cut weight to face Koscheck in the cage. And Koscheck? Yeah, he’s down too:
“Now, Stephan Bonnar is calling me out and it’s absurd, that p***y really needs to think about who he’s calling out because when he becomes a B level fighter, then I’ll take him serious. But right now, he’s not even a B level fighter so I’m not taking him serious.”
“If he does want to fight me and run his mouth and continue to run his mouth personally, then we can settle this. I’ll fight him at 185 for the fans, because I know there’s a lot of people out there right now that this is a big deal and I’ll make that my comeback fight hopefully in October.”
“All day long, that’d be a nice, easy comeback fight. I’d like to have a nice warmup fight and Stephan Bonnar would be that fight.”
Now that’s some quality trash talkin’, kid! Joe Silva, make it rain.