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Tag: Mikey Burnett

The Ten Most Notorious Lawsuits in MMA History

Quinton Rampage Jackson courtroom trail lawsuit mohawk
("Objection, your honor! There’s no way Mr. Jackson can do justice to the character of B.A. Baracus!")

By CagePotato contributor Jim Genia

Last week, legendary promoter/murderer Don King filed a legal injunction against the Shine Fights organization to put the kibosh on their “Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas” main event, a bout that would’ve seen pugilist Ricardo Mayorga — whom King manages in the realm of boxing — take on UFC vet Din Thomas in the pro boxer’s MMA debut. Though the event’s subsequent collapse can’t completely be blamed on King, his legal cock-blocking of the headlining attraction certainly didn’t help.

Of course, this isn’t the first time a handful of legal documents and a judge have affected the MMA world, and though the history of the sport is a relatively short one, it’s a history rife with broken contracts, copyright infringements and countless other court-based fisticuffs. Who’s filed a lawsuit against whom? How many fighters know too well the insides of a courtroom? What happens when you sell the UFC a lemon? The answers to these questions and more can be found when examining the top ten lawsuits in MMA history.

10) Zuffa v. The Ghost of Pride: There’s an old Greek saying that goes, “Buying from the Yakuza is like passing out at Mike Whitehead‘s house — one way or another you’re going to get screwed.” Zuffa learned this the hard way when they purchased the Pride Fighting Championship from Dream Stage Entertainment, for they soon discovered that the whole thing had been held together by organized crime money and Scotch Tape (and not even real Scotch Tape, but that cheap knockoff stuff you buy at the dollar store). Consequently, in February 2008, Zuffa filed suit against DSE alleging that they were sold a clunker. DSE in turn countersued, complaining that Zuffa went back on its promise to keep Pride alive.

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Mikey Burnett Sues “The Ultimate Fighter”

It had to happen eventually, so we might as well get it over with. A former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member — season four’s Mikey Burnett — is suing TufGuy Productions, Inc., which produces the show, as well as insurance company AIG, which insured him during the show. Sherdog has the scoop:

According to the lawsuit filed on June 9, Burnett claims alleged negligence against the defendants, who “carelessly, recklessly and negligently failed to provide a safe environment for the Ultimate Fighter 4 participants.”

Specifically, the 34-year-old Burnett states that he suffered a career-ending spinal injury during the show’s tapings.

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The suit alleges that Burnett has suffered “serious bodily injuries, has endured and continues to endure both physical and mental pain and suffering and has incurred severe medical expenses.”

Burnett has also filed grievances with AIG, which allegedly insured Burnett during his time on the series, for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing for failing “to make a reasonable offer and payment in connection” with the policy.

As you may recall, season four was “The Comeback” season that featured former UFC fighters trying to battle their way back into the Octagon. You may also recall that during his time on the show Burnett could be seen voluntarily running into a wall. So, you know, there’s that to talk about in court.

As for the argument that the defendants failed to provide a safe environment, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. MMA fighting is, to begin with, a pretty unsafe environment. Unless Burnett can prove that the training, fighting, or living conditions were especially unsafe, this seems like a tough argument to make. You also have to wonder whether a guy who runs into walls when he’s bored is the best barometer of what constitutes a safe environment.

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