(The Fertittas: “Convicted criminals are people, too.”)
Props to BloodyElbow for spotting this Xyience piece recently posted by MMA Memories. We’ve been detailing the shitstorm created by UFC mega-sponsor lawsuit against blogger/reporter Rich Bergeron for his “findings” and allegations against them – which basically means they’re worried. The aforementioned article throws some more light on the background of Xyience and founder Russell Pike – who you’ll recall was recently accused of death threats against the company’s managers and board members – thickening the Fertittas shady pot of shit.
Some of the backstory:
Russell Pike, who founded Xyience and oversaw its involvement with the UFC for some time, is a convicted felon, having pleaded guilty to grand theft and forgery in California in 1987 and of money laundering in 1999. Not only that, according to a “Desist and Refrain Order” filed by the California Department of Corporations in September of last year, pursuant to the sale of Xyience stock, Pike suffered a default judgment in a civil action filed against him by The Mirage, a hotel-casino licensed by the Nevada State Gaming Commission, when he allegedly wrote them $300,000 in bad checks over a two-day period in 1995.
And that is very interesting indeed, especially in light of the Fertittas’ recent lawsuit filing against Dream Stage Entertainment, the former owners of PRIDE, which the UFC purchased last year. In the complaint, the Fertittas allege that the rumored involvement of some of Dream Stage’s people with elements of the Japanese Yakuza “could have a detrimental effect upon the Purchasing Parties’ (the Fertittas’) affiliates’ gaming licenses (for the uninitiated, the Fertitta family controls Station Casinos Inc, which has about 17 properties in the United States).”
The obvious contradictions follow the pattern of stupidity exhibited now on an almost daily basis by the UFC’s execs. It’s been laced with “cloak-n-dagger” elements from the beginning, but this information makes it almost laughable. Bringing Pike and his prison-stripped ass into direct involvement with promotions is just asking for shit to rain down on you. The MMA Memories post suggests the gaming commission probe the many findings and ask the questions that must be answered by the Fertittas surrounding this whole mess. We tend to agree – but as much as we want the UFC bullshit to stop, this is also some serious illegal activity that could damage MMA promotions – which then filters down to the fans. I blame “The Man” and his stop-at-nothing greed.