(The little guy may look sweet, but he bit a toddler’s face at a birthday party later that day. Wasn’t the first time that Pavia’s done that, either.)
Prominent MMA agent Ken Pavia — whose client roster includes such well-known fighters as Martin Kampmann, Chris Lytle, Anthony Johnson, and Cristiane "Cris Cyborg" Santos — is in serious hot water with the UFC. As first reported by Yahoo!’s Kevin Iole, Zuffa LLC has filed a suit alleging that Pavia passed along trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents to upstart MMA promotion Bellator, which used the documents to help run its business. Bellator is named as a co-defendent in the suit, as well as other unnamed individuals and corporations that Zuffa alleges participated in breach of contract. From the Yahoo! piece:
According to the suit, filed Wednesday in Clark County District Court, Pavia delivered confidential contracts, including fighter agreements, to Bellator after being asked to do so in a July 4 email to him from Bellator founder Bjorn Rebney…
An email which Zuffa’s lawsuit alleges is from Rebney to Pavia on July 4 was attached as an exhibit to the 16-page suit. In it, Rebney writes, ” … You’ve been great about sending us ‘All’ of the seminal docs from the UFC, so that we can re-do them and implement them for Bellator.”
Later, the email Zuffa alleges to have been written by Rebney continues, “Please list each in terms of what it is for and how the UFC uses them/implements them. … Then I’m going to have our team Monday re-type them and we will sufficiently alter them such that they will appear to be ours and not theirs.”
The response that is purported to have come from Pavia is brief and says, in its entirety, “Still I (sic) vegas. May take 24 hours to organize as some forms go to the guys in my office.”…
According to the suit, “The improper disclosure of Zuffa’s operations documents and confidential information by Pavia, MMA Agents, and the Doe and Roe Defendants constitutes a distinct act of dominion wrongfully exerted over Zuffa’s personal property.”
It further states, “The improper use by Bellator of Zuffa’s operational documents and confidential information in order to conduct its competing business operations constitutes a distinct act of dominion wrongfully exerted over Zuffa’s personal property.”
Zuffa seeks actual and punitive damages and a permanent injunction barring Bellator or Pavia from using Zuffa’s assets, including its intellectual property.
Pavia and Rebney have not yet released official reponses to the allegations. It isn’t clear how the e-mails in question came into the possession of Zuffa, but let this serve as a warning to all you white-collar crooks out there: If you’re going to conspire to commit theft of intellectual property, don’t do it over e-mail. And if you must do it over e-mail, at least be vague and use euphemisms to mask what you’re talking about. I mean, for God’s sake, "You’ve been great about sending us ‘All’ of the seminal docs from the UFC, so that we can re-do them and implement them for Bellator.” Genius, Bjorn. Next time, try this: "Thanks so much for the pizzas, Ken. I think we can figure out the recipes from here."