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Zuffa, LLC Sues Bellator Fighting Championships and MMA Agent Ken Pavia

Written by Tom Ngo
July 29th, 2010
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UFC President Dana White

Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports is reporting that Zuffa LLC, the parent company of the UFC and WEC, filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against MMA super agent Ken Pavia in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada for allegedly passing along Octagon trade secrets and confidential Zuffa documents to Bellator Fighting Championships, an upstart mixed martial arts rival.

According to the report, Bellator is a co-defendant in the suit because company founder Bjorn Rebney used the top secret files supplied by Pavia and his company, MMA Agents, as a blueprint for their business model. The email addresses included in Zuffa’s claim are those of Rebney and Pavia.

The story goes, Pavia – who reps roughly 50 MMA fighters, with more than 80 percent of them having been or are currently signed under the Zuffa umbrella – delivered confidential contracts, including fighter agreements, to Bellator after being asked to do so in a July 4th email.

The alleged Independence Day email, which Zuffa’s lawsuit claims Rebney sent to Pavia, was attached as an exhibit to the 16-page suit. Rebney supposedly 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…

“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.”

To which Pavia apparently replied, “Still I (sic) vegas. May take 24 hours to organize as some forms go to the guys in my office.”

Pavia was attending UFC 116 on July 3rd in Las Vegas.

In a text message sent to Yahoo! Sports on Thursday evening, Pavia wrote,“I want to get a better understanding of this before I comment.”

Rebney has allowed Bellator attorney Patrick English to take the mic, however he echoed Pavia statement.

According the report, Zuffa seeks actual and punitive damages and a permanent injunction barring Bellator or Pavia from using Zuffa’s assets, including its intellectual property.

The report did not mention how Zuffa got their hands on Bellator’s confidential email chain that ignited this conspiracy.

Also included in the law suit are unnamed corporations and persons Zuffa believes participated in the heist. Here’s some additional legal mumbo jumbo regarding the case:

“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.”

“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.”

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