Unnamed fighters previously under contract to Pride and their operating company Dream Stage Entertainment (DSE) are planning to file a class action lawsuit seeking unspecified damages and their release from their current contracts.
The problem apparently directly involves the sale of Pride to UFC-owners Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. From what I’ve researched the terms of the sale nvolves the fighters who are currently signed to Pride to have their contracts transfered to Pride FC Worldwide Holdings LLC.
This is perfectly fine except for the fact that the contracts under which the fighters are signed are non-transferable meaning fighters who choose not to make the move to the ownership have the legal right to do so. Other fighters who are willing to make the move shouldn’t be affected by the lawsuit, although they would likely be resigned to a new but identical contracts under the new ownership to clear the murky waters in case a contract dispute arises down the road.
Apparently the fighters will be suing for their release so they can compete else where and will also seek damages from canceled shows that many still had on their contracts. Former owners DSE will be responsible in this lawsuit and not the new ownership, although this lawsuit may impactÂ Pride fighters who could have transitioned to the UFC but may now be delayed by the legal proceedings.
I will have more on this soon (hopefully) and we will likely be hearing official statements from both the UFC and former Pride owners DSE in the coming days.
For more on the situation check out MMA Weekly who broke the news of the lawsuit late last night.