Bellator MMA filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to stop the UFC from obtaining its contractual and financial documents, which would be used to the UFC’s advantage in an ongoing class-action, antitrust case.
Bellator MMA, one of the UFC’s rival organizations, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in attempt to stop the UFC from obtaining legal documents to use to its advantage. SportingNews.com first reported the news.
A class-action, antitrust lawsuit was filed against the UFC, the leading mixed martial arts organization in the world, by Cung Le, Nate Quarry and Jon Fitch, among others, in summer 2015 for monopolization.
Today, the case is still ongoing, despite the fact that the UFC requested the case to be dimissed in September 2015.
To help itself in the antitrust case, the UFC filed two subpoenas that would force financial and contractual information from Bellator MMA.
But Bellator MMA doesn’t plan on handing over said information. The organization filed the suit in hopes to quash or modify the subpoenas.
“I am informed and believe that Bellator has agreed to provide documents in response to many of the Parties’ document requests,” Bellator MMA president Scott Coker wrote in a declaration as part of the suit’s motion. “However, Bellator cannot guarantee to produce some of the confidential documents that the Parties have demanded, as doing so would lead to grave harm to Bellator.”
Coker explained in the court document that outside organizations having access to Bellator MMA’s contracts and other legal information would allow said organizations to become aware of Bellator MMA’s plans regarding fighter signings and potential event locations, among other things. And that access to such information would destroy the organization’s ability to “develop the best overall promotion.”
“Accordingly, disclosure of Bellator’s confidential information pursuant to the Nevada subpoena would give Bellator’s largest and most powerful competitor a significant and unilateral advantage that would negatively harm Bellator and, in my opinion stifle competition in the MMA industry,” he said.
Coker said that contractual documents are only available to a “very limited group” of senior executives and the company’s legal team and not to be disclosed to anyone, even other Bellator MMA staff members.