It is currently being reported that M-1 Global and Fedor Emelianenko have filed a lawsuit against Affliction Clothing, Affliction Entertainment and 50 unnamed John Does in the Central District of California.
The complaint, filed on October 28th 2009, alleges a breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing as it relates to a series of prearranged agreements between Fedor, M-1 Global, and Affliction.
In the complaint obtained by MMAPayout.com, the cancellation of Afflictions third show “Trilogy” seems to be at the core of the matter:
Plaintiff is informed, believes, and based thereon alleges Affliction intended to sign Brett Rogers to fight in Affliction: Trilogy and intended to go forward with the event if the UFC deal failed, but intended to cancel [the event] if the UFC deal closed. Brett Rogers was ready, willing, and able to fight Emelianenko in [the event], but instead of honoring its promises to Emelianenko and M-1 by signing Rogers, Affliction elected to serve its own financial interests at the expense of its partners.
Furthermore, Bloodyelbow has stated in a published report that:
The complaint alleges that Strikeforce, Affliction, and M-1 reached an agreement with M-1 to allow Brett Rogers to fight Fedor Emelianenko at Affliction: Trilogy, but unbeknownst to Fedor and M-1, Affliction was working on a renewed deal with the UFC that would force Affliction out of the MMA.
The complaint alleges that Affliction kept these negotiations secret in an attempt to fool M-1 into believing they were looking for a replacement, and did not inform M-1 of its ongoing negotiations and new deal until July 24, 2009, at which point Fedor had already flown back to Russia.
The complaint alleges that the deal to allow Brett Rogers to fight Fedor Emelianenko on Affliction: Trilogy was completed the day before the show was cancelled, and alleges that Affliction was actively pursuing two options: if the UFC deal closed they would cancel the show, and if it didn’t they would promote Fedor vs. Rogers.
The complaint alleges that in upcoming months before Affliction: Trilogy, M-1 began working on deals to broadcast the show in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Eastern Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, etc. Because Affliction was supposedly aware of all of this, M-1 argues Affliction knew it would force M-1 to breach its contract with all of its international partners if it cancelled a show
The complaint alleges that Todd Beard admitted to M-1 that Affliction could not and would not promote internationally, and agreed to allow M-1 to pursue any such opportunities with Affliction content.
The complaint goes on to state that the above mentioned lead to the events cancellation and “determining what discussions and agreements took place between Affliction and the UFC, and when these discussions took place, Plaintiffs will amend this complaint to add additional allegations, causes of actions, and parties as supported by the facts discovered.”