Former Employee Sues Tapout for Wrongful Termination, Defamation, Emotional Distress
A former Vice President of Sales for Tapout filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, alleging claims that include wrongful termination, fraudulent misrepresentation, failure to pay wages, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a litany of negligence claims.
Not only does Lee Lemon target Tapout as a defendant, but also Zuffa, LLC (parent company of the UFC), MMA Authentics, MMA Holdings, LLC, Authentic Brands Group, LLC, Daniel "Punkass" Caldwell, and even the estate of the late Charles "Mask" Lewis.
Most of Lemon's allegations are focused on former Tapout President Marc Kreiner, who Lemon claims abused the sales staff, allegedly calling them "f--kng worthless" and telling Lemon that he was "stupid, incompetent, and ignorant," and that Kreiner could "hire a monkey to do his job." Lemon also alleges that he was promised $400,000 per year in pay, but was never paid that amount. Instead, he argues, he was not paid the commissions he was owed, was berated constantly, falsely accused of firing employees without approval, blamed for salary cuts, and then directed to "defraud investors ... by inflating the sales numbers and at the same time hiding accounts, to engage in thefts from licenses" before he was "constructively terminated" in May of 2010. (Under California law, constructive termination essentially requires the plaintiff to show that they resigned or quit because their working conditions were so intolerable that no reasonable person could be expected to endure them.)
SF Diaz vs. Santos: 561,000 Viewers
Strikeforce's first event of 2011 was a hit with Showtime viewers. Overall, the event averaged 561,000 viewers, which is more than any single Strikeforce event broadcast on Showtime in the past year. The peak was 853,000 viewers for the Nick Diaz-Evangelista Santos main event.
UFC 126 Under Card Viewing Opportunity Hinted At by Dana White
Dana White's Twitter feed is always worth paying attention to, if for nothing other than comic relief. White responds to everyone, including the anonymous detractors or ardent Strikeforce supporters. But he also often replies in earnest to sincere questions from diehard UFC fans. As you can see below, one fan Tweeted White to ask a question that I'm certain many other fans were thinking: KID Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson is a fight fans want to see, so why is it buried on the undercard and is there any way we can see it? White responds:
Bader, Simpson, Dollaway, Lawler and Others Find Stability At New Gym
The age of the super camp is upon us in the world of MMA. From Team Jackson to American Kickboxing Academy to American Top Team, fighters from all over the world flock to bigger and bigger camps to get the training, coaching, and sparring necessary to take them to the next level, be it the UFC, Strikeforce, or beyond.
The newest team forming in Arizona at the new Power MMA & Fitness gym is headed up by a group of top flight UFC fighters along with a Strikeforce title contender, and they hope to form the next great camp.
Ryan Bader, Aaron Simpson, and C.B. Dollaway, along with Robbie Lawler and others have worked to open their new gym in Arizona. It’s starting to pay off already with fighters traveling from all over the country to work with the team.
Karate Coach Touts Belfort’s Improved Speed
Vitor Belfort has always been revered -- and feared -- for his blinding speed and the devastating power that accompanies it. To hear one of his trainers tell it, the Brazilian has only grown faster since he took out former middleweight titleholder Rich Franklin in the Octagon 16 months ago.
“Before arriving, I was a little bit anxious about whether or not we could do a good job in such a short time,” said South American karate champion Jayme Sandall, who has spent the past few weeks honing Belfort’s skills. “But as I always say, Vitor is a phenomenon and gets everything so fast. He’s already moving a different way in the ring; his muscle explosion is at its peak. He’s even faster than he was when he was training to face Franklin.”
Fans invited to "UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort" open workout sessions
With this weekend's blockbuster UFC 126 event quickly approaching, UFC officials are inviting fans to take part in fight-week activities.
While Wednesday's UFC 126 press conference will be closed to the public, fans are invited to attend Thursday's open workout sessions.
The session – which features Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin, Jon Jones, Ryan Bader, Antonio Banuelos and Miguel Torres – takes place at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas and is free and open to the public.
Bellator Adds Nazareno Malegarie, Featherweight With MMA's Best Record
The fighter with the best record in mixed martial arts is heading to Bellator and ready to enter the promotion's Season 4 featherweight tournament.
Nazareno Malegarie, who has built up a 19-0 record while fighting for Brazilian promotions, is now ready to fight in the United States, Bellator announced Monday.
"I'm just very excited to finally have the chance to show fans in the United States what I'm capable of," Malegarie said in a statement. "Signing with Bellator was very important for me, and I'm ready to prove myself."
Siyar Bahadurzada: I'm Not the One Being Unprofessional Here
Afghan-born fighter Siyar Bahadurzada may regret some of the language he used when lashing out at Strikeforce over the internet last week, but he stands by the sentiment, Bahadurzada told Ariel Helwani on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
Though Bahadurzada said he signed a contract to fight for Strikeforce in April of 2010, he has yet to be offered a fight with the organization, and said repeated attempts to contact Strikeforce about the situation have been ignored.
World Victory Road Postpones SRC 17 in Response to Media Negativity
Sengoku Raiden Championship promoter World Victory Road released a bizarre statement on Tuesday via their official Web site, announcing the postponement of SRC 17 due to an article written by a member of the Japanese press.
The article in question, a seven-page interview with SRC featherweight champion Hatsu Hioki written by Manabu Takashima in March's Gong Kakutougi, said that World Victory Road's end-of-year "Soul of Fight" event was poorly organized, with some fighters not signing their bout agreements until the day of the fight or even post-fight. This is not uncommon, especially in Japanese MMA, and barely deserves any attention.
Fear a motivating factor for Griffin
LAS VEGAS -- After more than a year off due to injury, Forrest Griffin will return to the Octagon on Saturday for a light heavyweight fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 126.
Afterward, win or lose, Griffin says he's planning something that could change his career. At 31, Griffin's best years as a fighter aren't behind him, but he admits he's peaked in a different way.
For years, he's surrounded himself with some of the best coaches in every facet of the game. What he's lacked, however, is that one mastermind, the "head coach" who he trusts to build his game plans and bring every part of his training together.
Paul Daley Promises Knockout of Nick Diaz, Voices Criticism of GSP
Paul Daley has other business on his fighting agenda before he can lock up a Strikeforce welterweight title shot against current champion Nick Diaz, but that doesn't mean the hard-hitting Brit isn't already looking forward to the possibility of facing Diaz.
Daley needs to win a Feb. 26 match in the UK with Yuya Shirai, and if he does, a date with Diaz awaits him.
While Diaz recently said he's "not impressed with Paul Daley as a mixed martial artist" aside from his standup, Daley indicated on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour that he'd have more than enough firepower to wrest the belt from him.
Gladiator Challenge: James Irvin Fight Ruled No Contest By Ken Shamrock
Seriously. Irvin returned to action over the weekend, battling Mike Crisman in the main event of Gladiator Challenge: "Young Guns 4" at the Elko Indian Colony Gym in Elko, Nevada. Irvin claims he beat the 9-19 Crisman fair, but apparently special guest referee Shamrock saw it differently according to Irvin's explanation. "I beat the brakes off this fool...he was sleeping on the ground. Ken Shamrock says I illegally kneed him, so it was a no-contest! I KO'd this guy and walked away before Shamrock even got there, and two minutes later, he says it's a no-contest. It's cool. I don't have a scratch on me, and I'm fighting again in three weeks. That was the luckiest night of that dude's life. [GC Promoter] Tedd Williams says I can rematch [Crisman] in May. Perfect rematch." Said May rematch does appear likely, Shamrock participation TBA.
Jake Ellenberger Ready for Carlos Rocha at UFC 126, Wants Jon Fitch
Opportunities come and go in the life of a fighter and for welterweight power-wrestler Jake Ellenberger, both sides of the coin look familiar. At 25 years old and nearly 30 fights into his career, the Nebraska native is already a veteran of the sport. Over the past six years Ellenberger has made the most of several last minute changes, including a call from the UFC to face former WEC champion Carlos Condit after MMA veteran Chris Lytle was forced out with injury. Ultimately the judges would decide in favor of Condit but Ellenberger made an impression with the UFC as his gritty performance earned him a place on the roster.
Coming off the Condit fight, Ellenberger found victory in his next two appearances. In his most recent showing against the always dangerous John "Doomsday" Howard, Ellenberger neutralized Howard's striking attack and utilized a full scale ground and pound display. Midway through the third round the bout was stopped by the ringside doctor due to the damage Howard's eye had absorbed. Back to back wins has the future looking bright and even after a bout with Jon Fitch came and went, Ellenberger is ready to make his climb. In his Bloody Elbow Exclusive interview Ellenberger talked about a future bout with Jon Fitch, his upcoming matchup with Carlos Eduardo Rocha at UFC 126 and took a look back at his recent victory over "Doomsday".
Lengthy "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" medical suspensions go to Lawler, Moore, Coy
Eight fighters from this past weekend's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" event were issued medical suspensions, and three face layoffs of up to six months or more.
Those facing extended suspensions are Robbie Lawler (foot), Nate Moore (wrist) and Nathan Coy (precautionary reasons).
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today requested and received the list of medical suspensions from the California State Athletic Commission.
"Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" took place Jan. 29 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., and aired on Showtime.
Kennedy-Rockhold, Masvidal-Evangelista Join Strikeforce ‘Columbus’
Strikeforce’s March 5 bill in Columbus, Ohio, will feature an important middleweight showdown between Tim Kennedy and Luke Rockhold, as well as a lightweight bout pitting unbeaten Billy Evangelista against veteran Jorge Masvidal.
The promotion on Monday announced that both fights will be featured on the Showtime-televised portion of Strikeforce “Columbus,” which emanates from the Nationwide Arena. Two expected title bouts were also made official, as 205-pound champion Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante will defend against former two-division Pride Fighting Championships titleholder Dan Henderson, and 135-pound women’s ace Marloes Coenen will meet Miesha Tate.
A former U.S. Army Ranger, Kennedy will make his first appearance since losing a five-round unanimous decision to Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in August. That loss snapped a four-fight win streak, during which Kennedy finished veterans Trevor Prangley and Nick Thompson. Kennedy was originally rumored to take part in a rubber match with Jason “Mayhem” Miller in Columbus, but that matchup was scrapped for unknown reasons.
UFC's Josh Koscheck expects six-month layoff following recent surgery
Josh Koscheck will settle the score with Georges St-Pierre when he gets healthy.
But instead of tangling again with the welterweight champion inside a cage, he'll do it on an ice rink for now.
"We have a bet to settle," Koscheck told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) during his first public appearance since he lost to St-Pierre at UFC 124.
That's something to look forward to for Koscheck, who said he's out for a minimum of six months as he heals from a broken orbital bone he suffered in the fight, which took place Dec. 11 in Montreal.
St-Pierre has asked for a rematch, at least when it comes to the home-run challenge he lost during the filming of "The Ultimate Fighter 12." The two served as opposing coaches on the reality show before squaring off in Canada.
"As soon as I get healthy, we've got a little one-on-one competition," Koscheck said just prior to signing autographs at the one-year anniversary celebration for the first UFC Gym opening.
The one-time contender underwent surgery in Boston nine days after the fight and flew home to Fresno, Calif., in time for Christmas.
Doctors have limited his physical activity to walking as he recovers. Koscheck said the entire right side of his face is still numb. A prominent scar now resides underneath his right eye...
"Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" salaries: Nick Diaz leads $463,500 fighter payroll
Strikeforce welterweight champion Nick Diaz ($150,000) and fellow defending champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza ($85,000) were the top earners at this past weekend's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) today requested and received the list of salaries from the California State Athletic Commission.
The event took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., and aired on Showtime. The total disclosed payroll for the event was $463,500.
Diaz defeated Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos ($20,000) in the night's headliner, and middleweight champ Souza stopped Lawler ($65,000) in the co-headliner.
Perhaps the most notable figure was the salary attached to former NFL great Herschel Walker. Despite his heavy promotion of the card and the interest he drew for his second pro fight, he earned a flat rate of $5,000. However, additional compensation likely came in other forms for the 48-year-old fighter.
The full payouts include:
Champ Nick Diaz: $150,000 (no win bonus)
def. Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos: $20,000
Champ Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza: $85,000 ($15,000 win bonus)
def. Robbie Lawler : $65,000
Herschel Walker: $5,000 (no win bonus)
def. Scott Carson: $5,000
Roger Gracie: $75,000 (no win bonus)
def. Trevor Prangley: $30,000
Nate Moore: $4,000 ($2,000 win bonus)
def. Nathan Coy: $3,000
Isaiah Hill: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Bobby Stack: $1,500
Ron Keslar: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Eric Lawson: $1,500
Germaine de Randamie: $3,000 ($1,000 win bonus)
def. Stephanie Webber: $1,000
James Terry: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Lucas Gamaza: $1,500
Jenna Castillo: $3,000 ($1,500 win bonus)
def. Charlene Gellner: $1,000
Jason Miller vs. Tim Kennedy 3 Not Happening At SF Ohio
A potential 3rd match between Jason Miller & Tim Kennedy will not be part of Strikeforce's Ohio event in March. The fight was reportedly being finalized earlier this month, but a Strikeforce official confirmed the scrapped plans over the weekend. No reason was given for the change, though spokesperson Mike Afromowitz said the matchup never had been signed in the first place. The fighters will be shifted to other matchups.
Rafael Cavalcante vs. Dan Henderson title fight set for "Strikeforce: Columbus"
A long-rumored title fight between Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante (10-2 MMA, 3-1 SF) and notable Dan Henderson (26-8 MMA, 1-1 SF) is set for March's "Strikeforce: Columbus" event.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) first reported the bout in early December, and the organization made it official on Saturday.
The March 5 event takes place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus as part of Strikeforce's Ohio debut.