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.)
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.
With help of Dana White's donation, baby girl survives 18-hr surgery
Eight-month-old Tuptim Jadngooluem has been given a second chance at life after she successfully underwent surgery at Ramathibodi Hospital in Bangkok yesterday.
Tuptim, who was diagnosed at three months with a terminal liver condition known as biliary obstruction, has spent over a month in hospital awaiting a parental donor liver transplant to save her life.
To keep her baby alive, Tuptim’s mother, Nit, donated part of her liver during yesterday’s operation, performed by Bangkok-based specialist Dr Sumate Teeraratkul.
After 18-hours of surgery involving mother and daughter, both are today recovering in Ramathibodi Hospital and are said to be doing well.
Safe Auto Insurance becomes official UFC sponsor
MMA Payout had the opportunity to talk to Safe Auto Insurance about its recent move to become an official sponsor for the UFC. Safe Auto Insurance is the only insurance company that is a sponsor of the UFC.
As MMA Payout reported last year (here and here), Safe Auto Insurance began sponsoring fighters in late 2010 and discussed with the UFC about the possibility of becoming an official UFC sponsor. Elie Deshe, Vice President of Emerging Media for Safe Auto Insurance stated that it paid a fee to the UFC to become an official sponsor but the partnership with the UFC is worth it.
The official sponsorship deal began January 1st at UFC 125 and covers all of 2011. Safe Auto will appear on mats and pole pads on eight of the upcoming UFC cards. Most of the appearances would be on UFC Fight Nights although Safe Auto’s presence would be at UFC 127...
Kimbo Slice Quits Boxing, Reportedly Set for Pro Wrestling Tournament
So much for the great Kimbo Slice boxing experiment.
The former street fighting sensation turned MMA fighter abruptly quit his pursuit of becoming a boxing star in October, Slice's former promoter Jared Shaw told MMA Fighting.
"[Slice left the boxing training camp] due to some various injuries and to go film The Scorpion King. Upon his return, he didn't show me any interest in boxing, so we just decided for right now to put it to the side," Shaw said.
"In boxing, in order to be amongst the best in the world, he was going to have to put in double the work he was accustomed to. Due to the wear and tear on his body, he wasn't able to perform up to the standard we wanted him to."
Jeffrey Kirby Found Guilty In "Mask" Death Case
An Orange County, Calif. jury today convicted a man involved in a 2009 car crash that killed TapouT co-founder Charles "Mask" Lewis. Jeffrey David Kirby, 53, faces a maximum of 13 years in prison on one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated. He faced sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury. That's according to a release issued today by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Kirby's sentencing takes place Feb. 4 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, Calif.
Former UFC Fighter Lee Murray's Bank Heist Sentence Increased to 25 Years
Former UFC fighter Lee Murray, who was convicted of masterminding the biggest non-wartime cash heist in history, has had his prison sentence increased from 10 years to 25, according to BBC News.
On February 22, 2006, Murray and a group of others broke into a Securitas cash depot in Tonbridge, Kent and escaped with the U.S. equivalent of $92.5 million in cash. A series of arrests soon followed and the British-born Murray was named as the mastermind of the crime.
Soares: No disrespect meant in UFC 123 post-fight exchange, still friends with Jackson
If there was anyone more shocked that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, himself, after the light heavyweight was awarded a split-decision win over Lyoto Machida, it may have been Ed Soares.
Machida's manager, Soares firmly believes his client had done enough in the first and third round to claim victory in this past Saturday's UFC 123 main event.
Soares was so convinced that the fight was scored incorrectly that he clearly could be seen on the evening's pay-per-view broadcast telling Jackson in no uncertain terms that he thought the wrong fighter's hand was raised.
Despite the brief exchange, Soares said there's no hard feelings between him and Jackson. In fact, quite the opposite is true.
Wanderlei Silva's Twitter Reveals Lawsuit With Former Trainer
In this age of litigation, it’s become commonplace for tight personal and professional relationships to end in lawsuits. Unfortunately, the world of MMA may not be immune to this epidemic.
Last Sunday, Wanderlei Silva's official Twitter account stated that his former personal trainer and close friend, Rafael Alejarra, is suing the former Pride ace over a business matter. Silva's verified account displayed two messages to its followers concerning the situation.
“I got a citation from the labor court of law of Porto Alegre. Who might have filed a labor suit against me in Porto Alegre?” said Silva's Twitter account in Portuguese.
Stated Silva's Twitter in another post: “I only had a physical trainer who I fed, housed and gave a car plus $4000 a month, working or not. How people are, huh? It was him.”
Jets Comeback Follows UFC Champion’s Speech
Count New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez among those impressed with UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
Edgar, who defeated B.J. Penn twice in the span of four months, provided a rousing pre-game speech prior to New York’s improbable come-from-behind victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday in East Rutherford, N.J. The Jets blew a 16-point second half lead and found themselves behind 27-23 with less than a minute left, needing a game-winning drive to stave off an embarrassing defeat.
Sanchez -- who threw for 315 yards and three touchdowns -- drove the Jets down the field and hit Santonio Holmes with a six-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds to go for the victory. He credited Edgar for some timely inspiration.
“The guy is barely taller than this podium, and this guy beat B.J. Penn in a UFC championship bout,” Sanchez said in a release. “Everybody counted him out. They wanted a rematch, and he went back and beat him even worse. Talk about a guy who is mentally tough and physically tough. He came in and spoke to the team [Saturday] night. It was a perfect time.”
EA Sports MMA taps out at retail
The numbers are in, and they are not pretty: EA Sports' first entry into the world of mixed martial arts videogames, EA Sports MMA, has failed to make an impact on the market despite decent reviews and excellent word-of-mouth.
The game sold just 45,000 units in its release month, according to an article at GameIndustry.biz that references a report by analyst Cowen & Company. To put this in perspective, the original UFC Undisputed 2009 sold over 1 million copies across PS3 and Xbox 360 in its first month of release according to market research firm NPD , and even the rather lukewarmly received 2010 edition managed 413,000. The poor sales do not seem to be limited to North America, either, as Chart Track numbers for PAL territories show the game failing to crack the top 20 in its debut week.
Strikeforce's Frank Shamrock joins charge against bullying
A former UFC, WEC and Strikeforce champion – not to mention a former interim King of Pancrase – MMA legend Frank Shamrock admits he hasn't had to worry too much about being bullied throughout his life.
That said, it's becoming very clear to him that he's in the minority.
"I didn't know there was this bullying going on because nobody has ever really bullied me," Shamrock told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). "It turns out everybody is getting bullied."
Shamrock officially announced his retirement from fighting earlier this year, but the 15-year veteran of the sport remains on with Strikeforce as a commentator and spokesperson for the promotion.
With his days of competition behind him, Shamrock said he believes it's now his responsibility to give back to the sport and community that have given so much to him.
"Martial arts saved my life and made me who I am," Shamrock said. "For me not to do spread that message would be wrong. That's my job.
Jonathan Goulet Decides To Hang Up His Gloves
French Canadian mixed martial artist Jonathan “The Road Warrior” Goulet has announced his decision to call it quits on his career. Goulet entered the UFC octagon nine times in his career and recorded a 4-5 record. On his career, Goulet earned himself a 23-12 record.
Nearing 50, Renaissance jock Herschel Walker breaks fitness rules
(CNN) -- Javier Mendez, a mixed martial arts trainer for 32 years, scoffed when he heard that retired NFL star Herschel Walker, who's nearing 50, wanted to compete in ultimate fighting. "Yeah, I didn't think he could do it," Mendez said. "I thought it was a joke." Walker had been out of football for 12 years. Aging football players tend to get flabby, play golf or relive the spotlight under "Dancing With the Stars."
Nevada Athletic Commission Modifies Drug Testing Policy, Joins Brain Study
The Nevada state athletic commission on Tuesday slightly modified its drug testing policy, requiring additional analysis to blood tests that may indicate use of performance-enhancing drugs.
During a meeting on the subject, NSAC moved to require hemoglobin and hematocrit tests, which can indicate blood doping or PED use. Fighters are already required to submit to annual blood tests for licensing with a focus on infectious diseases.
The hemoglobin and hematocrit tests would essentially test blood for for unusual levels of red blood cell percentages. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine's National Institute of Health, a normal test for men is between 40.7 and 50.3 percent while for women it's 36.1 to 44.3 percent.
EA MMA Video Game Review
I sat down and played the EA MMA demo for Xbox 360 for about an hour today. The demo comes with four playable characters - Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem, Bobby Lashley, Jason "Mayhem" Miller, and Jake Shields, a Fight Now mode, and an "MMA 101" tutorial. My thoughts below.
The character models are excellent. The four playable characters (Overeem, Lashley, Miller, and Shields) and two non-playable characters ("Big" John McCarthy and Jimmy Lennon Jr.) look fantastic. All the faces are recognizable, the body types are correct, and the textures have a lot of detail.
Basic striking with the right stick is fluid. I played a fair bit of the Fight Night series, so this wasn't completely jarring for me. Kicks are performed by using the left trigger as a modifier. Putting together combos felt natural. Everything felt intuitive, so while I by no means have mastered the striking system, I feel comfortable with it.
Grappling still sucks. Another MMA game, another disappointing grappling engine. The grappling system is simple: press "A" to improve position, press "B" to prevent your opponent from improving, press "X" to attempt a submission, and press "Y" to try disengage. While THQ's series uses the right stick for positional advancement, grappling ends up as the same back-and-forth improve/deny position game in EA MMA as well. Never mind that this isn't an accurate representation of real-life grappling, it just feels clunky and disjointed. I'm beginning to worry that a fun, fluid, and simple grappling system is out of reach.
Shaq Wants Hong Man Choi, Tito Ortiz For Televised MMA Fights
After NBA superstar Shaquille O'Neal made his his first public appearance as a newly signed Boston Celtic at this past weekend's UFC Fan Expo Boston 2010 at the Hynes Convention Center in "Shaqachussetts," could the "Big Shamrock" soon become the "Big Octagon?" If it's up to O'Neal, fantasy could become reality. While O'Neal told ESPN on Saturday that he would like to take a fight against Korean striker and fellow 7-footer Hong Man Choi, the future NBA Hall of Famer told fans at a special Q&A session earlier in the day that not only is he serious about the challenge, but he'd like to turn the opportunity into a television special. "I would train here for a month," O'Neal said. "Then I would go to Korea to train for a month, and then we fight. The name of the show would be called 'Pick on Somebody Your Own Size.' Hong Man Choi, I'm coming for you." Of course, if Choi's not game, O'Neal could wind up featuring MMA in a future episode of his ABC-broadcast series "Shaq Vs." Namely Shaq and one Tito Ortiz.