Thursday, May 13, 2010

MMA and the Legal Injunction: A Fond Look Back

Don King filed an injuction against Shine Fights to stop boxer Ricardo Mayorga - whom he manages in boxing - from facing Din Thomas in an MMA bout.  All arguments as to whether King's injunction has merit aside, what's noteworthy here is that a simple sheaf of documents could sink a pay-per-view mere days before its scheduled date.  Thus is the power of the legal injunction.  And though MMA's history is a short one, it's a history rife with broken contracts, copyright infringements and countless other court-based fisticuffs.  What are some of the more noteworthy legal actions taken in mixed martial arts?  MMA Journalist has compiled a list!

Zuffa v. US Department of Transportation – If 16 years of UFC action has taught us anything, it’s that the “Superbowl of Mixed Martial Arts” will sue the pants off of anyone who dares use an eight-sided cage.  But Zuffa has absolutely no compunctions about going after anyone employing literally anything with eight-sides, which has led to lawsuits against such children shows as Sesame Street and Yo Gabba Gabba (for their episodes centering around shapes), as well as against the US Department of Transportation for their use of the stop sign.  Although six local Las Vegas judges in have ruled in Zuffa’s favor, the US District Court and the US Court of Appeals have denied the injunction against the Department of Transportation.  The US Supreme Court may still weigh in on the matter.

United States Equestrian Federation v. Alistair Overeem – The US Equestrian Federation loves horses, and Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem loves horse meat.  Put to the two together and you have a legal injunction that forbids the Golden Glory fighter from coming within two miles of such events as the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes.  After all, if his massive size and physique doesn’t come from steroids but instead comes from eating steeds and ponies (as he claims), then Overeem must go through about a horse a day.  To the US Equestrian Federation, that simply will not do, hence the restraining order.

Food and Drug Administration v. Paulo Filho – The Food and Drug Administration is tasked with regulating prescription drugs, and to them, former Pride star and ex-WEC champ Paulo Filho is practically a walking pharmacy.  Thus, whenever Filho attempts to re-enter the United States, the FDA has agents meet him at the border – not to arrest or detain him, but to just marvel at the fact that someone so whacked out and unreliable can somehow still book fights.  This tact has so far worked well in keeping the Brazilian out of the country, but if he at some point does make it in, there’s a legal injunction in place that would keep fans and fighters alike from taking him seriously.

American Medical Association v. Andrei Arlovski – Nine out of ten doctors agree that Andrei Arlovski has taken far too many hard blows to the head, with five of those same doctors conceding that at this point he’s in danger of getting knocked out when faced with someone with just a simple case of bad breath.  Consequently, the AMA has filed an injunction that would mandate his use of a foam helmet for whenever he fights, with past opponents Fedor Emelianenko and Brett Rogers going on record to voice their support of the legal requirement.  Said Emelianenko: “Da.”

Worldwide Karate Organization v. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua’s right hand – The stated mission of the Worldwide Karate Organization is to “promote the belief and practice of karate as a viable form of unarmed combat”.  Unfortunately, after Saturday night’s UFC 113 and the abrupt destruction of Shotokan practitioner Lyoto Machida, that mission’s viability took a serious blow.  Thus, the Worldwide Karate Organization has filed an injunction against Shogun’s right hand, asking that the courts ban its use against any MMA competitor who practices blocks and katas instead of learning how to box.

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