Zuffa, LLC - the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) - filed suit in Nevada district court on Friday, July 28th, claiming former PRIDE middleweight champion and UFC veteran Wanderlei Silva has committed 'intentional misconduct', claiming the Brazilian fighter defamed them as well as disparaged their business with comments where Silva alleged to have proof of the UFC engaging in the practice of fight fixing.
Zuffa alleges Silva has made "rambling and baseless complaints" against UFC, but they've largely ignored them. That changed, they claim in the lawsuit, on or about July 23rd when Silva posted a picture on Facebook of now-fired cutman Jacob Duran where (translated from Portugueuse) where Silva added commentary, claiming, "Fixed fights - and I can prove it! I haven't yet dropped the bomb. I haven't said everything I know!"
"Not content to defame the UFC in a single post, Silva apparently decided to double-down on scurrilous remarks," Zuffa's lawsuit alleges. "In a second post, published the same day, Silva continued his broadside attack: '[a]nd I'm going to fight until the end, to unmask those promoters, that are eluding people!! And cheating taking the dignity and the honor of our sport! It's turning into 'wwe telecte!!!'...With fight fights we have to stop Those guys, since this is the end of the line for us!!!"
Zuffa states media sites disseminated Silva's remarks in the United States and abroad, thereby not limiting his damages to mere domestic concerns.
The mixed martial arts promoter is claiming Silva has both defamed them and disparaged the business. They are seeking a range of punitive damages including, but not limited to, $10,000 in compensatory damages, punitive damages to be awarded at trial, attorney fees and more.
"Zuffa, LLC, dba the Ultimate Fighting Championship, filed suit against Wanderlei Silva in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas last evening based on the false and defamatory statements published by Mr. Silva last week," said Zuffa's attorneys in a statement. "The company will have no further comment on the matter at this time, and refers all inquiries to its counsel at the law firm Campbell & Williams."
The lawsuit can be read in its entirety here.