According to reports, Bellator Fighting Championships has filed a lawsuit in New Jersey against Zuffa, LLC, the parent company of the UFC and WEC. Coincidentally, Bellator’s suit comes nearly two weeks after Zuffa took legal action against the start-up mixed martial arts company for allegedly using confidential Octagon documents and trade secrets to try and replicate their success.
MMAJunkie.com claims that “The Ultimate Fighter 12″ cast member Jonathan Brookins joined the popular reality series while still under an exclusive contract with Bellator.
Brookins and his manager Mickey Dubberley were also named as defendants in today’s suit.
The youngster holds an respectable 11-3 professional record and steamrolled Stephen Ledbetter in his only appearance for Bellator back in April 2009. Brookins then collected two impressive wins under the G-Force Fights banner, however Bellator contends they specifically approved each of those scraps.
Although, Bellator claims neither Brookins nor Dubberley requested permission from them to appear on TUF 12. Not only did they not mention the lightweight tournament, but the suit states that Dubberley actually lied to Bellator brass about his client’s health status.
“We’ve been offering [Brookins] fights, and hindsight being 20-20, we were lied to by his management saying he was injured and couldn’t accept fights,” Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney today told the website. “We find out afterward he was filming and fighting on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ – that he made the show and was in the house.”
Dubberley was unaware of the lawsuit when contacted by MMAJunkie, however emphasized that Brookins has done nothing wrong. He claims they were granted a verbal release by Bellator matchmaker Sam Caplan.
Blasphemy, states Rebney.
“That is a complete and total fabrication that couldn’t be further from the truth,” Rebney said. “Sam has been repeatedly trying to get Jonathan to accept fights. We’ve been told he was injured. We were lied to.