Last week we posted a story on Fedor Emelianenko's representatives at M-1 Global, filing a lawsuit against Affliction over the cancelation of "Trilogy" this past summer. In the suit, M-1 alleges that Affliction canceled the event, but Brett Rogers was ready, willing and able to fill in for Josh Barnett as a last minute replacement.
MMAPayout.com reports that Affliction filed a motion in civil court to dismiss the lawsuit. Tom Atencio, who served as the face of the promotion, responded to M-1's lawsuit by saying Affliction would not be shaken down by the "Russian visitors:"
"Affliction landed a serious blow to the Fedor and M-1 lawsuit by filing a motion to dismiss in federal court in response to the Russians’ complaint only eight days after being served. . . . The counter by Affliction goes to show Affliction does not intend to rollover and be extorted by the Russian visitors and how frivolous and meritless Affliction considers the allegations of their complaint."
David Wolf also gave us insight on both sides of the lawsuit, presenting their arguments in the most simple form for those of us without law degrees:
"Although the complaint itself is quite complex, it actually can be easily summarized in lay terms. Fedor had a three-fight contract with Affliction, and fought two of the three fights, and agreed to fight Josh Barnett to close the contract. Barnett failed a steroids test, Affliction had discussions with prospective replacements for Barnett (e.g., Vitor Belfort and Brett Rogers) but ultimately reached an agreement with UFC that would permit Affliction to once again sponsor UFC fighters so long as it agreed to exit the promotion game. All contracts have what is called an implied covenant of good faith, and Fedor argues that Affliction, instead of satisfying its obligation of booking a third fight for Fedor by finding a suitable replacement for Barnett, chose the path of least resistance by returning to UFC and canceling the third show altogether, leaving the contracts with Fedor unsatisfied."
This is a rather unique case because when most promotions go out of business, they have no money to fight a lawsuit or for fighters to actually win in court, so it's a losing battle.
In Affliction's case they still have a clothing line and cash flow coming in, or so it would appear at first. Affliction "Clothing" and Affliction "Entertainment" are two separate companies as was pointed out in the Kim Couture lawsuit against Todd Beard and Affliction. We do not know if the clothing company can be sued for damages caused by the promotion, but you never know what is possible.
We don't know how this is going to play out in the future, but as usual we will keep you up to date on how it goes down.