In the battle between boxing and mixed martial arts, Shine Fights suffered an early defeat today (May 15) when the courts ruled in favor of Don King Productions (DKP), who filed an injunction earlier this week to try and stop the "Worlds Collide: Mayorga vs. Thomas" pay-per-view main event from Fayetteville, North Carolina.
King and his band of merry men argued that Mayorga was under an exclusive promotional agreement with DKP and that his fight against "Dinyero" put the former pugilist in breach of contract.
Shine Fights CEO Devin Price was confident that Mayorga was being employed and promoted legally, based on the distinction between boxing and mixed martial arts. He argued that DKP represents "El Matador" for the former, and Shine Fights for the latter.
Unfortunately Broward Country Circuit Court Judge Marc C. Gold did not agree.
James Kimball here with an update: As much as it makes absolutely zero sense, who didn't see this move coming by Shine Fights?
Shine Fights' PR representative Phil Lanides was quoted as saying the following: "Official position at this point is that we're still going forward."
If Shine Fights maintains this stance, there will undoubtedly be some serious legal repercussions to pay. Two quick schools of thought on this; either Shine has no idea of what kind of trouble they will likely find themselves in if they ignore the ruling as they will of course subsequently hear from Don King's lawyers.
Or, as SB Nation's Brent Brookhouse points pout, Shine is just posturing to sell pay-per-views, and will cancel the main event bout once the card is already under way.
Update 2: MMA Fighting spoke to Don King Productions lawyer Alex Brito:
"The judge made it abundantly clear that if anybody ignores this ruling there will be sanctions imposed, and there will be severe penalties. I would have to assume that they're going to honor the court's ruling and whatever statements they've made to the contrary are not reflective of what they actually intend to do.
We're going to be essentially prosecuting the claim of breach of contract by Mr. Mayorga and the claim of interference with that contract by Shine Fights. We'll need to pursue those claims going forward as we would in other case."
Oh, the drama. Who's gonna give in first?
Update 3: It's official. Shine Fights has come to their senses and canceled the main event contest featuring Ricardo Mayorga and Din Thomas.
Shine Fights announcer Karyn Bryant reported the news a short while ago.
The Murilo "Ninja" Rua vs. David Heath fight will now serve as the card's headliner.
The show's over folks. Everybody can go home now... or at least turn your full attention to Strikeforce: "Heavy Artillery."
Update 4: Talk about foreshadowing. As I ended the last update with 'the show's over folks,' I was of course just referring to the circus that was Don King vs. Shine Fights as it related to the main event. Now, well, the show is literally over.
Shine Fights announcer Karyn Bryant recently reported that the North Carolina commission has scrapped the entire event.
MMAmania.com will bring you Shine Fights' official statement regarding this amazingly peculiar/embarrassing/Don Kingified situation.
MMAmania.com correspondent James Kimball contributed to this report.