Report: Couture Joins HDNet Fights; Seeks Dismissal in Zuffa Case

Photo courtesy of ProElite.

HDNet Fights has reportedly entered into a contractual agreement with current UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture which will have the promotion attempt to set up a showdown between Couture and top ranked heavyweight Fedor Emelianenko later this year.

The news comes from a report by Adam Swift of Sherdog and MMA Payout, who states that the deal will likely go into effect at the time of the expiration of Couture’s promotional contract with Zuffa. Without some sort of deal in place, a Texas court will likely throw out HDNet Fights suit filed against the UFC’s parent company last week.

The lawsuit, which was filed by HDNet Fights owner and popular billionaire Mark Cuban, was made in hopes of earning a declaratory judgment concerning the contractual status of Couture when it comes to his promotional contract (the deal that dictates where Couture can fight).

The declaratory judgement will hopefully provide Cuban with an exact date as to when Couture’s contract expires with the UFC, if it expires at all.

It is interesting to note in Cuban’s claims against Zuffa that he points out “indefinite employment restrictions” such as the ones set forth against Couture by Dana White and company since his resignation from the organization last fall are against the law.

In related news, Couture has also requested the dismissal of the pending lawsuit Zuffa filed against him last month according to Brian Knapp of The Fight Network.

The lawsuit cites that Couture has made negative comments about the promotion and those involved with it’s management. They also stated that the comments have caused “irreparable damage” and that he has breached the employment contract he signed with the company.

Basically the lawsuit was filed because Randy’s Xtreme Couture gym will be fielding a team that will compete at the IFL’s next event in Las Vegas on Friday, February 29th. The UFC is claiming that Randy’s gym being involved with the IFL is a direct violation of his contract with the UFC.

The lawsuit will also attempt to collect up to $10,000 in damages from Couture and seek a restraining order that will prevent Couture from being involved with any other organizations that compete against the UFC.

The motion will be heard on Tuesday, March 25th.

Couture believes that one of the promotion’s ideas in filing a lawsuit against him is to attempt to have him spend so much money on legal proceedings that he will have to come back and fight for them.

“It’s unfortunate that things have kind of degraded to that point,” Couture said in a recent interview with MMA Weekly. I’m sure that’s part of their ploy, to force me to spend enough money that I’ll have to come back and fight for them, which isn’t the case.”


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