MMA Weekly is reporting that multiple fighters under contract to PRIDE and it’s parent company, Dream Stage Entertainment, are planning to file a class action lawsuit against the company for an undisclosed amount of money.
According to sources that have spoken with MMA Weekly, DSE originally requested that fighters under contract with PRIDE at the same time of the proposed sale of the company to the Fertitta brothers transfer their contracts over to the newly created PRIDE FC Worldwide. Apparently most of the fighters refused to do so.
In order to counter this movement, DSE has supposedly been threatening to keep those fighters that refused to transfer their deals under contract until the organization officially is sold or collapses, which in reality could take up to 2-3 years.
Here’s where the whole court thing comes into play:
The class action lawsuit is intended to enable the Pride fighters to either be released from their current contracts and allow them to move on to compete in other MMA organizations; or to be paid for lost wages, training wages (many of the fighters were already preparing for upcoming bouts), and wages surrounding two cancelled Pride shows.
Those involved believe DSE has no intention of running anymore shows under the “Pride” label, but many of the fighters under contract were signed exclusively to Pride, with the only provision that would allow them out of the contracts being to show just cause as to why they should be released and allowed to pursue outside interests.
It sounds to me that the fighters have a case and that DSE is going to lose this one. Zach Arnold of Fight Opinion has been on top of this ordeal from the start and his thoughts also give shine light on the fact that the fighters may have a great chance to win because of the type of contracts they had…
If this information is accurate, it reflects positively upon what I have been arguing online for a couple of months now — that the deals PRIDE fighters had with DSE were personal service contracts. PSCs are deals that usually not transferrable to third parties in asset sales. Meaning, if DSE sold the PRIDE assets to UFC, the PRIDE fighters would technically be free agents because the PSCs are not enforceable in court.
Stay right here for the latest on this situation…
Next entry: Chuck Liddell on Jim Rome