Archive for June, 2014

Although the mandatory use of gloves in Mixed Martial Arts was one step which helped bring the sport from its ‘human-cockfighting‘ stigma into greater mainstream acceptance, this requirement likely increased the incidence of brain trauma for the sport’s participants.

Gloves protect fighters’ fists from injuries and reduce superficial cuts to opponents but do little to protect an opponent from brain injury.  Given the greater understanding of the long term harm that accompanies head trauma, I decided to look at objective evidence of the greater rate of knockouts from punches in MMA with the addition of gloves.  In short, the knockout rate from punches increased from 1% to 10% after gloves became mandatory for the sport.  While I appreciate that correlation does not always prove causation this is, at the very least, a compelling statistic.

Methodology –

I reviewed the results from the numbered UFC events from UFC 1 to UFC 50.  Where only a KO was noted with no accompanying information as to the cause of the KO, I reviewed the bouts to determine if the KO was from punches or other strikes.  In the early tournament format UFC’s I excluded any alternate bouts as video footage was not readily accessible to review any ambiguously reported knockouts.  TKO stoppages were not included in this study.

Results –

Gloves became a required part of the sport at UFC 14.  For this reason the study broke these events down into two categories, the events from 1-13, and 14-50.  In the first 13 events a total of 101 bouts occurred.  Of these only 4 knockouts by punches were noted.  However, 3 of these occurred with the winner wearing gloves.  The only bout with a knockout stoppage noted from punches with the winner not wearing gloves occurred at UFC 3 with Harold Howard defeating Roland Payne with a KO at the 0:46 mark.

This leaves a margin of one glove-less knockout via punches out of 98 bouts, a frequency of about 1%.

Moving on to UFC 14 – UFC 50 the data reveals a total of 279 bouts.  Of these 27 ended via knockout noted by punches.  This is a total of approximately 10%, a tenfold increase in the rate of KO by punches.

Removing gloves from MMA will increase the rate of fractured hands and superficial lacerations to competitors.  “Bare knuckle” fighting is also likely to be met with resistance by government regulators so the likelihood of the removal of gloves from the sport is slim.  That said, the above shows that the removal of gloves from the sport can reduce head trauma.  If government and MMA stakeholders review the rules of the sport with brain injury in mind the data is fairly clear that gloves protect the hands, not the brain.

The Prestige Fight Club found themselves entangled in Canada’s criminal justice system after hosting an unsanctioned MMA event last year in Saskatchewan.

Following the event Criminal Charges were laid against two individuals involved for hosting an illegal prizefight contrary to section 83 of Canada’s Criminal Code.  In response the individuals charged sued the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Martial Arts Association, alleging that the SMAA was abusing its powers of oversight of amateur MMA in the Province.

In a press release issued today by Prestige, both the criminal and civil cases have reached a compromised end.  The Criminal charges ended by way of a conditional discharge (meaning a finding of guilt is made but no conviction is registered so long as the judicially imposed conditions are met.)   The conditions are reportedly to keep the peace for 90 days and further a charitable donation in lieu of a fine for several thousand dollars.  The Civil suit has apparently been dropped as well as part of the plea bargain reached with the Government.

It is also rumoured that the Province will strip the SMAA of their ability to oversee amateur MMA in the Saskatchewan.

The full press release reads as follows:


Prestige Fight Club MMA is happy to announce that they have reached a deal with the Saskatchewan Government in regards to charges laid in conjunction with Prestige’s September 28th, 2013 event. Charges stemmed from a new law created with the passing of Bill 209. Prestige Fight Club and the Saskatchewan Government have agreed that a conditional discharge would be in the best interest of all parties involved, thus best thing for the advancement of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in the Province.
Presiding Judge Kovatch , states he felt at no time did Prestige intentionally or maliciously try to break the law.

“We feel this is a huge victory for Prestige and for MMA” says Cord Crowthers who, along with Derek Daku, is a founding partner in Prestige Fight Club MMA. Crowthers states, “We have always felt that, if outside observers were given a chance to examine the facts, common sense would prevail and it would be obvious that no malicious intent was meant and no laws were premeditatedly broken.”

The discharge opens up the door for all promotors to move forward on a level playing field, and sets the stage for Prestige to apply for their license to host Saskatchewan’s first all Professional MMA event.

“We want to bring the best possible talent to the fans of Saskatchewan” says Daku. “That means from fighters from Saskatchewan, other parts of Canada and from around the World.” Crowthers goes on to say, “The Prestige Brand will be one of the biggest stages in Canadian MMA, and is looking to give the fans more than they could ever expected from an MMA event here at home!”

The second part of the deal is to start fresh and Crowthers & Daku have taken the initiative in doing just that by agreeing to stay their law suit against the Saskatchewan Government and the Saskatchewan Mixed Martial Arts Association(SMAA). With the same intent the Saskatchewan Government has ask for Prestige’s input in regards to helping with policy , while forming the new Pro Commission regulations and structure. Crowthers stated that their lawsuit was set in motion because “…we had no other option and our backs were up against the wall with the way events unfolded. This discharge, from all charges, allows Prestige to focus on what’s important and we have full expectations the Government wants the same. The goal now is to bring the best possible product to a very savvy market here in our Province.”

If the rumours are true, in regards to time frames, Prestige Fight Club MMA is looking to host their first professional show by the fall. Crowthers and Daku plan to keep the City of Weyburn as the home of Prestige and to host the Inaugural Professional event at Crecent Point Place.

“The city has been behind us from day one and we plan to show them our gratitude in a big way,” states Crowthers.

Prestige Fight Club MMA has hinted that they will be looking at new markets in Saskatchewan in the near future, but when pressed on whether or not they will look outside the Province, Daku says, “only time will tell.”


Update June 24, 2014 – the vote for the below bill has been postponed until July 14:


City of Vernon MMA Ban Vote Delayed






Last month I discussed Vernon, BC’s, plans to ban Mixed Martial Arts from their City.  The proposed law has now been drafted and is up for discussion and voting on June 23, 2014.

In short the law seeks to ban both professional and amateur MMA within City limits.  Those that break the law are exposed to a fine of up to $10,000 for “each day that the offence is continued“.

While the City is on sound footing in having the legal authority to ban professional MMA, the proposed ban on Amateur MMA is suspect and arguably outside the scope of the City’s powers given the legal framework the Federal Government and the Province have put together for the regulation of the sport.

The proposed law, Bylaw Number 5505, reads as follows:

WHEREAS section 59(1)(f) of the Community Charter authorizes Council to prohibit
professional boxing, professional wrestling and other professional athletic contests;
AND WHEREAS section 8(3)(i) of the Community Charter authorizes Council to prohibit
activities in relation to public health;
AND WHEREAS under section 2(1)(a) of the Private Health Bylaws Regulation (B.C.
Reg. 42/2004) a bylaw in relation to the protection, promotion or preservation of the
health of individuals must be deposited with the Minister of Health;
AND WHEREAS section 8(6) of the Community Charter authorizes Council to control,
inspect, limit and restrict business, including by establishing rules respecting what must
be done in relation to the business and business activities;
AND WHEREAS section 59(2) of the Community Charter provides that before adopting
a bylaw under section 8(6) or 59(1), Council must give notice of its intention as Council
considers reasonable, and provide an opportunity for persons who consider they are
affected by the bylaw to make representations to Council;
NOW THEREFORE the Council of the Corporation of the City of Vernon in open
meeting enacts as follows:
1. This bylaw shall be cited for all purposes as “City of Vernon Mixed Martial Arts
Bylaw Number 5505, 2014.
2. In this bylaw,
(a) “business” means carrying on a commercial activity or undertaking of any kind
or providing a service for the purpose of profit or gain;

(b) “contest” includes an exhibition;

(c) “matchmaker” means a person who arranges contests between particular
athletes for a mixed martial arts contest;
(d) “mixed martial arts” means unarmed combat between two or more persons
involving the use of a combination of techniques from other martial arts,
including, without limitation, grappling, kicking, striking and holding;
(e) “promoter” means a person who carries on a business in relation to mixed
martial arts;
(f) “second” means a person who assists an athlete between rounds in the
course of a mixed martial arts contest or exhibition.
Mixed Martial Arts
3. No person may engage as a contestant in a professional mixed martial arts
4. No person may engage as a contestant in an amateur mixed martial arts contest.
5. Without limiting section 3 or 4 or other forms of athletic contest, no person may
engage as a contestant in a mixed martial arts contest if the contest is or relates
to a business or business activity.
6. Without limiting sections 3, 4 or 5, or other forms of athletic contest, no person
may act as a promoter, matchmaker or second in a mixed martial arts contest or
exhibition if the contest or exhibition is or relates to a business activity.
Offences and Fines
7. (a) Every person who contravenes, suffers or permits any act or thing to be done
in contravention of, or neglects to do or refrains from doing anything required to
be done pursuant to any provision of this bylaw or any notice issued pursuant to
this bylaw, commits an offence punishable on summary conviction, and shall be
liable to a fine not exceeding the sum of $10,000.00.
(b) Where an offence is a continuing offence, each day that the offence is
continued shall constitute a separate and distinct offence.

8. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provisions of this bylaw shall not affect
the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this bylaw, which shall
remain in full force and effect.

In my ongoing efforts to highlight legal action taken against those accused of unlawfully accessing MMA Pay Per View products, reasons for judgement were released last week by the United States District Court, N.D. New York, assessing damages for the unlawful display of a UFC PPV Event by a commercial establishment.

In last week’s case (Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. Duke Bazzel Tobacco and Lounge, LLC) the Plaintiff, who held the “exclusive nationwide commercial distribution (closed-circuit) rights” to UFC 128 sued the Defendant alleging that they “unlawfully intercepted, received and displayed the Program at the time of its transmission at their commercial establishment“.  The Defendant failed to respond to the lawsuit and the Plaintiff received default judgement.

The Plaintiff sought over $160,000 in damages broken down as follows:

  • damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(3)(C)(ii) in the amount of $100,000
  • an award of statutory damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 553(c)(3)(A)(ii) in the amount of $10,000,
  • additional damages pursuant to 47 U.S.C. § 553(c)(3)(B) in the amount of $50,000,
  • an unspecified amount of damages for conversion.

The Court awarded damages far below the sought amount, at only $3,000 and did not award the Plaintiff their attorney fees.  In finding these far more modest damages were appropriate Senior District Judge Norman Mordue provided the following reasons:

Here, the evidence indicates that five individuals were in the establishment at the time of the Program. The total per-patron fee is therefore $274.75 ($54.95 × 5). According to plaintiff, based on a maximum occupancy of fifteen, the sub-license fee for the establishment would have been $900. Both amounts are less than basic statutory damages: $1,000. The Court therefore finds that an award of $1,000 reasonably reflects the injuries plaintiff suffered and achieves the deterrent purposes of the Federal Communications Act…

n this case, while there is no evidence of repeated violations or substantial monetary gains, the evidence shows that defendants never paid the required fees to receive or display the Program, charged its patrons an admission fee and displayed the Program illegally. Thus, the Court concludes defendants’ actions were willful. The most readily identifiable loss plaintiff sustained was the sub-license fee it would have received had defendants legitimately obtained rights to display the Program: $900. Therefore, plaintiff is entitled to an enhancement of the basic statutory damages.

In circumstances demonstrating such willful and purposeful violation, “`it is appropriate to assess enhanced damages in conjunction with statutory damages.'”135 Hunt Station Billiard, Inc., 2012 WL 4328355, at *5 (quoting J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Welch, No. 10-CV-159 (KAM), 2010 WL 4683744, at *5 (E.D.N.Y. Nov.10, 2010)). Courts in the Second Circuit typically fix the amount of enhanced damages as a multiple of two or three times the basic statutory damages award. Id.; see also, J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Zevallos, No. 10-CV-4049, 2011 WL 1810140, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Apr.22, 2011) (recommending an enhanced damages award of two times the basic statutory damages), adopted by 2011 WL 1807243 (E.D.N.Y. May 11, 2011); Joe Hand Promotions, Inc. v. La Nortena Rest. Inc., No. 10-CV-4965, 2011 WL 1594827, at *5 (E.D.N.Y. Mar.28, 2011) (same), adopted by 2011 WL 1598945 (E.D.N.Y. Apr.27, 2011). “When determining a proper amount of enhanced statutory damages, `courts have borne in mind that although the amount of damages should be an adequate deterrent, a single violation is not so serious as to warrant putting the restaurant out of business.'” Joe Hand Productions, Inc. v. Zafaranloo, NO. 12-CV-3828, 2013 WL 1330842, at *4 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2013) (quoting Kingvision Pay Per-View Ltd. v. Autar, 426 F. Supp.2d 59, 64 (E.D.N.Y. 2006) (internal quotation marks and alteration omitted)). Accordingly, the Court awards plaintiff $1,000 in basic statutory damages and $2,000 in enhanced statutory damages, for a total award of $3,000.

BC Amateur Kickboxing Rules Graphic




The BC Athletic Commission was provided with regulatory powers to oversee amateur kickboxing events via Order in Council 2013-342.  The Office now has a set of interim rules for this sport which have been provided to me.  These can be accessed here:

BCAC Interim Amateur Kickboxing Rules

I understand these will be modified soon with a finalized rule-set being published shortly.  Some of the anticipated changes will address age requirements and safety equipment.  I will update this post once this occurs.

Reasons for judgement were released this week by the US District Court, S.D. California, discussing if Zuffa was a necessary party to copyright litigation brought by their commercial distributor.  In short the answer was no.

In this week’s case (Joe Hand Promotions v. Bragg) the Defendants operated Henry’s Doghouse Bar and Grill in San Diego.  They allegedly broadcast UFC 154 without proper commercial licencing.  The Plaintiff had the exclusive commercial exhibition licensing rights to the event and sued the Defendant for Damages.  The Defendant argued that the claim should be dismissed because Zuffa, the owner of the copyright protected broadcast, was not a party in the lawsuit.  The Court dismissed this argument finding Zuffa was not a necessary party and a commercial distributor of copyright protected content has standing to sue.  In reaching this conclusion the Court provided the following reasons:

Defendants argue this action must be dismissed because Plaintiff failed to join necessary parties, namely Zuffa, LLC (“Zuffa”) and DirecTV. In support of this argument, Defendants claim the Doghouse Bar obtained a license and subscription from DirecTV to display commercial content at the Doghouse Bar (“Commercial Viewing Agreement”). (Mot. at p. 2 & Exhibit 6.) Thereafter, Defendants ordered theProgram from DirecTV pursuant to the Commercial Viewing Agreement. (Mot. at Exhibits 6 and 7.) Based on filings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Defendants also claim that Zuffa is the exclusive copyright holder of the Program.(Mot. at p. 4.)

Defendants argue Zuffa is a “necessary party” because, as the exclusive copyright holder, Zuffa is the only party with standing to sue. (Mot. at p. 24.) However, as discussed earlier, Zuffa is not the only party with standing to sue, and therefore must not be joined on that basis. Defendants further assert Zuffa must be joined because “it has a direct legal interest in the alleged infringement of its copyright in the CONTENT.” (Mot. at p. 24.) Similarly, Defendants argue DirecTV is a “necessary party” because it has a direct legal interest in (1) “the alleged infringement [of] the product it distributed via its exclusive electronic closed circuit system,” and (2) “ensuring the product it sells is free of infringement claims under the California Uniform Commercial Code.” (Mot. at p. 24.)

DirecTV and Zuffa are not indispensible parties to this case. Courts have routinely declined to find the cable or satellite provider or copyright holder to be an indispensable party in Section 553 and Section 605 actions. See J&J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Live Oak County Post No. 6119 Veterans of Foreign Wars, 2009 WL 483157, at *4 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 24, 2009) (finding DirecTV is not an indispensable party and denying defendant’s motion to dismiss); J & J Sports Prods., Inc. v. Coyne, 2011 WL 227670, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 24, 2011) (striking affirmative defense of failure to join indispensable party with prejudice as legally insufficient); Nat’l Satellite Sports v. Gianikos, 2001 WL 35675430, at *2-3 (S.D. Ohio June 21, 2001) (finding complete relief can be afforded to plaintiff in the absence of the provider Time Warner). Moreover, Plaintiff has alleged it had an exclusive contractual right to commercial distribution of the Program. (Complaint at ¶ 18.) Defendants bear the burden of persuasion and they have not persuaded the Court that DirecTV and Zuffa have any legal interest in the infringement of the Program or that the ability of DirecTV and Zuffa to protect any possible legal interest will be impaired or impeded if they are not joined in this matter. Accordingly, the Court finds Zuffa and DirecTV are not indispensible parties warranting dismissal of this action.

Update February 17, 2016 as reported by Fox Sports, the NSAC has revisited their punishment of Silva as directed by the Nevada courts and have substituted Silva’s lifetime ban with a 3 year suspension.  They further overturned the $70,000 fine.

Update May 18, 2015 – Here is a link to the full Court judgement 

Update May 18, 2015 – ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reports that the lifetime ban has been overturned.  Here are his tweets:

Bret Okamoto Tweets re Silva

Update April 22, 2014 – the Court’s decision is expected to be handed down on May 11, 2015.  The parties full court submission can be found here.

Update March 6, 2015 – the Commission has now filed their answering brief arguing that they have the right to test unarmed combatants out of competition, even if they are not presently licensed, if a bout involving that athlete is being promoted in their jurisdiction and further discipline such an athlete.  It can be found here.

Update – January 20, 2015 – Silva has now filed his Memorandum of Points and Authorities setting out arguments in support of his claim for judicial review.  The full document can be found here.

Update September 23, 2014 – the NSAC has dismissed Silva’s motion challenging their jurisdiction and in doing so failed to give any reasons whatsoever in clarifying why they feel they have jurisdiction.  Silva’s lawyer plans on appealing and this matter now appears headed for judicial review.

Silva Appeal Tweet


MMA Junkie reports that the Nevada State Athletic Commission has called Wanderlei Silva to appear at the NSAC’s June 17 meeting “to address his alleged refusal to take a random drug test.”.

The report goes on to note that the NSAC “will review the case and decide whether any administrative actions will be taken.”.  The reality, however, is that the NSAC’s options for administrative action are limited in these circumstances.

At the time of the refusal, Silva was not licensed with the NSAC.  This limits the NSAC’s options drastically.  In fact, if Silva does not apply for a licence, they have no jurisdiction to take any disciplinary action.

The NSAC’s drug testing powers arise from NAC 467.850(5) which reads as follows “An unarmed combatant shall submit to a urinalysis or chemical test if the Commission or a representative of the Commission directs him or her to do so.”  Although the definition of  ‘unarmed combatant‘ does not expressly require the fighter to be currently licensed, when it comes to administrative penalties being a licencee is a requirement.

Specifically, NAC 467.850(6), which deals with penalties for those who violate Nevada’s anti-doping rules, provides that “A licensee who violates any provision of this section is subject to disciplinary action by the Commission.”

Since Silva was not a “licensee” at the time of refusal the Commission does not have jurisdiction to trigger disciplinary action.  The only power the Commission seems to have is spelled out in NAC 467.082 which states that “The Commission may deny the application of an applicant if it finds that the applicant has performed any act which would, if performed by a licensee, subject the licensee to discipline pursuant to NAC 467.885.”  and with NAC 467.087 requiring that “Any applicant who has been denied a license by the Commission may not file a similar application until 1 year after denial by the Commission, unless the Commission specifies otherwise at the time of denial.”

The bottom line is that unless Silva applies for a Nevada licence there seems to be little the Commission can do.  If he does apply they can deny his application and keep him from reapplying for one year.


Update – June 18, 2014 – Silva has now appeared at the NSAC hearing admitting to taking a prohibited substance and avoiding testing, below is the video

NMAC logo








Following his recent controversial split decision loss to Diego Sanchez at UFC Fight Night, Ross Pearson is appealing the result to New Mexico’s Athletic Commission.

Despite popular opinion that the decision was simply wrong, the reality is that the NMAC is unlikely to overturn the result even if they side with the public’s views.  Judges getting it wrong simply is not enough.  The appeal’s process is governed by New Mexico’s Professional Athletic Competition Act, Rules and Regulations which does allow the NMAC to overturn a judges decision, however the criteria to do so are strict and unlikely to be met.

Section govern and read as follows:             CHANGE OF DECISION:

A.          Reasons Decisions May Be Changed: A decision rendered at the termination of any bout is final and cannot be changed unless the commission determines that any one of the following situations has occurred.

(1)     Collusion: That there was collusion affecting the results of any bout.

(2)     Scoring error: That an error occurred in the compilation of the judges scorecards that would indicate that the official decision had been awarded to the wrong contestant.

(3)     Violation of rules and regulations: That there was a clear violation of the rules and regulations governing the sanctioning of martial arts bouts that affected the result of the bout.

Incorrect judging simply is not a criteria.  The reality is that the decision is likely to stay.  If the NMAC finds the decision was wrong their only real remedy relates to the licencing of the official.  Ross Pearson, on the other hand, likely needs to live with the decision.


Update – June 18, 2014MMAFighting reports, as expected, that the judges decision will remain intact as “there is nothing in the commission’s rules or statutes that allows them to reverse a controversial decision.”.

COMMAND Class Photo








I had the privilege of attending John McCarthy’s and Jerin Valel’s COMMAND MMA Judge training course this weekend in Richmond, BC.  The experience is invaluable in providing insight into the complexity of judging an MMA bout with integrity.  Whether you aspire to become an MMA judge or are simply a fan of the sport it’s a great experience that I highly recommend.

One of the points stressed by John was that MMA needs not just better judging but also more 10-8 rounds.  A lesson I took away is that a contributing factor to this problem is a gap in the Unified Rules judging criteria that needs to be addressed.

During the course various bouts were displayed and the class participants were asked to score the rounds and justify their decision.  The attendees, largely comprised of MMA officials, combatants and gym owners, were divided on many bouts and the reasons for the split opinions were often well articulated.  After watching this unfold several times it became clear that the heart of the dispute often came down to a gap in wording (and therefore application) of the Unified Rules.  In short, there is a gap that can be addressed of when 10-9 and 10-8 rounds should be awarded.

The Rules require 10-9 rounds to be used when “a contestant wins by a close margin“.  Standing on its own this criteria is simple enough.

When you get to the 10-8 round, however, the problem becomes evident.  The 10-8 round is to be used when a “contestant overwhelmingly dominates” their opponent.  Do you see the problem?  There is a lot of middle ground between winning a round by a “close margin” and “overwhelming domination“.  How do you score a decisive round that is neither close nor overwhelmingly dominant?  This leaves a lot of discretion for judges to either be overly liberal or overly conservative in awarding 10-8’s.

A step in the right direction may come with an addition to the Rules.  If the Rules are amended to call for 10-8’s in situations where a combatant wins by a ‘clear or decisive margin‘ this can fill the gap and lead to the consistent (and far more frequent) scoring of 10-8 rounds.  10-7’s can then be reserved for overwhelming domination.

If implemented this can help address unfair results where one combatant squeaks out a few close rounds and is awarded a victory over an opponent who wins the remaining round in a far more decisive fashion.

There is much consensus in the MMA community that the current scoring system can use improvement and that 10-8 rounds need to become far more frequent.  While the above suggestion would not in itself change the landscape, if the ABC adopted this rule change it would send a strong message to MMA officials and help move things in the right direction.


In my ongoing efforts to highlight legal action taken against those  accused of unlawful use of MMA Pay Per View products, reasons for judgement were released last week by the United States District Court, E.D. California, addressing an application for enforcement of a default judgement.

In last week’s case (Joe Hand Promotions v. Sorondo) the Plaintiff had the exclusive commercial exhibition licensing rights to World Extreme Cagefighting: Jose Aldo v. Urijah Faber.  They sued the Defendant, a pub in California, for  unlawfully intercepting, receiving, and exhibiting the Program.  The Defendant failed to respond to the lawsuit and default judgement for $12,900 was granted.

Some 3 years later, the Plaintiff was attempting to execute the judgement against the Defendants property.  Although the Plaintiff’s application was dismissed for technical reasons, it was done so without prejudice meaning the Plaintiff could bring a further application correcting the deficient evidence and get on with collections procedures.

There are at least three lessons to gain from this decision, the first is that Joe Hand Promotions will go after assets to satisfy their legal judgement, the second is that the passage of time is no assurance of safety as today’s case demonstrates on going collections efforts years after the fact.  Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this case demonstrates that failing to respond to a lawsuit is not a good strategy as it resulted in a hefty default judgement which perhaps could have been contested on the merits.