What Ray Borg’s Legal Team Can Learn From Ronda Rousey’s Contract Arbitration Ruling

This week it is reported that UFC Fighter Ray Borg is facing a lawsuit for allegations that he breached a contract with his former management team Wild Bunch Management, LLC.

MMAJunkie’s Steven Marrocco obtained a copy of the pleadings which can be found here.

The lawsuit alleges that Borg entered into a Fighter Management Agreement with Wild Bunch on August 1, 2013.  The Agreement ran for a period of three years coming to an end on August 1, 2016 “unless revoked in writing 90 days before the expiration of the contract“.

It is unclear from the Court filing whether Borg renewed the contract but presumably not.

The lawsuit notes that before the contract expired Wild Bunch secured a 5 bout contract with Zuffa (who own and run the UFC).  The first of the 5 bouts took place during the 3 year contract term, the last ones beyond it, but Wild Bunch allege they are owed “20% of Mr. Borg’s gross ring/cage earnings (including wins, show, and bonuses) totaling $9,999 or less, and 10% for any bonuses exceeding $10,000“.

Wild Bunch alleges Borg failed to pay them earnings from the last 4 bouts on the Zuffa contract.

The bouts in question are:

  • UFC 203
  • UFC 207
  • UFC Fight Night 106
  • UFC 216

Assuming the contract covers these bouts this is where Borg’s legal team can learn from Ronda Rousey’s 2014 contract arbitration.  Rousey was able to set aside a managers claim for a percentage of her fight earnings on the basis that they were not licensed managers in the State where her bouts took place.  The above events took place in various jurisdictions (Ohio, Nevada and Brazil).

Nevada, for example, requires managers seeking a percentage of fighters purses from that State to be licensed there and that “The Commission may refuse to honor a contract between a manager and an unarmed combatant unless it is filed with the Commission at least 72 hours before a scheduled contest or exhibition and it complies with the requirements of this section. The Commission will not honor a contract between a manager and an unarmed combatant if the term of the contract is for a period of more than 4 years.

Similarly, Ohio requires managers to be licensed noting “All contestants, managers and seconds shall be licensed as required by the rules in agency 3773 of the Administrative Code.”

If any manager wanting a piece of a fighters MMA earnings fails to be licensed in the jurisdiction where bouts took place they may face the same fate Rousey’s former mangers met in having their claim for a piece of her in-cage earnings dismissed.

I do not know in what jurisdictions Wild Bunch are licensed as managers but Borg’s legal team will undoubtedly be making relevant enquiries.

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