‘Formerly promoted’ - Has World Series of Fighting been transferred or folded?

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Dave Insurgent

Johnny hates to think, he's ignorant
Jan 11, 2016
13,200
13,205


MMAWC, LLC filed a lawsuit on Monday in Clark County District Court describing itself as the “Las Vegas-based company that formerly promoted professional events in the sport of mixed martial arts,” seemingly suggesting that either a new entity has acquired WSOF assets or WSOF’s days as an MMA promoter are over.

MMAWC along with Bruce Deifik, who Bloody Elbow previously reported as MMAWC’s majority owner, are suing ACAK Irrevocable Trust, Shawn Lampman, Sally Story (Lampman’s mother and ACAK trustee), Ralph Lampman (Shawn’s brother), Aymet Roman-Perez, and Arthur LaFond for civil conspiracy and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Most of the named defendants have sued WSOF and/or Deifik in the past eight months. In June 2016, Shawn Lampman’s brother Ralph sued WSOF for allegedly violating the terms of a $321,000 bridge loan. In July 2016, Arthur LaFond sued WSOF and Deifik for allegedly violating an agreement involving domain name purchases and management. In August 2016, Shawn Lampman’s former girlfriend Aymet Roman-Perez sued WSOF and Deifik for fraudulent inducement and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the sale of her 1.5% ownership stake in the promotion. And in January 2017, Shawn Lampman sued Deifik, WSOF, and NBC Sports for an alleged scheme to “actively oust” Lampman from involvement in WSOF’s management.

Deifik’s lawsuit centers around the contractual language of his May 5, 2015 purchase of ACAK’s 26.19 member units in MMAWC and an alleged May 6, 2016 settlement agreement with ACAK and Story. According to Deifik, the ACAK purchase agreement allegedly included a release from all claims and potential liabilities and a covenant not to sue, while the purported settlement agreement allegedly warranted that ACAK had no ownership rights to MMAWC.

According to the complaint:

Notwithstanding prior releases and covenants not to sue, between June 2016 and up to and including January 2017, the ACAK family members and friends filed a series of coordinated and concerted demand for payment lawsuits against MMAWC and the Deifik Parties. The ulterior purpose of the coordinated demands and claims is to commit unlawful acts, including, among other things, extortion, conversion, and the infliction of economic duress to coerce payments and interfere with MMAWC's business, interests, and business transactions.

Deifik is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, but the biggest news is the wording that MMAWC is “f/k/a [formerly known as]” WSOF and “formerly promoted” professional MMA events. What could make MMAWC a former MMA promoter? The two most obvious answers – with dramatically different consequences for fighters and fans – would seem to be (1) MMAWC’s WSOF assets were transferred to another business entity or (2) WSOF has folded.

Considering WSOF’s cancellation of two events late last year, the bleak prospects for the performance of WSOF’s New Year’s Eve show in New York City, the recent postponement of WSOF 35 from February to March, and allegations of financial issues in court documents as well as the rumor mill, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if WSOF met its demise. But an event postponement could also make sense if another entity has acquired its assets, especially if there’s a new investor onboarding people onto the management team.

Either way, something appears to have happened at the oft-maligned MMA promotion.

E-mail and voice messages for WSOF President Ray Sefo were not returned as of this writing. On Thursday, former WSOF Vice President and current MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz messaged Bloody Elbow, “I just you know don’t thank [sic] wsof done at all all my guys have fights coming up soon.”

Has WSOF been transferred or folded?
 

TedCzech

Ted Czech
Jan 11, 2016
799
1,227


MMAWC, LLC filed a lawsuit on Monday in Clark County District Court describing itself as the “Las Vegas-based company that formerly promoted professional events in the sport of mixed martial arts,” seemingly suggesting that either a new entity has acquired WSOF assets or WSOF’s days as an MMA promoter are over.

MMAWC along with Bruce Deifik, who Bloody Elbow previously reported as MMAWC’s majority owner, are suing ACAK Irrevocable Trust, Shawn Lampman, Sally Story (Lampman’s mother and ACAK trustee), Ralph Lampman (Shawn’s brother), Aymet Roman-Perez, and Arthur LaFond for civil conspiracy and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

Most of the named defendants have sued WSOF and/or Deifik in the past eight months. In June 2016, Shawn Lampman’s brother Ralph sued WSOF for allegedly violating the terms of a $321,000 bridge loan. In July 2016, Arthur LaFond sued WSOF and Deifik for allegedly violating an agreement involving domain name purchases and management. In August 2016, Shawn Lampman’s former girlfriend Aymet Roman-Perez sued WSOF and Deifik for fraudulent inducement and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the sale of her 1.5% ownership stake in the promotion. And in January 2017, Shawn Lampman sued Deifik, WSOF, and NBC Sports for an alleged scheme to “actively oust” Lampman from involvement in WSOF’s management.

Deifik’s lawsuit centers around the contractual language of his May 5, 2015 purchase of ACAK’s 26.19 member units in MMAWC and an alleged May 6, 2016 settlement agreement with ACAK and Story. According to Deifik, the ACAK purchase agreement allegedly included a release from all claims and potential liabilities and a covenant not to sue, while the purported settlement agreement allegedly warranted that ACAK had no ownership rights to MMAWC.

According to the complaint:

Notwithstanding prior releases and covenants not to sue, between June 2016 and up to and including January 2017, the ACAK family members and friends filed a series of coordinated and concerted demand for payment lawsuits against MMAWC and the Deifik Parties. The ulterior purpose of the coordinated demands and claims is to commit unlawful acts, including, among other things, extortion, conversion, and the infliction of economic duress to coerce payments and interfere with MMAWC's business, interests, and business transactions.

Deifik is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, but the biggest news is the wording that MMAWC is “f/k/a [formerly known as]” WSOF and “formerly promoted” professional MMA events. What could make MMAWC a former MMA promoter? The two most obvious answers – with dramatically different consequences for fighters and fans – would seem to be (1) MMAWC’s WSOF assets were transferred to another business entity or (2) WSOF has folded.

Considering WSOF’s cancellation of two events late last year, the bleak prospects for the performance of WSOF’s New Year’s Eve show in New York City, the recent postponement of WSOF 35 from February to March, and allegations of financial issues in court documents as well as the rumor mill, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if WSOF met its demise. But an event postponement could also make sense if another entity has acquired its assets, especially if there’s a new investor onboarding people onto the management team.

Either way, something appears to have happened at the oft-maligned MMA promotion.

E-mail and voice messages for WSOF President Ray Sefo were not returned as of this writing. On Thursday, former WSOF Vice President and current MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz messaged Bloody Elbow, “I just you know don’t thank [sic] wsof done at all all my guys have fights coming up soon.”

Has WSOF been transferred or folded?
Wow that is one tangled mess of legal shit. Sounds like it's time to call it a wrap. Not really that surprising since they started canceling shows lately ... Feel for all the fighters man, but silver lining, hopefully Gaethje can get signed by either UFC, Bellator or RIZIN.
 

LawFitz

Fantasy Fighter
Nov 18, 2015
532
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Who else besides Gaethje would be considered a top young prospect in WSOF?
 

stielar

Posting Machine
Dec 30, 2015
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I have never watched one of their fights. However, I know Blagoi Ivanov fought there and Bellator MUST acquire him, it would be a great addition to their hw tournament. CutmanMatt @CutmanMatt

Hey doesn't Jimmy Smith have an account here anymore? I tried to tag him and I couldn't.
 

Wild

TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
Admin
Dec 31, 2014
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Scott Coker needs to negotiate hard for Gaethje & then put the machine behind him. He will put butts in seats with his style.
 

sparkuri

Pulse On The Finger Of The Community
First 100
Jan 16, 2015
24,216
36,328
Scott Coker needs to negotiate hard for Gaethje & then put the machine behind him. He will put butts in seats with his style.
Yeah he does, and Marlon too.
Buscape, Hill, Palomino, Lance and several others would all add depth as well.
Fitch, Shields and the like are a different story. They may be better fits in Onefc
 

Clappin'Daddys

Posting Machine
Sep 9, 2015
2,529
3,563
Scott Coker needs to negotiate hard for Gaethje & then put the machine behind him. He will put butts in seats with his style.
I wouldn't count on either of them going to bellator. They are making some serious dough with wsof, and I'm sure wsof isn't seeing any return on either man. Aren't they making like 100k to show and win?

Don't get me wrong, they are legit talent, but they don't draw. They will have to take pay cuts to get into either UFC or Bellator. I'd love to seem them get paid tho
 

Chromium

Posting Machine
Oct 10, 2016
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1,272
Who else besides Gaethje would be considered a top young prospect in WSOF?
Marlon Moraes even more than Gaethje.

As for who in the WSoF would be good pick-ups for the UFC or Bellator, I got:
HW: Blagoi Ivanov, Shawn Jordan ,Caio Alencar
LHW: Smealinho Rama
MW: David Branch, Clifford Starks
WW: Jon Fitch (well, Bellator would definitely want him I'd think), Yushin Okami (ditto), Jake Shields (um, ditto again), Abubakar Nurmagomedov
LW: Gaethje, Joao Zeferino
FW: Lance Palmer
BW: Moraes, Timur Valiev
FLW: Magomed Bibulatov
Borderline: Vinny Magalhaes (LHW), Jason High (LW/WW), Brian Foster (LW), Josh Hill (BW)

I'm sure there are others, and it's kind of hard to tell who is and isn't under contract to WSoF, since they have a habit of signing people and never using them, or shelving people for a year at a time. If they decided to do a final show in March and then fold, I think that'd be appropriate.
 

Chromium

Posting Machine
Oct 10, 2016
799
1,272
By the way, it's absolutely in AAA's best interest to claim that the WSoF is still in business no matter what the reality is. Marlon Moraes is in a free agent and a client of his. If the WSoF isn't in business, that means the UFC could probably lowball the fuck out of him. Bellator wouldn't open their wallet for Aljamain Sterling when he was a free agent and undefeated, I don't think they'll do it for Moraes, who's less marketable.
 

Wild

TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
Admin
Dec 31, 2014
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Marlon Moraes even more than Gaethje.

As for who in the WSoF would be good pick-ups for the UFC or Bellator, I got:
HW: Blagoi Ivanov, Shawn Jordan ,Caio Alencar
LHW: Smealinho Rama
MW: David Branch, Clifford Starks
WW: Jon Fitch (well, Bellator would definitely want him I'd think), Yushin Okami (ditto), Jake Shields (um, ditto again), Abubakar Nurmagomedov
LW: Gaethje, Joao Zeferino
FW: Lance Palmer
BW: Moraes, Timur Valiev
FLW: Magomed Bibulatov
Borderline: Vinny Magalhaes (LHW), Jason High (LW/WW), Brian Foster (LW), Josh Hill (BW)

I'm sure there are others, and it's kind of hard to tell who is and isn't under contract to WSoF, since they have a habit of signing people and never using them, or shelving people for a year at a time. If they decided to do a final show in March and then fold, I think that'd be appropriate.
Good post.