UFC 186 and Quebec Fighter/Promoter Protections

Discussion in 'Cageside - MMA Discussion' started by ErikMagraken, Apr 9, 2015.

  1. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    With UFC 186 scheduled to take place in Montreal later this month I had a quick refresher of Quebec’s Regulation Respecting Combat Sports. Of interest for all fighters under a long term contract, Quebec imposes a host of legal requirements for such contracts to be valid. Since the UFC has much of its roster under long term deals, the relevant protections set out in s. 169 and 169.1 come into play. These read as follows with the most interesting provisions reproduced in bold:

    169. Any contract that binds a contestant and an organizer for more than 1 combat sports event shall not run for more than 2 years. The organizer shall send a copy of such contract to the board within 10 days following its signing along with any amendment to the contract, not later than before the holding of the sports event.

    169.1. A contract binding an organizer and a contestant for more than one sports event shall provide for or stipulate, in particular,
    (1) the duration of the contract and the number of scheduled bouts;
    (2) the amount of the purse for each bout;
    (3) the renegotiation of the contestant’s remuneration if the contestant takes part in a championship bout before the end of his contract; the renegotiation will involve, in particular, the contestant’s remuneration and the expenses relating to sparring partners and training camps;
    (4) that the organizer may not charge more than 10% of the contestant’s purse if he provides him with the services of a trainer;
    (5) that the organizer undertakes to pay all the contestant’s travel expenses if a bout is to take place outside Québec;
    (6) except if the contract is cancelled, that the contestant undertakes not to sign a contract with another organizer before the expiry date of the contract;
    (7) that the organizer undertakes not to transfer his rights to a third person, unless the contestant agrees to the transfer and benefits from at least 80% of the difference between the consideration paid for the transfer of the rights for each bout and the amount of the purse to which the contestant is entitled for each bout; and
    (8) the cancellation of the contract
    (a) if the organizer’s or contestant’s licence is cancelled or suspended for the unexpired duration of the contract; or
    (b) if the contestant is declared unfit to fight following a medical examination for the unexpired duration of the contract.

    _________________

    Assuming the language from Eddie Alvarez’s 2012 Contract is used routinely, UFC contracts contain specific language requiring fighters to ‘execute and comply’ with the requirements of Bout Agreements from the jurisdiction governing their bout. The requirement includes an agreement to comply with “any other contract required to be executed by law” (ie – in Quebec the above). More importantly, the contracts state “to the extent of any conflict between (a UFC Contract) and a Bout Agreement with respect to a Bout, the Bout Agreement shall control“. In other words; the above statutory requirements may trump any contradictory terms of a UFC Contract in Quebec.

    So how can any offending terms be reconciled? UFC Contracts deal with this as well reading that if there are any offending terms in the contract in any circumstance, and if these offending provisions cannot be modified in a way to make them legal, valid and enforceable then “the offending provision…shall be considered deleted“.

    While its fun to make light of Quebec turning a blind eye to their bizarre ‘mixed boxing’ rules to accommodate the UFC, the regulations regarding contractual requirements would be no laughing matter if a fighter was displeased and took advantage of Quebec’s legal requirements to challenge contracts that don’t include all of the above protections.

    Original article here - Do UFC Contracts Comply With Quebec’s Legal Requirements? | Combat Sports Law
     
    #1 ErikMagraken, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
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  2. Shy Guy

    Shy Guy Siren, siren...don't do this dance in my ear.
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    Interesting stuff, Erik. I had no idea Quebec's regulations were so stiff when it comes to contracts and bout agreements.

    I'm glad to see you post here. You always provide good insight from a legal perspective.
     
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  3. Wild

    Wild TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
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    Welcome @ErikMagraken@ErikMagraken. As we discussed on Twitter, I believe your work & perspective will be greatly respected & appreciated by our audience. So thanks in advance for sharing, and look forward to what the future holds.
     
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  4. Wild

    Wild TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
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    I like the way Canada operates! Now...getting the fighters to acknowledge the provisions, go against the Zuffa machine, and act on them ...probably wishful thinking, unfortunately.
     
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  5. Γαλάνης

    Γαλάνης The Wallabee Champ
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    Hey man

    Great to see you on this board. I've always thought your posts, threads etc were always well thought out/detailed/intelligent/articulate.. That can often go unappreciated at other forums but not here.

    Really looking forward to reading your stuff here man. Posters like you are why I still read at other forums, but the more I see the hardcore, serious fight fan migrating over to this place, the less of a need there is to read anywhere else.

    Anyway.. I find this all very compelling, very interesting.. Do you think any fighter may ever take advantage of these clauses? How would you see it playing out if say, Mighty Mouse (just an example of a champ fighting in Montreal) decided to play hardball with the UFC before his title fight in the province? What would you see happening? Would the UFC try to strong arm him and the commission into doing what they say? Would they even be able to, legally?

    Could make for a crazy legal battle down the road.
     
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  6. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Guys, happy to be here. Cheers!
     
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  7. YammaYoMama

    YammaYoMama Active Member

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    Incredibly interesting OP. My guess - no fighters know their legal rights in this situation.
     
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  8. ChaosOverkill

    ChaosOverkill Conor is ushering in the Chomochiq fashion era.
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    They'd probably get put on "Only have to offer you one fight a year a per the ZUFFA contract" status if they made a fuss.
     
  9. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    I suspect you're right! Getting people informed is a great starting point.
     
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  10. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    Great question. I think if someone like MM was displeased and wanted to test the waters he would have an arguable case that the Quebec Regulations make him a restricted free agent immediately after fighting in Quebec and being handed a medical suspension.

    I'm actually surprised that Zuffa hosts events in Quebec given these protections. If a fighter ever tried to take advantage of these, I don't know what the end result would be but it would be quite a fight!
     
    #10 ErikMagraken, Apr 9, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  11. Wild

    Wild TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
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    Nate Diaz needs to get on a Quebec card ASAP. :)
     
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  12. lookoutawhale

    lookoutawhale Mammal of the Sea

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    hey erik is on here. great to see you post on this forum. your legal perspectives were always really cool to read.
     
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  13. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    Thank you. Happy to be here. This seems like a great place!
     
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  14. Wild

    Wild TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
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    Told you ;)
     
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  15. lookoutawhale

    lookoutawhale Mammal of the Sea

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    yeah it sure is. We all wanted to be part of a forum where everyone is not swearing at each other and each others throats. A more chill place where everyone is nice to one another.
     
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  16. ThatOneDude

    ThatOneDude Commander in @Chief, Dick Army
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    Ok so bare with me while i ask some questions, I am a moron when it comes to stuff like this, so glad someone that can fully explain this stuff is here. As an American company does the UFC have to abide by these regulations all the time, or just when they are actively promoting an event? Are the only fighters affected by this the ones on a fight card held in Quebec? Has anyone to date used these regulations for their benefit or would the UFC be able to slither away from them because they are based in America?
     
  17. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    I'm not aware of anybody who has taken advantage of these regulations yet. These would apply to any promoter who has a promoters license in Quebec. So, for example, these regulations are binding on the UFC for their upcoming card in Montreal. They would not have to comply with these Regulations for all their future events, just those held in the Province of Quebec. The issue, however, is that if these regulations contradict terms in a fighter contract the regulations trump them. That can have unintended consequences for Zuffa if a fighter tried to take advantage of the robust protections Quebec legislation gives them.
     
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  18. lookoutawhale

    lookoutawhale Mammal of the Sea

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    Could Rampage Jackson have used some of this info to be able to fight at UFC 186 by any chance?
     
  19. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    No. If the injunction was not granted, however, and he fought in Montreal then yes.
     
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  20. ThatOneDude

    ThatOneDude Commander in @Chief, Dick Army
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    How do you know all this (I'm not familiar with you) do you have a law background or just setting you are into?
     
  21. ErikMagraken

    ErikMagraken Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm a lawyer and part of my practice includes the review of regulatory issues in combat sports. You can visit my site here where I archive issues in combat sports regulation.
    Combat Sports Law | Your MMA and Combat Sports Legal Resource
     
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  22. ThatOneDude

    ThatOneDude Commander in @Chief, Dick Army
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    Awesome, great to have you here! I'm sure your insight will be greatly appreciated here!
     
  23. Wild

    Wild TMMAC's Most Handsome Admin
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    Agreed. Awesome to have Erik's perspective here....set us jabroni's straight!
     
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  24. Γαλάνης

    Γαλάνης The Wallabee Champ
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    Do you remember the Nick Diaz/GSP weigh in debacle?

    I saved that video that Nick's team mate posted where the commission guy was informing Nick abut how GSP would weigh a pound over, or whatever it was, for the title fight and not face any penalty. Something along those lines.. Nick was pissed that nobody told him this until hours before hand after he'd already cut the weight, down to 170 on the dot for the title fight (since you have to be exactly on weight in a championship bout)

    It's been a few years so I can't remember exactly what went down. I made sure to save the vid because it seemed fishy, and sure enough, Zuffa had the video pulled hours later.

    I apologize for sketchy at best information but I figure you probably know what incident I'm talking about. Can you shed some light on exactly what that was all about? I just find it interesting that the Quebec commission has so many strange (well, compared to the rest of the comms.) clauses. I agree that it seems the UFC is risking some funky shit down the road by holding fights there.

    To be completely honest, I wouldn't be surprised if they aren't even aware of this stuff. You'd think with their money, they could hire the best lawyers in the world... but you only need to do a bit of digging on the Xyience vs Rich Bergeron case to see how incompetent and ridiculous their past legal teams have acted. They tried to bury Bergeron and ruin his life, but justice actually prevailed on that one.

    Erik, if possible, I'd love to ask some questions in the future about Xyience, Zuffa and Station Casinos' bankrupty cases. There seems to be so much fishy shit going on there that doesn't even scratch the surface. I know it's in the past now, but boy, that was some shady stuff.
     
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  25. Γαλάνης

    Γαλάνης The Wallabee Champ
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    There was also the hand wrapping incident that took place before that fight, where Shields noticed "something shady" about GSP's wraps, but was not allowed back in to check on them. Again, can't remember the details.. but the circumstances surrounding that entire fight were bizarre to say the least.
     
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