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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
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Ultimate Fight Will Be In Court

LAS VEGAS (CN) - Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Ken Shamrock is taking a swing at UFC officials with a breach-of-contract lawsuit two years after suffering back-to-back rematch losses against longtime rival Tito Ortiz.

Here's the background: Ortiz beat Shamrock in 2002. In 2006, the two signed on as rival coaches on Spike TV's "Ultimate Fighter" reality show, which followed aspiring fighters as they trained and sparred for the title. (Ortiz's fighter won.)

The reality show climaxed with an Ortiz-Shamrock rematch, which Ortiz won. Fans, however, thought the referee stopped the fight too soon.

UFC President Dana White offered Shamrock a fight against Ortiz, but only if he signed a two-fight contract that gave the UFC broadcast rights to Shamrock's next fight after the rematch.

Shamrock, who wrestled with the World Wrestling Federation from 1997-1999, agreed to take on the two fights "unless he should choose to retire" after the Ortiz rematch, according to the complaint filed in Clark County Court.

Ortiz won the rematch three months later. Shamrock announced that he was retiring.

Shamrock came out of retirement months later and asked for his second fight under the contract.

Zuffa Inc., which owns the UFC brand, denied the second fight, saying it had chosen one of three unspecified elections outlined in the contract after learning of Shamrock's retirement.

(The disputed contract was not attached to the lawsuit, but the filing said it will be provided to the court under a "contractually required confidentially agreement.")

"There is nothing in the agreement which allows Zuffa to change its election after it was made," Shamrock's complaint states.

He is represented by Janet Markley.

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