Ufc President White Responds To Legal Proceedings: Reiterates Penn Is No Longer A Ufc Fighter
UFC President White Responds To Legal Proceedings:
Reiterates Penn Is No Longer A UFC Fighter
By Loretta Hunt
In case there was any speculation regarding Zuffa’s participation in yesterday’s seven hour proceedings at the Clark County District Court of Nevada, UFC president Dana White made it all too clear with his first public comments today regarding the ruling. "We were there for one reason only," White said in a conversation with FCF this afternoon. "Would they award the temporary injunction? That was the only reason we were there. The answer was no."
"BJ Penn is not the 170 pound champion," White continued matter-of-factly. "He’s no longer a UFC fighter. His contract expired. He’s a K-1 fighter. Maybe he’ll win a title in the K-1 organization."
As part of a 21-page civil law suit, Penn and legal representation are contending that the fighter was unlawfully stripped of the UFC welterweight title he had earned on January 31st. As part of the lawsuit, Penn’s attorneys were seeking a temporary injunction barring Zuffa from holding a welterweight title bout without its client. A Nevada judge ruled yesterday that he had insufficient basis to make such a ruling.
Today, White reiterated what Penn’s lead counsel Steven Strauss had stated yesterday, that Zuffa had presented to the Court its belief that the belt was purely ceremonial. "There’s a UFC champion and the belt– this is basically a trophy," White commented. "It says you’re the best fighter we have in that weight class at this time." Penn’s representation had contended that the belt was their client’s property once it was awarded to him, holding value with both MMA fans and the competitors that fought for it and that the UFC did not have the right to simply take it away from a fighter. But, White says the UFC does have that power, unlike in boxing, where separate regulatory organizations monitor and rule over such situations. "It’s not like there’s a sanctioning body out there like the WBO, WBC, ABC, to rank the fighters and hold the belts," White said.
Although Penn and his representation were denied the initial injunctive petition, the fighter’s lawsuit is still active. White did not confirm that a mediation period between Zuffa and Penn might be pending as Strauss had suggested was recommended yesterday as part of the judge’s ruling. The official transcripts of the proceedings will be made available to the public in the next few days.
From Dream Stage Entertainment:
CRO COP VERSUS BARNETT AT HIGH OCTANE
LOS ANGELES, California – Two more bouts have been added to PRIDE FIGHTING’s October 31st event HIGH OCTANE. Already headlining the event is the highly anticipated title bout between middleweight world champion Wanderlei Silva and top contender Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Now joining the fightcard will be Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic versus Josh "The Babyface Assassin" Barnett and Dan "Hollywood" Henderson versus Kazuhiro Nakamura.
HIGH OCTANE will take place from the Saitama Super Arena in Japan and is scheduled to debut on North American pay per view via iNDEMAND, DIRECTV, DISH Network, and TVN on Sunday, October 31st, 2004 at 9:00pm EST, 6:00pm PST.
Headlining the HIGH OCTANE fightcard is the highly anticipated title bout between middleweight world champion "The Axe Murderer" Wanderlei Silva and top contender Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. These two originally fought in November 2003 at FINAL CONFLICT, meeting in the finals of the middleweight Grand Prix tournament. That evening, both men defeated two opponents to reach the finals—Jackson TKO’d "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell and Silva won a decision over Hidehiko Yoshida. Once in the finals, both fighters battled fatigue, but it was Silva who came away with the Grand Prix championship via TKO. With the tournament behind them, Silva now puts his middleweight title on the line against Jackson. Will it be a repeat performance for the "The Axe Murderer" or redemption for "Rampage"?
Also on the fight card, the ever-dangerous Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic continues his climb up PRIDE FIGHTING’s heavyweight ranks, this time taking on the "Babyface Assassin" Josh Barnett. After his stunning loss to Kevin "The Monster" Randleman in the opening round of the heavyweight Grand Prix tournament, "Cro Cop" has rededicated himself to his pursuit of the title with convincing victories over Hiromitsu Kanehara, Shungo Oyama, and Aleksander Emelianenko. Now, he faces one of his toughest opponents yet in Josh Barnett. Representing AMC Pankration out of Seattle, Washington, Barnett is 6’3/250 lbs and boasts an impressive record of 15-1 (including wins over Dan "The Beast" Severn, Semmy Schilt, Gan McGee, and Yuki Kondo). Most impressive on his resume is his victory over "The Natural" Randy Couture that won him the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 36.
Another bout on the HIGH OCTANE fightcard features Dan "Hollywood" Henderson versus Kazuhiro Nakamura. Fighting out of Temecula, California and representing Team Quest, Dan Henderson is one of the most dangerous middleweights in the world. His last match was a devastatingly quick knockout of the highly regarded Murilo Bustamante at FINAL CONFLICT 2003. His opponent at HIGH OCTANE will be the prot
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