Randy Couture Being Sued By Zuffa

Heavyweight champ in breach of contract, MMA group claims

The strained relationship between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its heavyweight champion Randy Couture has taken another bad turn -- directly into a Las Vegas courtroom.

Lawyers for Zuffa, LLC, the UFC's parent company, on Monday filed suit in Clark County District Court, alleging chiefly that Couture's comments about the UFC and its senior management caused the business irreparable damage and that he is in breach of the contract he signed with the company in December 2006.

"We are alleging numerous intentional torts, which have caused Zuffa and the UFC significant harm," attorney Donald J. Campbell said. "Based upon that harm we are seeking to address these matters before a court of law."

The lawsuit seeks damages in excess of $10,000 and states that the amount of both compensatory and punitive damages would be proven at trial. It also seeks an injunction restraining Couture from participating in any way in any promotion competing against the UFC.

The lawsuit is the latest episode of discord between Couture and UFC President Dana White, who said he has considered Couture a friend for eight years.

"What's really tough for me, to be honest, is we have been friends for a very long time," White said. "The hard part is that he is not living up to his obligations. Captain America is not keeping his word."

Couture is listed as the UFC heavyweight champion, even though the fighter and organization have been engaged in a public dispute that included his resignation from the company. An interim title match has been scheduled.

The tense relationship between Couture and the UFC, namely White and co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta, became public on Oct. 11 when Couture held a news conference at his Las Vegas gym. Couture detailed his frustrations with the company and announced he was resigning from the UFC.

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