The UFC just sent out a press release demanding a retraction from MMA website Cage Potato. In the release, the UFC says that the issue stems from a comment on the site stating that Dana White gambled on a UFC fight. They are preparing a complaint for him to sign, which, along with the demand for a retraction, is the first required step for a lawsuit.
Here's a screenshot of the article and quote in question:
The issue is almost certainly putting the joke in quotations without any clarification that it was not actually said by Dana. The point that sponsoring Jon Jones at UFC 145 against Rashad Evans is a gamble stands, but to phrase it like they did and put it in quotes may have been a major mistake for a site that didn't exactly win any friends in the UFC front office when they posted the Arianny Celeste Playboy photos.
And, with the owners of the UFC also being casino owners as well as the issues that come with a sports company president gambling on games/fights/matches, it's pretty easy to see why the UFC is being aggressive as they are here. Even if it was meant as a harmless joke about the sponsorship risk.
Full text of the press release after the jump...
Here's the full release:
Las Vegas, Nevada - Zuffa, LLC, dba the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), today announced that it served a demand for retraction upon the parent entities and executives of the website CagePotato regarding certain false and defamatory statements attributed to UFC® President, Dana White, in an April 14th website posting.
As detailed in the formal demand for a retraction prepared by UFC® attorney, Donald J. Campbell of the Las Vegas law firm, Campbell & Williams:
"The claim that Mr. White would financially wager on the outcome of a UFC® event is outrageous in the extreme. Indeed, in the verified complaint we are presently preparing for Mr. White's signature upon his return from Abu Dhabi, Mr. White expressly states under oath that at no time in the history of his association with the UFC® has he ever financially wagered on the outcome of a UFC® event."
Mr. Campbell further explained that under Nevada law a demand for retraction is the first required step in the filing of a lawsuit seeking punitive damages against a party that has maliciously published defamatory statements about another.