Dave Herman (right) file photo: Sherdog.com
Shark Fights has dropped heavyweight Dave Herman from its Sept. 11 event in Amarillo, Texas, due to his pending litigation with rival promotion Bellator Fighting Championships. Herman was to have appeared on the night’s undercard against Aaron Rosa; Rosa will now face IFL veteran Devin Cole instead.
Herman, 25, is suing Bellator for allegedly breaching a six-fight, 30-month contract he signed into with the promotion on October 28, 2008. Herman is also claiming tortuous interference on the part of Bellator for a handful of fight assignments -- including a purported four-fight contract offer from Strikeforce -- he’s tried to procure since January.
Bellator is counter-suing the Nashville, Tenn., fighter for alleged breach of contract as well, and recently added Shark Fights as a third party to the suit for alleged tortuous interference in what it believes is an exclusive contract it has with Herman.
Patrick English, Bellator’s attorney, told Sherdog.com that Shark Fights would be removed as a third party from the countersuit as long as it didn’t enlist Herman for its Sept. 11 event or offer him any other bouts -- terms that both promotions agreed to in discussions that took place over the last two weeks.
If Shark Fights had proceeded with the bout regardless of Bellator’s legal stroke, it was likely that Bellator would have filed for a temporary injunction preventing Herman from competing, acknowledged Shark Fights President Brent Medley. The promoter, who launches his first pay-per-view effort in September with a talent-laden roster, said the prospect of fighting over Herman in court wouldn’t have been cost-effective for his company.
“We wanted the fight and we knew there would be some problems when we signed it,” said Shark Fights President Brent Medley. “At the end of the day, it looked like both sides would have had to spend money that we could put into our organizations and our upcoming events. It wouldn’t have mattered who won -- the attorneys would have walked away with the money.”
Medley said his company also took heed that Herman had filed for injunctive relief in March asking that Bellator be bound from interfering with his prospective bouts, but that a New Jersey judge denied the request.
“Even if we were in the right, we stood the chance of a judge ruling against us,” said Medley.
Medley said he believed that his recent discussions with Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney facilitated additional dialogue between Bellator and Herman.
Herman told Sherdog.com on Friday that his representatives have continued to discuss his disputed contract with Bellator, but that the two sides had yet to come to a new agreement to get him back into the cage.
The sidelined fighter, who last fought to a disqualification in May against Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou at the Abu Dhabi Fighting Championships in the Middle East, said he still plans to take his case to trial in January 2011.