Former Agent Files Lawsuit Against UFC Star Nate Diaz for Breach of Contract

By Tristen Critchfield Jun 21, 2017

Nate Diaz’s former agent has filed a lawsuit in Dallas District Court against the UFC star for breach of contract.

The petition, field on behalf of The Ballengee Group, LLC, by attorney Jason Friedman, alleges that Diaz terminated his contract with the company without paying for the services rendered. TMZ Sports was the first to report the lawsuit on Wednesday. The plaintiff is reportedly seeking more than $1 million in damages, according to TMZ. The Ballenger Group counts mixed martial arts fighters, professional golfers and professional baseball players among its clientele.

According to the court documents, The Ballengee Group entered into an agreement with Nick Diaz in the summer of 2014. Shortly thereafter, Nick requested that the company represent his younger brother as well “because Nate was looking for a management team that could take him to the next level which he had previously been unable to do.”

“Both Nate and Nick represented and assured The Ballengee Group that, in exchange for its services as Nate’s agent, he would compensate The Ballengee Group on the same terms and as set forth in the Nick Diaz Agreement and that The Ballengee Group would, if such terms were agreeable to it, represent Nate on all future bouts and business matters,” the document read.

As a result, Nate Diaz listed the Ballengee Group as his agent of record with the UFC. The company then “advised and supported” Diaz ahead of bouts against Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on Fox 13 in December 2014 and against Michael Johnson at UFC on Fox 17 in December 2015.

Additionally, The Ballengee Group claims to have negotiated bout agreements for Diaz’s fights against Conor McGregor at UFC 196 and at UFC 200. After McGregor was pulled from UFC 200, Ballengee then attended negotiations in Stockton, Calif., in May 2016 to finalize a bout between Diaz and McGregor at UFC 202.

“Despite the success and positive results Nate achieved as a result of The Ballengee Group’s hard work, know how, and negotiations, Nate unexpectedly terminated The Ballengee Group’s representation of him on or about July 2016,” the petition read.

All told, Diaz is being sued for breach of contract, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, tortious interference with contracts and prospective business relations, violation of the Texas Theft Liability Act (Theft of Service), quantum merit, civil conspiracy and aiding and abetting.

Diaz earned a disclosed $500,000 for his submission victory over McGregor at UFC 196 and $2 million for his majority decision loss to McGregor in the rematch at UFC 202. The Stockton, Calif., native does not currently have a fight booked with the UFC.

UFC bantamweight Leslie Smith and Sam Awad, who according to the petition, “is a lawyer that works as a managing director at Accenture while purportedly moonlighting as the attorney for Nate and Nick,” are also being sued.

Like Diaz, Smith has been accused of breach of contract, among other claims. Awad, meanwhile, reportedly advised both Diaz and Smith against paying the Ballengee Group for its services.

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