Former Bellator MMA Talent Development Director Zach Light has filed a lawsuit against the promotion, as well as their parent company Viacom, for wrongful dismissal in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Light was released from his role in the company back on March 17, 2016 and is now seeking damages. Additionally, Light, who also worked for the UFC and Strikeforce promotions in the past, made a series of allegations that claim Bellator MMA made a number of unethical and potentially illegal breaches while promoting and staging events.
Among his claims, Light is alleging that he became aware of fighters using fraudulent medical reports to obtain licenses. Upon bringing this to the attention of Bellator MMA management, Light claims he was sternly rebuffed and his job with the company was threatened.
“Approximately 48 hours prior to [Ryan] Martinez’s scheduled fight at Bellator 126, [Light] promptly reported what he had learned to Rich Chou, defendant BELLATOR’s Vice President of Talent. Chou assured [Light] that he would follow up and that [Light] should focus on his job. When [Light] heard nothing further from Chou, he approached [Bellator President Scott] Coker regarding Martinez’ impending fight based on forged medicals, in violation of Arizona law. Coker told [Light] to ‘do what Chou told you to do,’ without addressing these issues. Thereafter, [Light] again brought the subject up to Chou. Chou threatened[Light] with termination if he kept pushing the issue. [Light] later learned that after losing his bout, Martinez never resumed his mixed martial arts career.”
Light is also claiming Coker asked him to arrange matches between fighters represented by a manager with a poor relationship with Bellator leadership against fighters who’d likely beat them. The reason, according to Light, is because Bellator would then have grounds to release them. This is also the method Bellator wanted to use, according to Light, as revenge against a manager who represented Quinton “Rampage” Jackson back when Rampage signed with the UFC while still under contract with the UFC.
For a very thorough breakdown of Zach Light’s lawsuit against Bellator MMA, where a number of other serious allegations are made, including an explanation of what everything means, read Paul Gift’s article on the subject at BloodyElbow.com.