UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey has been released from the fighter-manager portion of her contract with Darin Harvey and Fight Tribe Management.
Rousey and Harvey entered into a “Representation Agreement” on May 15, 2012, but recent disagreements between the two parties eventually lead them to arbitration over the validity of the contract.
California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster on Thursday rendered his arbitration decision on the “Representation Agreement” between Rousey and Harvey’s Fight Tribe Management, nullifying the fighter-manager portion of the agreement as it relates to mixed martial arts specifically.
The agreement, however, goes well beyond the scope of mixed martial arts and into Rousey’s commercial dealings outside of the Octagon. That portion of the agreement, according to Foster’s decision, will have to be ironed out in the Los Angeles Superior Court.
The mixed martial arts portion of the agreement is governed by the California State Athletic Commission because it was entered into in California, but was found to be non-compliant with the state’s rules and regulations for a fighter-manager agreement. The remainder of the contract is outside the jurisdiction of the commission.
Harvey tried to argue that, particularly since Rousey signed a contract with the UFC, he had no longer been acting on her behalf as a fighter manger in MMA, but the CSAC did not see it that way.
“From the beginning of [Rousey and Harvey’s] relationship, the arbitrator finds that Harvey by his own admissions and actions undertook by agreement to represent the interests of Rousey in advancing and promoting her MMA fighting career. The arbitrator finds that Harvey was Rousey’s manager,” Foster stated in the decision, and ruled the MMA portion of the agreement invalid.
“Rousey’s petition for invalidation of the subject ‘Representation Agreement’ dated May 15, 2012, between Rousey, a professional Mixed Martial Artist, and her manager, FTM-Darin Harvey is granted. The agreement is hereby found to be invalid and unenforceable as it relates to Rousey’s professional fighting services and Harvey’s professional fighting management services only; the Commission makes no findings as to the other parts of the agreement that are not directly relating to MMA fighting and defers these matters to the California Superior Court,” wrote Foster.
“Rousey and Harvey are released from their fighter-manager agreement dated May 15, 2012, and the California State Athletic Commission orders any and all purses, which may have been partly or wholly withheld be released to Rousey.”
As Rousey has numerous commercial interests outside of her fighting career, notably high-profile acting and modeling assignments, this saga is likely to continue on in the Los Angeles Superior Court as deferred to by the CSAC.