As first reported live on MMAWeekly Radio on Wednesday evening, World Fighting Alliance President and CEO Jeremy Lappen is suing the owners of the WFA for breach of contract. In a lawsuit in the state of California, Lappen alleges that the WFA’s owners have not paid him or many of the company’s other employees for quite some time.
Reliable sources tell MMAWeekly that many of the WFA’s employees have left the company and that the WFA’s debt is piling up, with creditors seeking payments and with some vendors from the July 22nd show still waiting for their funds to be delivered.
As mentioned on MMAWeekly Radio, this does not necessarily mean that the WFA is going out of business, but the lack of payments and the loss of employees is certainly an ominous sign for the potential future of the WFA.
The WFA ran a show headlined by Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Lindland at The Forum in Los Angeles, California on July 22nd. Another show was scheduled for December 9th in Las Vegas, Nevada with a main event of Jackson vs. Marvin Eastman, but the Las Vegas show was postponed last month. At this point, it is not known when or if there will be another WFA show.
If the WFA does indeed go out of business, it is believed that Quinton Jackson would become a free agent and would be able to sign with the UFC, Pride, or any other organization of his choice. Based on public statements and the marketability of the fight, a rematch with Chuck Liddell in the UFC would seem to be the most likely next move for Jackson if the WFA does go out of business.
Mixed martial arts legend Bas Rutten, who was one of the main attractions at the WFA’s July show, is a coach in the IFL and previously said in an interview with MMAWeekly that his WFA contract allows him to also fight in the IFL if he so chooses. It is not known when Rutten would be legally able to fight for an MMA organization other than the WFA or IFL if he wanted to do so.
The contractual status of Heath Herring is also not currently known, but it is believed that other organizations have already approached the heavyweight fighter.
Many of the other top fighters from the WFA’s July show have signed with other MMA organizations, specifically the IFL in the cases of Matt Lindland and Ivan Salaverry.