By Jeff Cain & Ken Pishna, MMAWeekly.com
The Worldwide Fighting Championship (WFC) released a statement last week regarding a lawsuit filed in federal court by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) over the use of “Fighting” and “Championship” in the WFC’s name, claiming it to be a “violation of copyright law.” MMAWeekly Radio spoke with WFC matchmaker and fighter, Shannon ‘The Cannon’ Ritch about the situation.
When questioned about the lawsuit, Ritch said, “I really can’t get into it due to what the lawyers have said.”
“Why would the UFC be going after the WFC?” Ritch was asked. He answered, “I don’t know, to be honest with you. It could be a number of reasons that we are going to use big name fighters and that we’re competing with the UFC… Honestly, I don’t know.”
The motivation behind the filing isn’t clear, but Ritch spoke about the ramifications. He said, “If the WFC were to get sued and end up going to court and having the lawsuit, and we win, that’s a win for every other fighting organization out there, as the smaller guys. Everybody knows the UFC is the big dog. They’re the number-one fighting organization in the United States and I don’t think anyone is really trying to go after them and compete with them. A win in a lawsuit like this where we can actually use the name ‘Fighting Championship,’ and I don’t know why we wouldn’t, that’s in the lawsuit, so I guess we’ll have to let a judge decide that; it would be a win for all of the smaller shows.”
It’s been reported that there are up to 45 organizations that use the words “Fighting” and “Championship” in their name. Among them are, of course, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Worldwide Fighting Championship (WFC), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s Pride Fighting Championship, Mixed Fighting Championship (MFC), International Fighting Championship (IFC), Freestyle Fighting Championship (FFC), Extreme Fighting Championship (XFC), Absolute Fighting Championship (AFC), and the list goes on and on. There’s even a Pillow Fighting Championship.
MMAWeekly has been following this situation closely and so far, no one has gone on record in regards to the official status of the suit. However, a source very close to the situation has informed MMAWeekly that the suit has been dropped and a settlement reached although no details of the settlement have been divulged.
The WFC has continued to promote their January 21st Rumble In The Rockies event under the name Worldwide Fighting Championship, so it appears that the settlement would let the organization continue on with their name intact.
We will be sure to keep you updated as details come in.