Though Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Tito Ortiz have had an on-again, off-again relationship over the years, the former training partners were united by Rampage’s past trainer and manager Juanito Ibarra… by lawsuits.
Ibarra filed a suit against Rampage and Ortiz in the summer of 2009, and then added a related lawsuit in October of 2012, according to his attorney. The lawsuits alleged that false statements had been made concerning Ibarra’s management of Rampage.
Ibarra reportedly pointed to interviews where Jackson called him a “thief” and a “liar,” and further stated that Ibarra made $30,000 in “camp money disappear.” He also pointed to an Ortiz interview that called Ibarra a “liar” and claimed he took financial advantage of Rampage.
Trial was set for June 22, 2015, but Ibarra’s attorneys at SJS Counsel notified MMAWeekly.com on Thursday that Ibarra, Rampage, and Ortiz had come to terms on an out-of-court settlement. Ortiz’s attorney, Anthony R. Lopez, confirmed the settlement in a statement to MMAWeekly.com. All three men involved released statements, but no details, about their settlement.
“Juanito Ibarra and I have resolved the lawsuits that have been pending for a number of years,” said Rampage. “While we have had our differences in the past, it is all now behind us. Some things were said in the past, which I now retract and I am deeply sorry that they were said. I wish nothing but the best for Juanito in all of his future endeavors and know that he will continue to do the Lord’s work.”
Ortiz gave a sworn declaration that his comments were just an example of the trash talking that is common in mixed martial arts and were not meant as defamatory. His statement, however, admits to both he and Rampage being wrong in their comments about Ibarra, and offered an apology.
“In 2008, I gave an interview to Punch Drunk Gamer entitled ‘Wherever I may roam… I want the Title.’ In that interview, I made several statements including the allegation that Juanito Ibarra was a thief who had mismanaged the finances and stolen from and taken advantage of Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson. I made these remarks based on what Rampage had told me. After several years in court and review of all the available records, I realize that Mr. Jackson and I were wrong. Juanito didn’t steal from or take advantage of Rampage and he didn’t mismanage Rampage’s money‑it was all accounted for,” said Ortiz.
“I regret the effect my words had on Juanito’s life. Juanito is a trainer and manager of superior skills and the fact is, he helped to make Rampage a champion. Anyone would be blessed to be taught by Juanito. So there is no confusion, and so the public and the MMA, boxing and sports community at large know, I retract all of the negative statements, inferences and accusations that I directed at Juanito and sincerely apologize to Juanito and his family. I am grateful to have ended my dispute with Juanito and look forward to refocusing on building a better MMA community with him.”
Ibarra had little to say, other than being glad that their legal issues are now in the past.
“I’m glad our differences have been resolved. I wish Rampage and Tito the best.”