Earlier this week it was confirmed that the company,
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC),
sold for $5.3 billion dollars. It's a good thing coowners
and brothers Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta both agreed to sell.
Because if things didn't run so smoothly they might have both
ended up fighting against one another (maybe even at the next UFC
event!) to determine the fate of the company.
Parties have long had the autonomy to determine how they wish to
solve their disputes. It wasn't so long ago that parties could
solve their disputes via a duel to the death. Obviously that
doesn't fly anymore (even Westeros banned it!). But parties can
still get creative if they don't want some vanilla mediation or
arbitration. If parties want to solve their dispute via robot
arbitrator or the toss of a coin, then why not?
You're probably wondering, was the UFC clause valid?
In short, yes. There is no reason why a mutually agreed upon
competition can't be considered a legitimate form of dispute
resolution, providing that the competition itself isn't
illegal. UFC fights might have started off as illegal human
cockfights but it is now a global sports empire that is more
regulated than Sydney's nightlife.
The fact that the clause was voluntarily accepted by the parties
means it would be hard to argue that it was an unfair term. Plus,
the Fertitta brothers have fought before, so there are no grounds
for unfairness based on nondisclosure of their mad skills.
Due to the sale we will never know if the brothers would have
invoked the clause. Was there even a clause dealing with what they
would do if trial by jiujitsu becomes impracticable? What if
one of them could no longer fight due to health reasons? We're
all for creative dispute resolution, but maybe the more appropriate
question is not 'was the clause valid?' but 'was it a
good idea?' We don't think you need us to tell you the
answer to that.
We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're
quite proud of it really.
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