Former Bellator MMA Talent Development Director Zach Light is suing Bellator and parent company Viacom for wrongful dismissal. Light filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court.
According to the complaint, Light alleges that it became known to him that fighters under Bellator MMA were using fraudulent medical reports to be permitted to fight for the promotion.
“APPROXIMATELY 48 HOURS PRIOR TO MARTINEZ’S SCHEDULED FIGHT AT BELLATOR 126, [LIGHT] PROMPTLY REPORTED WHAT HE HAD LEARNED TO RICH CHOU, DEFENDANT BELLATOR’S VICE PRESIDENT OF TALENT. CHOU ASSURED [LIGHT] THAT HE WOULD FOLLOW UP AND THAT [LIGHT] SHOULD FOCUS ON HIS JOB. WHEN [LIGHT] HEARD NOTHING FURTHER FROM CHOU, HE APPROACHED COKER REGARDING MARTINEZ’ IMPENDING FIGHT BASED ON FORGED MEDICALS, IN VIOLATION OF ARIZONA LAW. COKER TOLD [LIGHT] TO ‘DO WHAT CHOU TOLD YOU TO DO,’ WITHOUT ADDRESSING THESE ISSUES. THEREAFTER, [LIGHT] AGAIN BROUGHT THE SUBJECT UP TO CHOU. CHOU THREATENED [LIGHT] WITH TERMINATION IF HE KEPT PUSHING THE ISSUE. [LIGHT] LATER LEARNED THAT AFTER LOSING HIS BOUT, MARTINEZ NEVER RESUMED HIS MIXED MARTIAL ARTS CAREER.
“PRIOR TO THE BELLATOR 131 EVENT, [LIGHT] TOLD COKER THAT FIGHTERS HAD BEEN SUSPENDED FOR USING RENDON TO SIGN THEIR MEDICALS BECAUSE RENDON WAS NOT A LICENSED PHYSICIAN. COKER TOLD [LIGHT], ‘A LOT OF PEOPLE AT BELLATOR ARE GOING TO LOSE THEIR JOBS NEXT WEEK. DO YOU WANT TO KEEP YOURS?’ COKER ADDED, ‘THEN STAY IN YOUR LANE AND STOP MAKING WAVES!’ FEARFUL OF LOSING HIS JOB, [LIGHT] SAID NOTHING FURTHER REGARDING THE FALSIFIED MEDICAL REPORTS.”
Light’s complaint includes, even more, allegations which can be found in a thorough review done by Bloody Elbow.
Light says he was terminated after being out for 11 months on medical leave. Light claims he was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety in 2015, which was the cause for his medical leave.