The Ballengee Group is dropping a management lawsuit against UFC women’s bantamweight Leslie Smith after settlement terms were reached, the firm’s attorney attorney Jason Friedman told MMAjunkie.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, and Smith declined comment. Ballengee is still pursuing legal action against Nate Diaz and attorney Sam Awad, named as co-defendants in the suit, and moved its complaint to Texas federal court earlier this month.
Diaz and Awad have filed a motion to move the case to California, where both reside. Their attorney argues the only connection to Texas is that Diaz “allegedly” had a contract with Ballengee, while Awad has no connection to the group. Friedman said a response is forthcoming.
Ballengee claims Diaz skipped out on paying commissions after advising him on a bout against Michael Johnson and negotiating deals to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 200 and UFC 202. The management group also alleges Awad tortiously interfered with that agreement and advised Smith and Diaz not to pay for management services.
The group seeks “exemplary damages” and “actual, economic, and non-economic damages in an amount within the jurisdictional limits” in addition to court fees.
Diaz, 32, is a leading candidate to face McGregor if he returns to the octagon after a failed effort to beat boxing great Floyd Mayweather this past Saturday in “The Money Fight.” Diaz attended the mega-event and made his presence known when cameras caught him jawing at former UFC heavyweight and Showtime commentator Brendan Schaub.
Diaz (19-11 MMA,14-9 UFC) has made it clear he won’t return to action unless there’s a big payday. He turned down a fight with current interim lightweight title challenger Tony Ferguson (23-3 MMA, 13-1 UFC) at UFC 213 when his financial demands weren’t met.
Smith (9-7-1 MMA, 3-3 UFC) is slated to face Lina Lansberg at UFC Fight Night 113.
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