Tito Ortiz Suing Manager Of Jon Jones, Wayne Harriman, For Unpaid ‘Loan’
Bloody Elbow – lawsuit filed by former UFC light heavyweight champion and current Bellator star Jacob “Tito” Ortiz against veteran MMA promoter and manager Wayne Harriman in Clark County, Nevada District Court last October for “breach of contract” is now progressing to the discovery phase.
In a complaint filed on October 22, 2015 by Tito Ortiz’s attorneys, Martin Little and Taylor Waite, it is claimed that on July 19, 2011 Ortiz loaned Wayne Harriman “a sum of money in excess of Ten Thousand and no/100 dollars” (according to the March 30th, 2016 Commissioner’s decision on request for exemption the amount was $125,000.) Harriman is alleged by Ortiz to have signed a “Simple Promissory Note (the “Note”) wherein he expressly agreed to pay back the Loan, plus interest, by no later than August 1, 2012.”
Civil suits under $50,000 in Nevada typically require the parties to enter a mandatory, non-binding arbitration program but Ortiz requested an exemption from arbitration, which was granted last month. Discovery now goes forward and according to the scheduling order it is supposed to be completed by June 21, followed by the filing of any dispositive motions by July 21.
In the complaint, Ortiz claims Harriman refused to repay the loan pursuant to their terms, breaching their agreement. He is seeking relief to recover his reasonable costs, attorney’s fees and interest claiming a breach of contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and unjust enrichment by Harriman.
From the date and description, this could very well be the same “loan” that Stephen Bonnar discussed in a 2014 interview with Ariel Helwani. According to Bonnar, this wasn’t a loan but instead a payment to Harriman for negotiating Ortiz’s 2010 return to the UFC.
“My former manager Wayne Harriman. Great guy. Great guy,” Bonnar told Helwani. “Like he has such a great relationship with Dana. Remember when Dana White said ‘Tito Ortiz will never get back into the UFC, I’m done with him. He is a goner.’ And then all of a sudden ‘Hey, a mutual friend got us to sit down and hash out our differences.’ And magically Tito got back in the UFC and made some some ridiculous pay days. And then of course tried to screw Wayne out of the money he was going to pay him. Wayne finally got it out him and then Tito comes back to him and says to him ‘that was a loan, pay that back to me.'”
I guess there are two sides to every story and the truth is somewhere in the middle. If Tito really has a promissory note than that will probably be a key piece of evidence. It always appears friendships end when money starts to be involved in the relationship. Friends should never ask friends for a loan. If they do, friends should never loan friend’s money. This is true for family members as well…unless; they have a really good idea about opening a bar together. Those always seem to end well!!!