Prestige Fight Club Sues Saskatchewan, SMAA, SMAA Leaders


Prestige Fight Club THUMBThe Prestige Fight Club has filed a Statement of Claim against the Government of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Martial Arts Association (SMAA), Tim Oehler, and Kim Delesoy. The Prestige Fight Club, operated by Derek Daku and Cord Crowthers, filed the claim due to their inability to hold amateur MMA events that are sanctioned by the SMAA, its President Tim Oehler, and its Past President Kim Delesoy.

The Prestige Fight Club is seeking compensation for damages due to lost profits from not being able to hold these events. They are also looking for the agreement between the government and the SMAA to be voided thus ending the ability of the SMAA to sanction any amateur MMA in the province.

Daku and Crowthers allege that the SMAA restricts sanctioning of amateur MMA events to its own SMAA members and these members are selected in an unfair manner. They state in their claim that the SMAA denies non-SMAA members the ability to host amateur MMA events in a legal manner and conduct business in their chosen profession.

The plaintiffs state that the SMAA, Oehler, and Delesoy

  • preferred their own interests over those of the public
  • failed to execute their regulatory powers fairly or in good faith
  • preferred their own interests over those they were mandated to supervise.

Due to the above negligence of duty by the defendants, Prestige Fight Club has been unable to obtain a license to hold an amateur events in Saskatchewan. The defendants effectively created a monopoly over who can obtain a license to run events in Saskatchewan to the detriment of individuals who are not members of the SMAA.

The Saskatchewan government is in the Statement of Claim as a defendant due to the fact that it granted the SMAA, Oehler, and Delesoy their powers and helped create the amateur MMA monopoly by failing to ensure that the SMAA, Oehler, and Delesoy were fit to run amateur MMA.  They state that the government also neglected to take action when non-SMAA members informed them of their concerns.

No monetary value is listed on the Statement of Claim.  Prestige Fight Club will look to prove the amount lost during the trial and they are also seeking exemplary and aggravated damages as well as to be reimbursed for the costs of this legal action.

28 Responses to “ Prestige Fight Club Sues Saskatchewan, SMAA, SMAA Leaders ”

  1. Donald Duck says:

    Sorry if I’m wrong on this but wasn’t Prestige the guys hooked up with Lockhart/Harris and doing toughman type shows?

    Again, sorry if I’m wrong on this but that was what came to mind.


    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 2 Thumb down 6

  2. I don’t think so but I am not up to date on the ammy scene.

    I thought they hooked up with Ari Taub and did some Hard Knocks ammy MMA when it was not legal and then did their own Prestige show prior to it being legal.

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  3. Kevin says:

    They were the ones who just held an illegal show!! wtf

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  4. AtomBomb says:

    Any event held on a Indian reservation prior to mma becoming legal in Canada is considered illegal. Regardless of what aboriginal executives thinks they are entitled to do what they please on their so-called sovereign are incorrect. These events were all illegal to take place on Canadian, not native land until the Canadian laws had changed

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

  5. I’ve had a chance to review the court filed pleadings, this is an interesting lawsuit. The Criminal charges following the September Prestige event are apparently also ongoing.

    For what its worth, the lesson learned from all of this is that if the Provincial regulator refuses to licence an event the best response would be to seek judicial review of the decision. Going ahead with an unsanctioned event creates the mess the folks at Prestige now find themselves entangled in.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  6. Donald Ducks Brother says:

    This is all interesting.

    So! Prestige and other Promoters from Alberta and Saskatchewan met with the province and the SMA to discuss the rules and regulations of being able to legally hold ammy mma in Saskatchewan.

    Most didn’t meet the requirements but Prestige decided to go ahead and hold one anyways????

    According to the sma website it states that you must be a Member of the SMA to hold an mma event. To become a member you must own a martial arts gym, be a certified Black Belt and get voted in by the executives. After your voted in you are on a 1 year probation period.

    I take it the Prestige didn’t meet any of the requirements. But held an event anyways which led to them being charged.

    Question! do other athletic commissions have to automatically allow every promoter that comes knocking on their door a license to promote? I’m sure other AC have policies to be granted a license.

    Even if this lawsuit goes in favor of Prestige they were criminally charged with a crime. So would that prevent them from getting a license in Saskatchewan or for that matter anywhere in Canada.

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  7. Kevin says:

    I think if you are known for holding illegal events you will have trouble getting licences in any province. Sask included (when they get a pro commission that is).

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  8. Donald Duck says:

    My Brother should know the answer to his question. I’m telling mom.

    Yes, all commissions have a process for granting a promoter’s license which is different depending on where you’re applying. On top of that a commission can refuse to sanction a card.

    I’m not sure if there is a process for pulling or removing a promoter’s license though.


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  9. Donnie, commissions can suspend/revoke licences after being issued. For example, s. 11 of BC’s Athletic Commissioner Act allows any licence to be cancelled or suspended where the licence holder

    “(a) contravenes or has contravened this Act or the regulations,
    (b) fails to meet or no longer meets the requirements for the licence as specified in the regulations,
    (c) contravenes or has contravened a term or condition of a licence or event permit,
    (d) engages or has engaged in a pattern of conduct that shows, in the commissioner’s opinion, that the person is unfit to have a licence, or
    (e) is or has been convicted of an offence under
    (i) this Act or another enactment, or
    (ii) a law enacted by the government of Canada, another province of Canada or a foreign jurisdiction
    for conduct that shows, in the commissioner’s opinion, that the person is unfit to have a licence.”

    Most jurisdictions have similar statutory language with respect to licencing.

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  10. AMLECF says:

    But isn’t it a conflict of interest for them to only let members of SMMA promote, like an old boys club? Just seems odd to me. Any other province do this?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  11. kong says:

    I doubt they mean members of a club more like getting a licence. Every commish I have dealt with makes you join as a member and take the fee out of your fight purse or no charge if you are an ammy. prestige could have waited for due process but like a spoiled child they just went ahead and did what they wanted. Now face the music

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  12. Kevin says:

    There doesn’t seem to be much difference between Lochert’s XCW shows and these Prestige shows. Both of them seem illegal and it’s probably a good thing that the SMAA shut them down.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

  13. mma in sask says:

    It is an official rule that if prestige wanted to put on a show they had to become affiliated with a gym which has an SMAA recognized black belt of some kind and an SMAA member. The idea behind it was to be sure any promoters had a vested interest in the sport beyond just their show to be sure they put on shows based on what they deem is the best interest of growing the sport.

    Of course the flip side is if a gym puts on a show, the card is usually filled with mismatches favouring the home gym. Hopefully the smaa will shift focus to quality equipment (ring, venue, gloves etc),and fighter safety as being the main deciding factors for ammy shows over affiliations.

    For a promoter trying to put on a show in Sask I can see how it seems more like a friends helping friends situation over regulating the sport.

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  14. Graham Weenk says:

    Really need the pro commission to get rolling in Sask…then Kurt the hurt, Tyson Steele and Adam Lorenz can start making Ryan Ford in Edmonton kinda money

    Well-loved! Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  15. Dave Mah says:

    I had no “friends” in the SMAA when I applied to be a member. To suggest that it’s a “boys club” is wrong. There’s only three of us members willing to risk our money to host and organize events. Any SMAA member can do so, and none of us receive any extra “favours” lol.

    The SMAA was formed decades ago with the idea of growing Saskatchewan Martial Arts. They have rules and by laws in place which we all must follow.

    Currently there are three Shows in Saskatchewan, all top notch run events. AJ Scales hosts “Saturday Night Fights” in Regina, Troy Scheer hosts “Alpha Fight”, and I host “Honor Fight!”, both in Saskatoon (by the way, make sure to catch the next Alpha Fight May 10th!).

    I will only speak to my event, but I feel that my show is as safe and fairly matched as it gets. My team usually finishes sub 500 as I refuse to sandbag (AJ and Troy don’t either), so to suggest that us event organizers are stacking our cards to favour our fighters is absurd.

    The SMAA does a fantastic job to ensure fighter safety. They are the most organized and through Sanctioning body that I have encountered (much better than most Alberta commissions).

    That is all.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 7

  16. Thanks for the post @Dave Mah. Always great to get an informed opinion.

    I agree that the SMAA has helped the sport progress in Saskatchewan, but I do wonder about this black belt requirement.

    For instance, I don’t believe that Graham Weenk is a black belt (I apologize if I am wrong), but has been involved for years. I don’t understand why he would be prevented from holding an event due to the color of his belt. Or if a kickboxer wanted to put on a show.

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  17. Dave Mah says:

    I don’t have a black belt either as I am a Catch Wrestler. I believe if Graham were to apply he would be granted membership, but that’s not for me to decide (he’s obviously qualified, doi)

    I don’t really see a problem with the current system. It’s cleaned up Sask MMA and there are no longer any dangerous shows operating. There’s a pro commission coming very soon, so Prestige should just host Pro events instead of wasting money on lawyers. But that’s just my own personal opinion. I have nothing against Cord or Derek, it just seems like a pointless waste of time to go to the courts. That money would be better spent on strippers or Gold Plated Grillz.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  18. AJ says:

    I love the reference to “boys club” “and friends”

    This is my understanding of the SMAA.

    The association was formed with the mission to promote and develop martial arts in Saskatchewan way before MMA was even a issue.

    So their policies behind having members being BlackBelts, Operating their own gym for one year and justification on why they should be a member is just.

    This would insure that their were qualified individuals as members of their association.

    Back in 2006 the SMAA Finally stepped in to over see MMA. In my opinion MMA has been “regulated” in Saskatchewan since 2006. It just so happen there was no Law at the time to back them up.

    When I applied to become a member it was so that I could get insurance for my gym at a great rate through SaskSport. And Sasksport told me I had to go through the SMAA to receive insurance for my gym.

    Trust me this was no easy task! But the SMAA acted in good faith and stuck to their policies to allow me to become a member.

    Now, myself having a relationship with other SMAA members and Coaches from out of province makes for great match ups amongst our Fighters.

    When one coach tells me his fighter has 1 year of experience I feel comfortable with matching him with another fighter who’s coach tells me his athlete has 1 year experience. The MMA community is small and all that are involved are very respectful of one another.

    This allows to take the safety aspect a bit further and knowing that each fighter will be safe in there with the same level of experience..

    Now, the SMAA has gone into agreement with the Province to be the regulating body for AMMY MMA. Its seems that the Province felt comfortable with the SMAA’s track record and policies in order to act as they have for so many years.

    Reading some of the policies that Eric posted above a very interesting.

    (e) is or has been convicted of an offense under
    (i) this Act or another enactment, or
    (ii) a law enacted by the government of Canada,

    I could go on for days about this but the above are just my opinions.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  19. Donald Duck says:

    (e) is or has been convicted of an offense under

    What if your conviction is under a seperate name and you now use a name like… oh I don’t know something that rhymes with BlockTart.

    Now that I think about it was there ever a conviction in that case?

    Hypothetically speaking.


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  20. Graham Weenk says:

    there was a fighter showed up in my gym who booked himself a fight for the prestige show. he was XCW allum so not really familiar with develop skills 1st and then when team and coaches see you as ready look for a competition, more of the mentality of I’ve already won several XCW fights therefore I am ready to fight just need to go to a good gym for training partners. that being said training camp proved to be too much for him to physically and mentally handle and had to back out. but on paper for matchmaker 3-1 or something ammy record and title holder looks legit.

    but before that, I did see his paperwork for prestige and they did have full medical requirements on par with most pro commissions i’ve dealt with, official bout agreements and looking at the card they were importing very solid competition from Canada and U.S. so i wouldn’t classify this as another XCW type show.

    the situation Prestige found themselves in, I don’t envy at all. they had this show planned, fights lined up, venue secure and so forth before SMAA was the official legal authority, then before fight day SMAA became official legal Authority, Prestige applied for license and got denied due to the SMAA membership requirements.
    Already having invested funds into this show, thats a tough spot to be…cancel the show lose considerable $ or go ahead and hope it flies under the radar.

    putting on the show without clearance was a mistake for sure, but hard to say if he had much choice financially, and he did try get SMAA behind Prestige, but due to the gym owner clause he was denied, maybe that clause should be re-evaluted?

    Not saying either side is in the right or wrong, but hopefully both sides can learn from this type of mess and not have it happen again.

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  21. Donald Ducks Brother says:

    Mr. Weenk, from what I been reading section 83 of the Criminal Code to legalize the sport of mixed martial arts across Canada was passed in June 2013.

    So that means all MMA was illegal in Saskatchewan from that day forward. PFC hosted their event September 28th. So they had over three months notice that MMA would be illegal along with their event. So if the SMA was appointed days before their event is doesn’t sound like its the SMA’s fault. Its seems PFC had more then enough time to stop putting any financial burden on them selves.

    I listened to interview by Cowther’s and in my opinion incriminates himself of committing a crime when he tells the interviewer that they went ahead with his event regardless of knowing it would be illegal.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  22. SaskTell says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated... Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  23. Dave Mah says:

    I had my third show booked for June 22 2013. I had to cancel my event less than 3 weeks notice due to the Law change (and I ended up losing over $4,000). There was enough notice for them to cancel their show and most likely only be out deposits, etc. It sucked but it was a necessary sacrifice for sure.

    Well-loved! Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  24. Graham Weenk says:

    PFC should have followed your lead for Dave. I don’t think PFC is doing themselves any favours with this lawsuit either.

    I hope this whole mess doesn’t further delay a pro commission in Sask

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  25. kong says:

    My question is which commish was overlooking their show’s before. Even if their was one it would have to be recognized by the province or you are having a prize fight.

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  26. Donald Ducks Brother says:

    Kong, they were self sanctioning themselves!!!

    Sure they requested “legit” medicals like Mr Weenk mentioned. But who’s to say that a fighter forget to get one test on the required medicals. Are they removing them from the card????

    Oh wait they spent money on the fighter to come from the United States so we will just let him fight.

    Fighter safety is their priority!

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  27. Owie Dilly says:

    Having a regulatory body assigned oversight by the government and requiring membership in order to operate is pretty much SOP across a whole number of industries. It’s going to be really hard for PFC to win this and get some kind of compensation. The government’s power to do these things is quite clear and winning lawsuits against them is near impossible as they can change the rules at their whim.

    I completely understand SMAA’s position on membership. They don’t want fly-by-nighters coming in with likely worked contests designed to defraud gamblers. They want the people promoting events to have roots here and to have something tangible to lose if they are caught cheating.

    Prestige is just costing themselves more and more money every day with this. A good lawyer would have steered them clear from the start and been realistic about their chances to win anything here. They likely got a shyster that will milk them dry with a suit that could drag for years with appeals.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  28. Kris K says:

    For what it’s worth, the SMAA has had the same policies regarding membership since I was a young guy in the early 1990’s. Mr. Crowther’s assertion that the SMAA misled him and changed their policies to keep him out are simply not true.

    They have always had a black belt, or equivalent requirement. The equivalent allows for styles that don’t have a belt ranking system like Dave’s.

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