A longstanding defamation lawsuit between boxing trainer Juanito Ibarra and former client Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, along with Tito Ortiz, was due to go to trial next month but has been settled out of court. In a press release PMN received today, both Jackson and Ortiz are quoted as saying they were wrong regarding negative statements they publicly made about Ibarra and regret the negative effects it had on the trainer’s career.
May 21, 2015
In the summer of 2009, Juanito Ibarra, the long-time trainer and manager of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson during his rise to become the first undisputed light heavyweight champion in MMA history, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles against Rampage and Tito Ortiz. Ibarra filed a second, related lawsuit in October of 2012. The lawsuits alleged that false statements had been made concerning Ibarra’s management of Rampage. Trial was set for June 22, 2015.
The parties have released the following statements:
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson: “Juanito Ibarra and I have resolved the lawsuits that have been pending for a number of years. While we have had our differences in the past, it is all now behind us. Some things were said in the past, which I now retract and I am deeply sorry that they were said. I wish nothing but the best for Juanito in all of his future endeavors and know that he will continue to do the Lord’s work.”
Jacob “Tito” Ortiz: “In 2008, I gave an interview to Punch Drunk Gamer entitled “Wherever I may roam…..I want the Title.” In that interview, I made several statements including the allegation that Juanito Ibarra was a thief who had mismanaged the finances and stolen from and taken advantage of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. I made these remarks based on what Rampage had told me. After several years in court and review of all the available records, I realize that Mr. Jackson and I were wrong. Juanito didn’t steal from or take advantage of Rampage and he didn’t mismanage Rampage’s money‑it was all accounted for. I regret the effect my words had on Juanito’s life. Juanito is a trainer and manager of superior skills and the fact is, he helped to make Rampage a champion. Anyone would be blessed to be taught by Juanito. So there is no confusion, and so the public and the MMA, boxing and sports community at large know, I retract all of the negative statements, inferences and accusations that I directed at Juanito and sincerely apologize to Juanito and his family. I am grateful to have ended my dispute with Juanito and look forward to refocusing on building a better MMA community with him.”
Juanito Ibarra: ”I’m glad our differences have been resolved. I wish Rampage and Tito the best.”
Ibarra is represented by Samuel J. Smith of SJS Counsel, APC, David M. deRubertis of the deRubertis Law Firm, and Jeremy Smith of Krane & Smith, APC. Ortiz is represented by George L. Prajin and Anthony R. Lopez of Lopez & Prajin and Alejandro Menchaca of the Menchaca Law Firm. Rampage is represented by Andrew Skale, Justin Nahama, and Nada Shamonki of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.