Second UFC Class-Action Suit Filed Citing Anti-Trust Allegations

December 24, 2014
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A second class-action lawsuit against the UFC was filed earlier this week.

The initial UFC lawsuit centered around anti-trust issues was filed on Tuesday, Dec. 16, when a legal team representing plaintiffs Cung Le, Jon Fitch, and Nate Quarry filed the suit in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, in San Jose, Calif.

SEE ALSO: Cung Le, Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry Spearhead Lawsuit Claiming UFC Killed Competition

Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana WhiteThe suit alleges that the “UFC has engaged in an illegal scheme to eliminate competition from would-be rival MMA Promoters by systematically preventing them from gaining access to resources critical to successful MMA Promotions, including by imposing extreme restrictions on UFC Fighters’ ability to fight for would-be rivals during and after their tenure with the UFC. As part of the scheme, the UFC not only controls Fighters’ careers, but also takes and expropriates the rights to their names and likenesses in perpetuity. As a result of this scheme, UFC Fighters are paid a fraction of what they would earn in a competitive marketplace.”

On Monday, Dec. 22, two more former UFC athletes joined the fight, as Javier Vasquez and Dennis Hallman filed suit in the same court as Le, Fitch, and Quarry.

The firms representing Le, Fitch, and Quarry are also representing Vasquez and Hallman. They include the Joseph Saveri Law Firm; Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC; and Berger & Montague, P.C.

SEE ALSO: UFC Class Action Lawsuit News Conference Audio

It was unclear at the time of publication why a separate suit was filed, if the two suits may eventually be combined, and whether or not there are more suits to come.

The UFC has yet to make much comment on the suit, other than to issue an official statement promising to “vigorously defend itself and its business practices.”

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  • Tha Kracken Neal

    UFC is going to defend their business practices vigorously, lol just open up the market, not like the top level talent will fight else where unless wsof or ONE FC can put up big cash to pull at least one UFC champ to an event. However you feel about le, Fitch, Quarry, Vasquez, or hallman they had the balls to take legal action, albeit only at the end of their careers, effectively committing career suicide. The minor league statements made by their legal representation are right on point. I compete in amateur mma and growing up all my life I wanted to fight for the UFC. At 23 I still want to compete and eventually coach if I can, but my interest in the UFC is dismal for me personally. No one outside of boxing knew who the hell Canelo(idk how to spell it) was until he fought mayweather, but the money he maid from on fight lasting 36 mins he can now retire for life and live very very very well off. I predict more suits to follow in the next few months, let’s see how it all plays out

    • JohnQ

      I don’t know about that?? Canelo is a God in Mexico, he was 40-0 until he fought Mayweather. The guy is like a 6 or 7 time World Champion and was a National Gold Medalist. I think he was well off before he fought Mayweather.

      • Tha Kracken Neal

        I knew who Canelo was because I’m a boxing fan. Realistically though no one outside of boxing knows anything about him, ask your friends and you’ll probably get a “yea he fought mayweather right?”. My point is still valid am I right

        • JohnF

          Yes. JohnQ does not understand your argument.

          No one outside of boxing knows anyone other than the Klitsko bros, mayweather and pacman.

          It’s sad but the golden age of boxing has disappeared at least a decade ago.

          • Tha Kracken Neal

            Exactly, but they are making money that is no where comparable. Amir Kahn made more money his last outing than most fighters(most people for that matter) will make over a ten or fifteen year career.

    • James Mckaskle

      UMMM hello? is anyone home? What do you call 1FC, bellator, invicta and others? I call them competition..hope you meet a clue soonish.

      • MikeMcK83

        Legally you don’t have to be the only one, to be considered a monopoly. others may exist, but it’s not as if they have any real market share.

        • MickMcK81

          Yes. If you have a near monopoly, you can’t point to companies with 1% share of the market and say that you don’t have a monopoly.

          There will always be mom and pop shops.

          I think if you have 90% market share, you are considered a monopoly.

          I don’t doubt that the UFC is a monopoly in the fight business. What is more difficult is whether the UFC has engaged in anticompetitive practices by using that monopoly.

          • MikeMcK83

            Anti trust suits are insanely complicated and are really not black and white.
            I’m not sure what the ufcs market share is. In America I wouldn’t be shocked it it was near 90 percent, but it doesn’t need to be anywhere near that. The best example of that concept I could think of was the DOJ blocking the merger between AT&T and T-Mobile. With a monster like Verizon, not to mention sprint and the rest of the companies some found it hard to believe that merger would be stopped. AT&T certainly would have had less of the phone market than the ufc currently has of the mma market. I believe it just matters if the court believes the companies size and practices control the labor and customer market.

      • Tha Kracken Neal

        Buy an economics book, I just finished the oxford 10 series edition(I don’t need a cookie). Don’t criticize someone over an opinion, it’s foolish

        • Krachen’s mom

          Don’t criticize someone over an opinion, it’s foolish

          Lol!!! you just criticized someone over an opinion, namely, criticizing others over an opinion that your opinion is dumb.

          • Tha Kracken Neal

            Opinion is based in fact and that’s what I criticize. Do I think his opinion is right, nope, but hey maybe he can Ohhhh what was it “get a clue soonish” lol silly little men so big and and bad with your keyboard.

      • Jimmy’s dad

        Yes and no.

        Clearly if Mercedez buys like all of other luxury auto makers, you wouldn’t say that they still have competition left by pointing to Ford.

        Also, you are missing the point. You can’t sue a company solely on the basis of its doing well and beating its competition.

        I could point to a number of questionable (anticompetitive) business practices conducted by the UFC.

  • Timothy Malone

    From the point of view of a fan of both UFC and gaming, I’m concerned about the legal battle of fighters’ likenesses. The UFC holding them is what allows them to make video games featuring competitors past and present; otherwise it would just be a patchwork roster of whomever EA could come to terms with. After the legal battle against NCAA for athletes’ rights EA ended their college football video game franchise.

    • s

      Video games aren’t real. It isn’t the real fighter in the game. It is a wire frame model with textures and lighting added. Thats why you can play as Bruce Lee. They could give Miesha Tate the stats of Mark Hunt if they wanted.

      Real people are being exploited. Dummy.

      • Timothy Malone

        As I said I’m looking from the point of view of a fan. I’m not a fighter and the contractual situation doesn’t directly affect me. I don’t feel fighters are currently being so exploited that I need to go get a picket sign and march.

        • TheCerealKiller


        • DamianCross

          It’s too early to tell since we don’t know what sort of compensation fighters are currently getting for their likeness (or if they are getting anything at all). The UFC is still going to have to obtain those likenesses in order to create DVD’s and do TV broadcasts, so the simplest solution is to limit their exclusivity and increase up front compensation which the UFC then recoups on game sales (individual fighters are NOT gonna get a cut of EA’s money, that much should be obvious).

        • Tim’s mom

          “I don’t feel fighters are currently being so exploited that I need to go get a picket sign and march.”

          yeah…you don’t feel like you need to go get a picket sign and march…therefore…these guys are getting screwed but not getting screwed big time so…what’s your point?

    • TheCerealKiller

      I tried the UFC games, but I didn’t think it transitioned well to a game. Easy way around names, just name a character Jon Bitch, Tito Ortega, Chung Lee and so on.

    • MikeMcK83

      The ncaa thing was quite different, but you’re correct that it could have a similar outcome. That’s why we didn’t have randy in any the ufc games.
      NCAA was different. Those smucks try to claim they’re not making money of of player likeness. They even had former players in their games. Lol
      When it comes to this fight with games I’ve always held the game developers responsible. They can have anyone in the game they want as long as they pay them. The ncaa game was always a complete joke.

  • Darin

    I like how all these class action suit stories feature the same stock photo of Dana looking like he smells a fart.

  • T. C. Walden

    In terms of legal justification of the sort which would indeed bring about radical change or if you will, movement among the lower tiers of any lawsuit whether or not it is pending or an active and open landscape is really one of the key sticking points that the original organizational matters will prove to deliver the trove of evidence that the motivational groups of attorneys arguing the case before the court can hope to achieve. I have mountains of experience and heaps of prior cases that have all added up to one large if not exorbitant in nature then better off a minor stepping stone for the lower courts to try to decipher and eventually decide the cases presented before the honorable Justices Howard, Fine and DeGrotta, whom by the way have decades of knowledge arguing their own leagues of national institutionalized accounts hereby mentioned in passing for excepting the photojournalism brought out of the golden age of trial attorneys that dominated the legal issues of that most interesting period in our wonderful country’s historical viewpoint.

  • mmalive

    Not surprising of the 2nd lawsuit. I mentioned this in the previous post about lawsuit brought on by Le, Fitch, and Quarry. More fighters will join in for sure. These 5 guys had the GUTS” to speak up and sue. Unlike the rest of Dana’s puppets.

    • Tha Kracken Neal

      I agree, real conviction to stand up to them

  • Seth

    So, another 2 guys are looking to help themselves. Way to go. If anyone has any doubts – even IF they get what they want, guess what – only those 5 will get it. It will not change ANYTHING for other fighters on the roster. Selfish guys, looking to make a coin because they couldn’t make it on their own in the cage…I love Fitch and Javier, but that wasn’t the best move for them…why fight this fight on their own? Why not join forces with at least majority of UFC fighters? UFC wouldn’t be able to fire/suspend majority of their roster at once so they wouldn’t do a damn thing to them – and maybe they would change something then. But no. Those 5 are looking only after themselves… :/

    • Mikemck83

      I think you misunderstand what a class action is. If they get the status as a class they are representing every fighter in the ufc. Not just the 5 of them. Also, if they were to win the court can change how the ufc does business.
      Now it is clitche to say that the only ones who get rich in class actions are the lawyers, and if they won the named plaintiffs likely get more, but it’s not 5 guys suing solely on their own behalf.

      • Seth’s Mom

        Doesn’t surprise me that a typical MMA viewer like Seth does not understand what class action is.

        It’s a suit filed by the named plaintiffs and on behalf of other similarly situated persons.

        God. You know something is wrong with MMA when you realize that most of its followers are either naive kids or uneducated adults.

        • RoBeRtOe

          If I could like this post a thousand times, I would

        • MikeMcK83

          Sadly I don’t believe this is a mma fan issue. If you stood out in any public area and asked people to explain what a class action lawsuit is I doubt the majority would have a clue. With that said, a majority hopefully would choose not to comment about it on their own.

  • David Rey

    If you are making a decent living fighting in a smaller organization and the UFC comes and takes them over and shuts them down what would you do? Plus you are no longer getting fights because they don’t want you and if you do get on you have to close your business down because you can’t advertise on your shorts…what would you do? If you are not allowed to do a movie under your own name as a fighter because you are under contract with the UFC…what would you do? After all that you get cut by them and then can’t market yourself as a fighter…what would you do?

    These fighters are just trying to make a living in one of the most difficult sports in the world. If you don’t bow down you get nothing. These are fighters and all they want to do is fight and get paid what they are worth. They bring in a lot of fans to see them fight. How many of you would go to WWE Event headline by a bunch of nobodies? How many of you bought UFC PPVs headline by nobodies? I hope that these fighters win their suit. I miss the old days when there were more organizations and options (PRIDE, STRIKEFORCE, WEC, even Affliction) Eliminate the competition and promote and inferior product because that is all they will give you and more profitable for them.

  • nickcruz

    Getting payed is what the promoters are better at then the fighters.

    • George Sperry

      Some even get paid.

      • nickcruz

        Nice catch. Thanks 4 responding to my post.

  • mmalive

    As I expected, a 3rd class action lawsuit has been brought according to this article I mentioned more fighters will be added since the first class action suit was brought on by Le, Fitch, Quarry. Then Vasquez, Hallman. Now Garza, Vera. Fighters are getting smarter and wiser due to the mistreatment from UFC. These fighters have the “GUTS” to expose the real truth of UFC. More guys will now come forward to speak the truth and not worry about retaliation.

    “Fighters File Third Lawsuit Against UFC

    Wednesday, Dec. 24

    John S. Nash of Bloody Elbow provides an update on the latest antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC:

    Another antitrust suit has been filed in the California Northern District Court against Zuffa, LLC, the majority owner of the UFC: 5:14-cv-05621 Vera et al v. Zuffa, LLC.
    The plaintiffs this time are listed as former UFC fighters Pablo Garza
    and Brandon Vera. The complaint has been assigned to Magistrate Judge
    Nathanael Cousins.”

    • Tha Kracken Neal

      Love it