UFC Hires Powerful New York Law Firm in Antitrust Lawsuit Defense

December 30, 2014
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship on Tuesday issued a statement defending its position in the recent antitrust lawsuits filed against it.

The initial UFC lawsuit centered around antitrust issues was filed on Tuesday, Dec. 16, when a legal team representing plaintiffs Cung LeJon Fitch, and Nate Quarry filed the suit in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, in San Jose, Calif. The second such suit was filed on Monday, Dec. 22, on behalf of Javier Vasquez and Dennis Hallman. The third such suit was filed on Christmas Eve on behalf of Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza.

The various suits allege 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.”

As expected, the UFC stands firm in its belief that it has properly built its business, and intends to defend its position.

SEE ALSO: More UFC Antitrust Lawsuit Coverage

LFertittaDWhiteUFC100_4618-750“We have built a popular business from modest beginnings by meeting the needs of fans and fighters. Millions of people have watched our bouts, we have instituted leading health and safety measures for our athletes, and fighters are free to negotiate contract terms,” read the UFC’s statement.

“We will stand up against the plaintiffs in this litigation every step of the way, and have engaged attorneys from Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP with a depth of experience in antitrust issues.”

The attorneys at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP have been involved in several notable cases, including United States vs. Microsoft, Bush vs. Gore, and the National Football League’s defense against the antitrust litigation initiated by the NFL Players Association.

The firms filing the suits on behalf of the fighters include the Joseph Saveri Law Firm; Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC; and Berger & Montague, P.C., all of which are noted for dealing with antitrust issues.

Bill Isaacson, the UFC’s lead litigator, said, “The antitrust laws have long favored companies that create new products and services that consumers want. That is exactly what the UFC has done here through its long and substantial investment in building a popular sport.”

The UFC statement went on to say, “We are proud of the company we have built, confident in our legal position, and intend to prevail in this lawsuit.”

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  • Brent

    Either way this shakes out, it’s going to be very interesting as the UFC is the 800 lb gorilla

  • TheCerealKiller

    Jon Fitch was paid $30,000 for his WSoF debut. I can’t find his last fight pay, but he self admitted that he made an average of 56k per UFC fight. So the UFC paid a lot more than anyone else. Have fun with your BS lawsuit. Again, if you don’t like the pay, don’t do that job. Sad thing is, I used to like Fitch.

    • MikeMcK83

      You have to remember that the example you gave doesn’t necc help the ufc. The plaintiffs are arguing that the ufc’s business practices control the market. They very well may argue that things the ufc has done make it where wsof can only pay him what they paid him. These are anti trust suits, not “I should make more money.” Suits.”

    • yurdad

      Go back to eating cherios, you simple simple man.
      If the average fast food restaurant paid 1 dollar an hour to it’s employees, would it justify Mc Donald paying theirs 1.50 an hour?
      The fact that they pay more does not mean that they pay enough. By monopolizing mma, the UFC is keeping other companies from succeeding and able to pay their fighters more. The UFC is also keeping fighters to make money with their image. What is next, should the UFC own their fighter’s souls as well? Is Dana White the devil?

      • TheCerealKiller

        With Viacom(Bellator) and WSoF in the US, how are the monopolizing MMA? PRIDE was not in the US. Affliction put itself out of business by paying fighters too much(ironic). StrikeForce is the only American company they bought that was a competitor.

      • rapidfire

        monopolizing?? that’s a crock of shit.
        don’t hate UFC for doing their job right. If you and anybody else runs UFC,we would do exactly the same way UFC has been running. if one doesn’t like the pay scale, go do something else. nobody is forcing John fitch or others to fight in UFC or anywhere else.
        if one doesn’t like the wage at McDonald, go do something else to make more money instead of bitching and moaning about the pay scale.UFC is a business and not some charitable organization. people have choice.if you don’t like it, then get the hell out.
        yes it’s that simple…