UFC Issues Official Statement on Class Action Lawsuit

December 17, 2014
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Cung Le, Jon Fitch, and Nate Quarry, who seek to represent a class of similarly situated current and former UFC fighters, filed a multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuit on Tuesday against the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization, accusing it of illegally maintaining monopoly and monoposony power by systematically eliminating competition from rival promoters, artificially suppressing fighters’ earnings from bouts and merchandising and marketing activities through restrictive contracting and other exclusionary practices.

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

The lawsuit claims that the UFC’s alleged anti-competitive acts have made and maintained the UFC as the only option for MMA fighters who want to earn a viable living in the profession.

“All UFC Fighters are paid a mere fraction of what they would make in a competitive market,” said one of the trio’s attorneys, Benjamin Brown of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. “Rather than earning paydays comparable to boxers – a sport with many natural parallels – MMA fighters go substantially under-compensated despite the punishing nature of their profession.”

With the filing of the suit taking place in the early afternoon on Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., UFC officials issued the following statement:

“The UFC is aware of the action filed today but has not been served, nor has it had the opportunity to review the document. The UFC will vigorously defend itself and its business practices.”

SEE ALSO: UFC Class Action Lawsuit News Conference Audio

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  • HooahJuice

    All fighters who are known for getting their as kicked in the octagon…funny

    • shakejunt

      exactly. i doubt gilbert is complaining. he might wish he had a belt, but i’m sure his monetary situation is fine.

      • bill

        Pretty sure Melendez was able to get his new deal off his Strikeforce deal which transferred over to UFC. I bet he wont have the same leverage again.

        • shakejunt

          strikeforce definitely paid guys more, but that’s why they went down. gil got his new deal (including tuf coaching gig and title shot) because his contract was up and bellator made an offer that the ufc matched.

          • ac

            It seemed like the Strikeforce contracts had a higher base but lower bonus element to them, I’m not sure on average they were more valuable.

          • shakejunt

            base pay is a big element though because it’s guaranteed and that was far higher than ufc’s average. robbie lawler made like 100k against kos and it included a win bonus of only 10k. having even show/win payouts mean that only one person in each fight is going home with a win bonus, whereas strikeforce paid both athletes ridiculous amounts.

  • cheflacsto

    Sour Grapes?

  • Seth

    ” “Rather than earning paydays comparable to boxers – a sport with many natural parallels”

    Leave. Just leave, idiot. It’s UNCOMPARABLE to compare sport that is around for AGES to a sport that’s pretty much 20-30yr old. This dude is feed BS information and he spread them further…that doesn’t look good for those three if they have attorney like that…

    • MikeMcK83

      The lawsuit is about how the ufc does business not what the current state is. Being new doesn’t allow you to commit illegal acts. Also, the argument isn’t that they should pay them as mma guys the same as boxers. It’s that mma guys should be paid the same wayas boxers.
      I don’t really care who wins the case. However anti trust lawsuits are always complicated so it should get interesting. Even lawyers have a hard time following anti trust law.

      • Seth

        So tell me, which part of UFC deals to buy PRIDE, WEC, WFA or Strikeforce were illegal then. Because it looks like you know they were illegal, right?

        UFC just bought out their competition. It’s THE SAME thing as in any other business. When you see a company that has something you can use and they struggle money-wise – its perfect chance to buy them ou and make your company better. Its normal business move, which you can see in any other area of business.

        • MikeMcK83

          I have no clue if, or how the buying of those companies were illegal. I was only saying that the complaint accuses illegal acts. It may not even be the acquisitions.
          I’m not saying that the complaint is justified. Like I said, anti trust is stupid complicated.
          Under the law you also don’t have to be the “only one.” People often accuse a dictionary definition with a legal one.
          Recently the Feds stopped two cell phone companies from merging. I believe the ruling stated that the merger would give too much control of the market to one company.

          • Seth

            But does UFC really control the market? .-. I mean, they don’t serve rules used in ever MMA event (money-wise or contract-wise), every company is free to do whatever they want + with lowering salaries UFC actually makes it easier to compete with them, as other orgs can offer that kind of money (at least to lower ranked guys), so UFC doesn’t set a high standard needed to sign new talent…actually they are doing quite opposite… .-.

            Of course there is still is brand value which can’t be matched, but that took them 20yrs to achieve…so I still don’t see any signs of illegal action on UFCs part… .-.

          • MikeMcK83

            You don’t have to do anything wrong to lose a case like this. The ufc’ status in the industry alone can lose it for them.
            In cases like these you often won’t see anything illegal until a judge says it is. Judges could also just throw it out.
            Btw, the argument you made about the ufc allowing competition by holding salaries down is beautifully brilliant, but I doubt any lawyer would have the balls to use it in court since making the argument alone means you’re admitting you control the market.

  • TKDGuy

    There is competition, the UFC is just the most successful promotion. And there is nothing blocking these fighters or anyone else from starting their own promotion company. Being the biggest and most successful doesn’t make a business a monopoly.

    • r

      A little competition. JP Morgan would agree with you wholeheartedly. Anyone with honest critical thinking skills will not.