UFC has issued a statement regarding the class-action lawsuit announcement. To read what the UFC had to say in response to the suit, click here.
Former UFC fighters Nate Quarry and Jon Fitch, as well as Cung Le, who is still under contract with the promotion, have filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against the UFC and its’ parent company, Zuffa.
The lawsuit filed claims UFC has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by illegally attempting to create a non-competitive marketplace and restricting the earning capabilities of fighters to a mere fraction of what could be earned in a competitive marketplace. Additionally, the lawsuit claims UFC forces fighters to give over the rights to their names and likeness in perpetuity.
Representing the fighters in the suit against the UFC is Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Inc., a company that recently won an antitrust lawsuit against Google, Apple, Adobe and Intel. Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC, involved in a $1.2 billion antitrust case against Dow Chemical Company and $500 million case against Countrywide Financial Corporation, are part of this legal act as well as Berger & Montague, P.C.
The lawsuit was filed in San Jose, California, meaning all legal proceedings will be taking place in that area.
While specific evidence was not disclosed during a conference call held by the plaintiffs and lawyers on Tuesday, it was made clear that the suit draws from past statements and comments made by UFC President Dana White, as well as other UFC executives comparing the promotion and its’ practices to other sporting leagues, such as the NFL and the NBA.
In addition to Quarry, Fitch and Le, “all persons who competed in one or more live professional UFC-promoted MMA bouts taking place or broadcast in the United States during the Class Period” will be allowed to join the suit if they so desire. The exception to that are foreign fighters who have fought in overseas events only.
According to what was said during the aforementioned conference call, additional fighters have expressed interest in joining the lawsuit, however no official decisions have been made as to whether or not they’ll be added.
The official legal complaint filed against the UFC can be seen below.