UFC Antitrust Lawsuit Formally Licensed As Class Motion – Fight Sports activities Regulation

Replace August 9, 2023 – I’ve obtained a duplicate of Choose Boulware’s causes certifying the lawsuit as a category motion. Right here they’re in full


In December 2020 Choose Boulware said the lawsuit alleging abuse of unlawful monopsony energy by the UFC was possible going to be licensed as a category motion. Then nothing for over 2.5 years. After this lengthy wait the Court docket lastly offered causes and an order making the lengthy anticipated certification official.

BloodyElbow’s John Nash was the primary to interrupt this information:

Eric Cramer, one of many lead attorneys on the case, confirmed the information:

By means of background, in December, 2014 Cung Le, Nathan Quarry and Jon Fitch filed an antitrust lawsuit in opposition to Zuffa, LLC, the UFC’s authorized proprietor, alleging they’ve gained their market prominence by way of a sequence of illegal and anti aggressive enterprise practices. In easy phrases the lawsuit claims the UFC has been capable of artificially suppress fighter pay because of their place of energy which they are saying was unlawfully acquired and damages ought to be paid for the wrongdoing.

Over time different fighters joined the motion and the character of the allegations had been tweaked and refined as extra proof got here to gentle by way of the invention course of.

The lawsuit was a proposed class motion which means it was filed by the events making the criticism who additionally sought to have the declare cowl all fighters that had been harmed by the alleged illegal enterprise practices. Class actions require certification, that could be a courtroom order permitting the case to proceed as a category motion as a substitute of a lawsuit on behalf of a handful of people.

Right this moment, after years of litigation, Choose Boulware formally licensed the case as a category motion. The lawsuit had two proposed lessons, an ‘identification class’ and a ’bout class’. Solely the latter obtained certification. The bout class captures fighters who competed in a number of UFC bouts from December 16, 2010 – June 30, 2017 excluding non US residents and non US residents except they competed in a UFC bout within the US in that timeframe.

Which means all people caught by the category definition, roughly 1,200 fighters, are a part of the lawsuit. They’ll have the choice to opt-out however those who don’t could have claims mechanically piggy again onto the case and if it proves profitable will probably be entitled to their proportionate share of damages which the plaintiffs allege run between $800 million and $1.6 billion. As a result of damages may be tripled in profitable antitrust prosecutions the UFC’s publicity could possibly be within the a number of billions of {dollars}

The alleged wrongdoing by the UFC, which the promotion denies, has but to be confirmed however whether it is and if certification shouldn’t be overturned by enchantment this lawsuit has grow to be a much more critical risk to the promotions MMA market stranglehold.