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AndyGreek1

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Fighters to sue UFC for $100's of millions in class action
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The UFC is about to be on the receiving end of a massive class action lawsuit from fighters relating to alleged abuses of their market power to cripple the free market.

For months, Bloody Elbow reporters John Nash and Brent Brookhouse have been investigating rumors of a class action lawsuit against the UFC by former and current fighters. Bloody Elbow can now confirm through multiple sources that such a lawsuit is not only in the works but that a filing is imminent.

While we have been told the names of several potential signatories we have as yet been unable to confirm that those names will appear on the complaint. As was told to Bloody Elbow, the recent announcement of the Reebok sponsorship deal with the UFC appears to have reached into the suit, resulting in some strategic changes.

We have been able to confirm that the suit will be based on accusations that the UFC has violated antitrust laws by abusing their "market power" to intentionally and systematically cripple the free market. Several of the individuals we spoke to compared it to the recent San Jose hi-tech employee and NCAA antitrust cases. The manager of one high profile fighter who wished to remain anonymous has informed Bloody Elbow that the plaintiffs will be seeking damages for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars due to reduced fight purses, video game rights fees, and other sources of income.  The final amount could even be greater, with statutes awarding "treble damages" in antitrust cases.

Another manager referred to the pending suit as "a game changer."

According to our sources the fighters are represented by three or four large firms renowned for antitrust litigation. The firms named to us have  won major class action antitrust cases against bigger targets than the UFC, including against those in the banking, credit, technology and pharmaceutical industries.

As one well known former fighter told us "These are major players. These are not people [the UFC] will be able to out-spend."

While we can not release names of the potential signatories at this time, the names that have been reported to us are notable fighters and personalities in the sport.

Bloody Elbow has reached out to the UFC for their comments on the pending suit and we will provide updates as they become available.

Keep your browser locked on Bloody Elbow in the coming days and weeks as we will have much more about the lawsuit, which has very legitimate potential to completely alter the way UFC business operates.

http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/12/13/7387889/fighters-to-sue-ufc-for-100s-of-millions-in-class-action

 


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UFC accused of 'illegal market monopolization' in lawsuit filed by former, current fighters

Three high-profile mixed martial arts fighters filed a class-action lawsuit Tuesday accusing the UFC of illegally monopolizing power in the industry by eliminating its competition.

Former UFC fighters Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry, along with Cung Le, who is still under contract with the UFC, also accuse the Zuffa-owned company of "artificially suppressing fighters' " earnings with their contracts and practices.

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Dana White and Cung Le pose with each other during a press conference. (Getty)

Dana White and Cung Le pose with each other during a press conference. (Getty)

 

The civil suit alleges that the UFC has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act by illegally scheming to create a non-competitive marketplace that restricts the earning capabilities of fighters, as well as coercing fighters to relinquish rights to their names and likenesses. The plaintiffs seek injunctive relief and damages, and the suit claims to represent a class of current and former UFC fighters in similar situations as Le, Quarry and Fitch.

"This lawsuit is about fairness," Quarry told reporters during a press conference in San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday. "It's about a fair market value for the athletes. … It's time for those things to change. We deserve to be out in a free market place."

Zuffa is primarily owned by billionaires Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, along with UFC president Dana White.

The UFC has had a stranglehold on MMA for the majority of the 21st century, and Zuffa has either bought up or driven out several other viable promotions. The suit references past statements made by White and other UFC officials comparing the promotion and its practices to that of the NFL and NBA, but makes a distinction in regards to those leagues' ability to foster an open market by creating a bidding war among individual teams.

The lawsuit alleges that the UFC has maintained control of more than 90 percent of the revenue derived from live MMA bouts nationwide. It also maintains that the UFC has allegedly retaliated against fighters who have worked with or who have announced intentions to work with rival promoters.

“UFC’s threats are taken seriously by fighters because they know that a UFC ban will substantially diminish, if not end, their ability to earn a living at their chosen profession,” said plaintiffs’ co-counsel Joseph Saveri of Saveri Law Firm, Inc. “These MMA professionals deserve the right to take back their careers.”

For its part, the UFC posted the following statement to its website:

"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."

Below is the lawsuit, in full:


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AndyGreek1

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CLICK BELOW TO READ:
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mma-cagewriter/ufc-accused-of--illegal-market-monopolization--in-lawsuit-filed-by-former--current-fighters-233458118-mma.html

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