The group of former and current MMA fighters who are suing the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s parent company ZUFFA addressed the media today, at a press conference in San Jose, CA.
Three plaintiffs were named for “Cung Le, et al vs. ZUFFA”: Cung Le (who is still under a UFC contract); and former fighters Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry.
The entire antitrust class action complaint can be found here.
The three, along with their attorneys, allege that UFC has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act — illegally inhibiting a competitive market. They also describe the UFC as restricting the fighters’ rights to market themselves, in such matters as forcing athletes to hand over their likenesses for use in video games, and prohibiting sponsors.
Rob Maysey, who represents one of five law firms involved in the action, told ESPN that he’s been trying to warn the promotion’s leadership for years about the issue.
“At its heart, this lawsuit is about fundamental fairness,” Maysey said. “The world-class athletes that comprise the UFC are making enormous sacrifices and taking huge risks. It is a basic right that these athletes enjoy the fruits of their labors.”
“If we don’t take a stand now, nothing’s going to change.” Quarry said to media at today’s event.
The suit uses some quotes from UFC President Dana White (pictured above) against him, including his calling for “World F—ing Domination” at one event, and his infamous declaration: “There is no competition, we are the NFL.”
However, they describe, in the NFL multiple entities (teams) can bid on an athlete’s services — where the UFC stands alone.
According to the lawsuit, the UFC controls more than 90% of the domestic revenue in Mixed Martial Arts.
“I disagree that this will hurt the sport of MMA,” Quarry said. “Open competition will only help the sport, the fans, the league.”