Last year, a number of fighters including Jon Fitch and Cung Le joined in a lawsuit against the UFC claiming that the premiere MMA organization in the world unfairly influenced the industry (i.e., they’re a monopsony) to the detriment of the fighters. This year the UFC successfully had the case moved to Nevada (it was originally filed in California), and last night the court ruled on the UFC’s motion to dismiss the case.
It was denied.
Paul Gift from BloodyElbow was there in the courtroom and he did a great play-by-play, which may or may not interest you because, hey, legal stuff doesn’t always interest people.
Essentially, what it all means is the plaintiffs (i.e., the fighters) will be allowed to continue with their case. This is particularly juicy because the next phase will be discovery, where tons of documents and other info germane to the case will be exchanged – and presumably made public. This includes fighter contracts and other actual numbers for pay-per-view sales and salaries,which – zoinks! – has always been kept secret by UFC brass.
The UFC released the following statement in response to losing their motion:
The United States District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada held a hearing on UFC’s motion to dismiss today,” the statement reads. “The Court correctly explained that on a motion to dismiss it must consider all the factual allegations in the complaint as true, and the complaint must be liberally construed in favor of the plaintiffs. Using that standard, the Court denied the motion to dismiss.
As we have consistently stated, UFC competes in a lawful manner that benefits athletes around the world and has created a premier organization in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). We look forward to proving that the allegations in the complaint are merit-less.