Cung Le, Jon Fitch, and Nate Quarry, who seek to represent a class of similarly situated current and former UFC fighters, filed a multi-million-dollar class-action lawsuit on Tuesday against the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization, accusing it of illegally maintaining monopoly and monoposony power by systematically eliminating competition from rival promoters, artificially suppressing fighters’ earnings from bouts and merchandising and marketing activities through restrictive contracting and other exclusionary practices.
The lawsuit claims that the UFC’s alleged anti-competitive acts have made and maintained the UFC as the only option for MMA fighters who want to earn a viable living in the profession.
“All UFC Fighters are paid a mere fraction of what they would make in a competitive market,” said one of the trio's attorneys, Benjamin Brown of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC. “Rather than earning paydays comparable to boxers – a sport with many natural parallels – MMA fighters go substantially under-compensated despite the punishing nature of their profession.”
With the filing of the suit taking place in the early afternoon on Tuesday in San Jose, Calif., UFC officials issued the following statement:
“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.”