Ultimate Fighting Championship parent company Zuffa, LLC, received an unwanted last-minute Christmas present on Wednesday when a third anti-trust lawsuit was filed against them.
The initial UFC lawsuit centered around anti-trust issues was filed on Tuesday, Dec. 16, when a legal team representing plaintiffs Cung Le, Jon Fitch, and Nate Quarry filed the suit in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, in San Jose, Calif. The second such suit was filed on Monday, Dec. 22, on behalf of Javier Vasquez and Dennis Hallman.
Wednesday's suit was filed on behalf of Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza.
The various suits allege that the “UFC has engaged in an illegal scheme to eliminate competition from would-be rival MMA Promoters by systematically preventing them from gaining access to resources critical to successful MMA Promotions, including by imposing extreme restrictions on UFC Fighters’ ability to fight for would-be rivals during and after their tenure with the UFC. As part of the scheme, the UFC not only controls Fighters’ careers, but also takes and expropriates the rights to their names and likenesses in perpetuity. As a result of this scheme, UFC Fighters are paid a fraction of what they would earn in a competitive marketplace.”
The firms filing the suits on behalf of the fighters include the Joseph Saveri Law Firm; Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC; and Berger & Montague, P.C., all of which are noted for dealing with anti-trust legal issues.
It was unclear at the time of publication why separate suits are being filed, if the various suits may eventually be combined, and whether or not there are more suits to come. But considering the recent actions, more lawsuits are likely on the way.
The UFC has yet to make much comment on the suit, other than to issue an official statement promising to “vigorously defend itself and its business practices.”