Judge Allows Monumental Lawsuit Representing Over 1,200 MMA Fighters Against UFC To Proceed

ufc championship belt

Getty Image

A class action antitrust lawsuit against the UFC that was originally filed in December of 2014 has finally been allowed to move forward after a judge’s ruling.

The lawsuit, which represents more than 1,200 current and former MMA fighters including Cung Le, the lawsuit’s lead plaintiff, was granted certification in a 80 page order written by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Franklin Boulware II on Wednesday.

In his ruling, the judge wrote that the fighters had established that they have “suffered economic injury as a result of defendant’s anti-competitive conduct.”

“We are extremely gratified that the court issued this opinion,” Eric L. Cramer, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys, told Front Office Sports. “This is not the end of the fight.”

Cramer added, “[The plaintiffs] are thrilled and excited. They’re resolved to continue the fight. They brought this case in December 2014. Some of the fighters have been working on this their whole professional lives on this. They are eager to move forward and prove their case.”

Over on the UFC side of the lawsuit, William A. Isaacson, UFC’s lead counsel said about the ruling, “UFC’s own continued growth accompanied by the growth of other established MMA promoters and the prevalence of successful new market entrants all demonstrate the existence of a healthy and competitive MMA market which benefits athletes, promoters, and fans alike.”

UFC President Dana White, when asked about the lawsuit in 2020, dismissed it with his usual arrogance.

“It concerns me so much that I don’t even know anything about it,” he told the media.

Meanwhile, Jake Paul, who has been very outspoken about fighter’s rights and fair pay and has repeatedly taken Dana White and the UFC to task, responded to the ruling with a brief, but pointed tweet.

The lawsuit, which seeks up to $1.6 billion in damages, covers all MMA fighters who competed in UFC events from December 2010 through June 2017.

“Our case challenges the UFC’s alleged abuses of market power to suppress fighter pay,” lawyers for the fighters said in a statement. “We allege that because of its monopoly and monopoly abuses, the UFC pays its fighters only 20% of its event revenues when boxing and other major sports pay well above 50%. The men and women of the UFC who put their lives on the line for their sport deserve better, and we intend to achieve justice on their behalf.”

Doug avatar
Before settling down at BroBible, Douglas Charles, a graduate of the University of Iowa (Go Hawks), owned and operated a wide assortment of websites. He is also one of the few White Sox fans out there and thinks Michael Jordan is, hands down, the GOAT.