A fairly major development has occurred in the UFC antitrust lawsuit. A judge has determined that the fighters deserve class certification, allowing the case to move forward in a big way.
Former UFC fighters Jon Fitch, Cung Le and Nate Quarry, among others, have been pursuing a lawsuit against the promotion for some time. They seek compensation from the organization, as they claim that measures have been put in place to assure the promotion has a monopoly and monopsony over the best fighters in the sport. The fighters believe that this allowed the UFC to have an unfair advantage in negotiations with their free agents, leading to strong-arming negotiation tactics.
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UFC Antitrust Lawsuit Gets Class Certification
It would seem that these fighters got a big win in the UFC antitrust lawsuit endeavors on Thursday. U.S. District Judge Richard Boulware followed through on his plans to grant class certification to the fighters, grouping 1,214 fighters together for a single lawsuit. This allows these fighters to collectively sue the promotion for somewhere between an estimated $800 million and $1.6 billion. However it is worth noting that the judge only awarded class certification for the “bout” class of fighters, not the “identity” class, the differences of which was best explained by John Nash, who has been doing amazing work to cover this entire case.
“The bout class it the fighters that fought for Zuffa and were paid for those fights between Dec 2010-June 2017. The identity class are fighters who collected payments for their image rights (posters, toys, video games etc) during that same period.
The bout class was asking for more damages (anywhere from $600 mil to $1.6 bil in damages) than the identity class (somewhere around $50 mil if I recall.) Loss of identity class removes Nate Quarry as a plaintiff, making Le, Fitch, Kingsbury, Vera, Vazquez the named plaintiffs.”
The bout class was asking for more damages (anywhere from $600 mil to $1.6 bil in damages) than the identity class (somewhere around $50 mil if I recall.) Loss of identity class removes Nate Quarry as a plaintiff, making Le, Fitch, Kingsbury, Vera, Vazquez the named plaintiffs. https://t.co/J3nFGztjes
— John S. Nash (@heynottheface) December 10, 2020
To be clear, there is still a lot of work to do before the UFC anti-trust lawsuit has any sort of final verdict. However this was a crucial step in the right direction for the plaintiffs, and moves the case along in a big way.