Michael Chandler, Chael Sonnen, and 11 Others Barred From Testifying on Behalf of UFC During Antitrust Trial

The Las Vegas-based promotion took a big hit on Monday when 13 individuals were disqualified from testifying at the upcoming antitrust trial on April 15

Courtesy of @UFCNews and @MMAFighting on X

Michael Chandler, Miesha Tate, and a host of others will be barred from testifying on behalf of the UFC when the promotion’s antitrust trial begins next month. 

Per a report from Paul Gift of Forbes, on Monday, March 4, a pre-trial hearing was held in Las Vegas Federal Court. Judge Richard Boulware waded through a slew of motions addressing situations that could arise at trial where one side doesn’t want the jury exposed to certain material. Chief among them was whether the UFC would be allowed to call 13 witnesses, including five fighters, five managers, and three of its employees to testify in front of the jury.

Most notably, the list featured current and former fighters with the promotion like Michael Chandler, Miesha Tate, Chanel Sonnen, Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, and Michael Bisping.

Unfortunately for the UFC, the plaintiff’s attorney, Eric Cramer, successfully argued that the promotion had failed to properly disclose the 13 total witnesses. “For most of these 13, we have no depositions and no documents,” Cramer noted.

The UFC attempted to argue that plaintiffs made the 13 individuals “known” by asking about or requesting documents related to them during the discovery process. Judge Boulware disagreed and officially excluded them from testifying during the trial which is tentatively scheduled for April 15. 

Over 1,200 Current and Former Fighters are Taking the UFC to Task

The antitrust suit argues that “the UFC used improper strategies to dominate the market for MMA fighter services, allowing it to pay its MMA fighters less than half as much as they otherwise would have received.” Former UFC fighters Cung Le, Jon Fitch, Brandon Vera, Kyle Kingsbury, and Javier Vazquez are among the named plaintiffs, but after the lawsuit was granted class certification in August, over 1,200 fighters are effectively suing the world’s largest MMA promotion. 

If found guilty, the UFC could find themselves on the hook for $800 million to $1.6 billion in damages.

Get a detailed explanation of the ongoing lawsuit against the UFC courtesy of combat sports attorney Erik Magraken below:

Published on March 7, 2024 at 10:21 am
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