Fighters Take on UFC in Antitrust Bout
On Wednesday, December 24, a third antitrust lawsuit was filed against the UFC by fighters claiming the organization is a monopoly and illegally restrains trade.
The first two lawsuits, brought on December 16 and December 22, alleged that the UFC is engaging in illegal practices to eliminate competition from rival MMA promoters. The activities include counterprogramming, demanding venues and sponsors to sign exclusivity agreements, and taking rights fighters’ likenesses. This third claim alleges similar misconduct. The UFC allegedly prevents other promoters’ access to resources that are critical to the success of MMA as a sport. Additionally, the suit claims the UFC imposes restrictions on fighters’ right to compete for other organizations both during and after their UFC career.
The lawsuit seeks $100 million in damages and will likely become a class action. The damages alleged are that UFC fighters’ pay is driven down in the marketplace by the UFC’s monopolistic control. Also, the fighters seek damages for the UFC’s unfair taking of their rights to their likenesses. The UFC has yet to respond to the lawsuits.