Three MMA fighters announced they have filed a class-action anti-trust lawsuit against UFC on Tuesday. The suit, filed in federal court in San Jose, accuses UFC of engaging in monopolistic behavior in shutting down its competitors.
The three plaintiffs named in the case are Jon Fitch, Nathan Quarry and Cung Le. Le is still under contract with UFC.
The plaintiffs accuse UFC of "illegally maintaining monopoly and monopsony power by systematically eliminating competition from rival promoters, artificially suppressing fighters’ earnings from bouts and merchandising and marketing activities through restrictive contracting and other exclusionary practices."
The UFC released a statement Tuesday night about the suit:
"The UFC is aware of the action filed today but has not been served, nor has it had the opportunity to review the document. The UFC will vigorously defend itself and its business practices."
The plaintiffs claim that their wages were illegally suppressed by UFC because they were banned from fighting for other promoters. They also allege they are due compensation for UFC's use of their likeness, which the company "takes the rights to ... in perpetuity."
One example of monopolistic behavior detailed in the complaint is UFC's acquisition of Strikeforce, a rival MMA promotion. UFC purchased Strikeforce in 2011 and later shuttered its operations, transferring fighters to UFC.
- Dan Gartland