Antitrust Suit Vs Ufc Wins Legal Decision

Jon Fitch, top, is a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the U.F.C. that could upend the business of mixed martial arts. “I do agree this case is part of a general reopening of the public discourse about monopoly power, as well as a redirection of that concern more specifically to upstream harms to competition, including in labor markets,” said Steinbaum, the economist.

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“I have a hard time wanting to train and coach people and put them back into that system.” He wants less onerous, shorter-term contracts with real exit clauses. He likes being an independent contractor rather a bona fide employee, can i trust ufx but he wants that to work as it’s intended so he can shop around freely for the best fights and promoters, who’d compete against each other. He argues more competition will make for a better sport, even for the fans.

Ufc Antitrust Lawsuit Moves Forward With Judge Granting Class

A formula reportedly found the wage gap from differing revenue splits to amount to $1.6 billion, and damages are tripled in antitrust cases. A judge said he would grant class-action status to a group of fighters arguing that the Ultimate Fighting Championship suppresses pay.

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The plaintiffs are seeking between $800 million and $1.6 billion in damages from the UFC. While many professional sports organizations remain hesitant to change their restrictive stances on cannabis use, growing platform trading support for legalization has led other organizations to reevaluate their rules. «We’re beyond thrilled to start working with Mr. Palatnikov and his cannabis journey,» noted President and COO Andrew Glashow.

Are You A Current Or Former Ufc Fighter?

It was only two weeks ago when the Ultimate Fighting Championship trumpeted the signing of CM Punk, the wrestling star who exited World Wrestling Entertainment frustrated by working conditions. Tuesday afternoon, a group of prominent current and former UFC fighters filed an antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against UFC’s parent company, Zuffa, leveling harsh criticisms of UFC working conditions. The group includes UFC star Cung Le as well as former stars Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry. They seek certification to represent other fighters in what might become a massive class action. Beyond words, the UFC may have some difficulty fighting this claim as well. The complaint also alleges that UFC fighters generally make between 10-17% of total UFC revenues generated from a bout, compared to the more than 50% of league revenue enjoyed by athletes in the the four major sports markets .

  • With one word, the antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC by now-former fighters snapped back into reality after an eight-month hiatus as Judge Richard Boulware of the U.S.
  • The damages being asked for by this group was much lower – $37 million according to Hal Singer in one report.
  • Up until now, that report has been available but with a heavy amount of black ink splashed across its pages, hiding UFC financial information and internal practices that the promotion did not want to be made public.
  • Zuffa further depicts the plaintiffs’ calculations as intentionally deceiving.
  • “I do agree this case is part of a general reopening of the public discourse about monopoly power, as well as a redirection of that concern more specifically to upstream harms to competition, including in labor markets,” said Steinbaum, the economist.
  • All MMA promotions would be affected by the new regulations, but none so much as the UFC, which enjoys a global lion’s share of the sport’s overall profits.

Instead of a handful of fighters suing, thousands could soon become class members. Should the fighters ultimately prevail on the merits, the potential monetary damages could rise to many millions of dollars. Last October, I wrote about four games I believed were being played by the plaintiffs in this case. In 2018, it submitted a head-scratching declaration from MMA manager Ali Abdelaziz claiming that disclosure of fighter pay information would “hinder” him in obtaining the best possible deal for a fighter. The difference, though, is the UFC’s game was played in an effort to keep its proprietary financial information sealed from public view while plaintiffs’ were played in an effort to keep their case alive. The judge has already made clear his decision will be based solely on the testimony and expert reports. The problem is, if I were picking winners, the plaintiffs won the testimony while the UFC took the expert reports.

Want The Latest News And Insights In Mma?

Throughout the August hearings, Boulware seemed to be more amenable to the plaintiffs’ side of the case, their explanations for using metrics like wage share, and their arguments why particular regression results made sense or were problematic. While neither side’s expert witnesses were truly experts in MMA, Boulware seemed just as new to the MMA space and appeared to be learning about the fight game as he went along.

Previous ones have served to improve pay, competitiveness, and growth. In football and basketball, both of which have gone through those antitrust motions in past decades, athletes get paid close to 50% of what their leagues bring in, whereas UFC pay is closer to 19%. Still, this case is slightly more “legally innovative,” says Marshall Steinbaum, an economics professor at the University of Utah who has researched labor and market different types of brokers concentration. It’s a case of vertical market restraint, meaning that the UFC controls the entire supply chain, from recruitment and promotion to events to distribution. The plaintiffs have argued that the UFC has actively worked to eliminate competition in the MMA space, buying up other big promotions such as Pride, WEC and Strikeforce, so it can control the vast majority of the market share and keep fighter wages down.

If the fighters win, it could force the U.F.C. to pay much, much more. Boulware did not grant certification for the «identity class» part of the suit where fighters claimed the UFC suppressed licensing fees associated with identity rights. The plaintiffs, who include former UFC fighters Cung Le and Jon Fitch, are claiming the UFC is an illegal monopoly, crushing competition from other MMA promoters in an effort to drive down wages for fighters. The plaintiffs in the long-running antitrust lawsuit against the UFC have earned a victory. So if you roster him, you need to hope for a finish or bust in my opinion. In his last five fights he has hit value every single outing with scores of 108, 107, 86, 120, and 98. This is five rounds, so he will have no issues with covering value if he wins.

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Full fight library, breakdown of athlete profiles including all their fights in one place. When there is a big fight it can be up to 3 weeks before the full card is uploaded there. Taking six years just to reach a point that is still a long way from a trial is typical of class-action antitrust lawsuits, according to experts. But they also said that there were a handful of unusual factors in this case that could result in it having an outsized impact beyond the world of cage fighting. The thing I just don’t like about this sport though is too much ground wrestling. Or maybe I just don’t like to see 2 guys hugging, and on top of each other.

Could Anti

While these allegations do not necessarily show that the UFC is a monopoly, the complaint suggests that the UFC acts in ways adverse to its fighter’s best interests because it is aware of its control over the sport of MMA. Since the hearings started this past Monday, we’ve already learned quite a bit more about the inner workings of the UFC and their competitors than we knew before the week started. Financial information revealed in court proceedings showed that UFC fighters’ wage share of revenue has hovered around 18-19% of total revenue since 2011, while Bellator’s wage share through 2017 was 44.7% and Strikeforce’s wage share sat at 63% before becoming defunct. Documents also show that between December 16, 2010, and June 30, 2017, Zuffa fighters were paid a total of $626 million. Singer admits his work is out of the norm – using wage share instead of absolute wage levels in attempting to show that fighter compensation was reduced due to the UFC’s alleged abuse of monopoly and monopsony power.

After all, Le is the only one in the suit that is currently under contract with the UFC. The suit contends that fighters who worked with rival sponsors or promoters have faced retaliation, with the UFC refusing to book their bouts or barring them from UFC promotions such as ad campaigns or video games. At a news conference, lawyers declined to put a price tag on the damages being sought. Third, expect the UFC to reference how the Federal Trade Commission investigated it for antitrust violations from 2011 to 2012 but declined to pursue the matter. The FTC studied the UFC’s acquisition of Strikeforce, World Fighting Alliance and other MMA leagues, but found no unlawful conduct.

Only Le currently has a UFC contract, although he said at a news conference that he would not fight if called up for a bout. It could take several more years, when you take into account trials and appeals. Any further, more radical labor reforms from the lawsuit specifically seem unrealistic, Steinbaum says. “In this case,” he says, “I think we’re not there yet.” It’s especially ambitious to think that it could create precedent for contractor rights in other industries, such as among Uber drivers. To be in contention for the Ultimate Fighting Championship crown, you’d better have a powerful punch, sturdy abdominals, and a jaw of steel, and the stamina to fight through blindness, broken arms, and collapsed lungs. But, you’ll also require the resilience to endure an overbearing company that promotes all the league’s players, controls the rankings and belt titles, and pays you a considerably low wage relative to the amount it brings in. The risk of pretrial discovery might also motivate the UFC to offer Le an attractive settlement that, if accepted, would increase fighters’ pay.

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The restrictions are instead negotiated individually between fighters and the UFC, and Le and his co-plaintiffs contend the UFC won’t budge on certain provisions. Either way, dividing the content among the two apps to force you to pay for both is disgusting. Full of knowledge and character, to really break down the expertise in the fights as well as mixing in the background of the athletes, their individual histories, strengths – weaknesses.

Whats Being Alleged In This New Lawsuit?

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With one word, the antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC by now-former fighters snapped back into reality after an eight-month hiatus as Judge Richard Boulware of the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas closes in on a decision on whether the case should be certified as a class action. Antitrust lawsuits are practically a rite of passage in major American sports.

According to an internal document from the time evaluating the purchase, which was made public as part of the lawsuit, bankers Endeavor spoke with were worried about what would happen if fighters were paid more. Boulware’s decision was a win for the plaintiffs, though not a surprise as he had previously intimated he would grant class certification in September. Had he chosen not to grant class certification, the lawsuit likely would have been dead in the water. Additionally, the complaint offers some proof of intimidation and threats against UFC fighters which adds to the general monopolistic attitude the UFC allegedly embodies. For example, the UFC negotiated a video game deal with THQ, Inc., and required all their fighters to assign their likeness rights to THQ indefinitely for no compensation. One of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit, former UFC fighter Jon Fitch, attempted to negotiate some type of compensation for the deal, and was subsequently fired from the UFC. Penn, claims he was threatened with a lifelong ban by UFC president Dana White when he considered working with a rival promoter for a higher salary.

Return to Forbes next week for a detailed breakdown of the judge’s written order and the UFC’s potential for a successful appeal. Judge Boulware anticipates his written order will come out on Monday. Brent Primus isn’t happy with Bellator’s decision to book ‘Pitbull’ vs. forex broker types Queally for the vacant lightweight title. “By filing this action, we are bringing the proposed class period forward to also cover all fighters who competed in bouts between June 30, 2017 and the present,” Eric L. Cramer, one of the lead attorneys, said in a statement.