(The lawsuit’s plaintiffs are listed as “Cung Le, Nathan Quarry, Jon Fitch, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated.” / Photo via Getty)
UPDATE: The actual legal filing can be read right here, and the full audio of the conference call is below, via MMAFightCorner.
The reported class-action lawsuit against the UFC filed by current and former fighters will be officially announced this afternoon. The communications firm Turner4D sent a notice to CagePotato.com and other MMA media entities yesterday afternoon, stating that the plaintiffs’ names and other details will be provided during a news conference beginning at 1 p.m. PT / 4 p.m. ET. The conference will be held at Hyatt Place San Jose/Downtown in San Jose, California. Autograph seekers are advised to wait by the bar and act cool.
CagePotato will be listening in to the proceedings via telephone machine, and we’ll type out important updates about the UFC class-action lawsuit below as we get them. Stay tuned, you guys. #TheTimeIsNow
Even before the call starts, Greg Savage of Sherdog passes along some info: “The civil action is [titled] Cung Le, et al v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC…Media packet states that Cung Le, Jon Fitch and Nate Quarry are the participants in the suit…The case was filed today in the Northern District of California in San Jose. It seeks treble damages and injunctive relief under the Sherman Antitrust Act.”
Yes, those are all guys who have expressed frustration with the UFC in the past. (See: Here, here.)
The call is kicked off by Joseph Saveri, an antitrust lawyer based in San Francisco. He introduces Le and Quarry (who are on the scene in San Jose), and Fitch who is participating by phone. Saveri also introduces other lawyers who are participating, including antitrust experts Benjamin Brown and Robert Maysey.
Saveri: “Today, there is only one real promotional option for MMA fighters — the UFC.” Saveri outlines the lawsuit that was filed by the aforementioned fighters this afternoon. Essentially: The UFC has monopolized the MMA industry, destroyed competitors, and as a result, MMA athletes have been unable to obtain what they’re worth. They’ve also lost ownership of their likenesses.
Brown: “Elite MMA fighters earn a mere fraction of the revenue compared to boxing…UFC’s profit margins are among the highest in all of sport…UFC has monopolized the highest level of the sport.”