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Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza File New Class-Action Lawsuit Against UFC


(Photo by Paolo Seen/Rappler.com)

According to a Christmas Eve report from BloodyElbow, former UFC fighters Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza have filed an antitrust class-action suit against UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC. The complaint was filed in the California Northern District Court, and assigned to Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins.

This is the third such antitrust lawsuit filed against the UFC, following the high-profile first attack from Cung Le, Nate Quarry, and Jon Fitch, and the quieter follow-up from Dennis Hallman and Javier Vazquez. BloodyElbow reports that the fighters in all three suits are being “represented by legal counsel from the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Inc, Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC, and the Law Office of Frederick S. Schwartz.”

Brandon Vera spent the bulk of his (mostly disappointing) MMA career competing for the UFC, compiling an 8-7 record with one no-contest from 2005-2013. News of his UFC release was officially announced in June of this year, although he hadn’t fought under the UFC banner since his TKO loss to Ben Rothwell the previous August. Earlier this month, Vera spoke out about the lack of respect he felt during the end of his relationship with the UFC, then soccer-kicked the bejesus out of some dude in the Philippines.

Pablo Garza cobbled together a 3-3 record in the UFC from 2010-2013, earning a Knockout of the Night bonus in his first fight against Fredson Paixao, a Submission of the Night bonus in his second fight against Yves Jabouin, and an upset decision win against Mark Hominick back in November 2012. He was cut from the promotion after being choked out by Diego Brandao in April 2013.

At the time, Garza’s release seemed somewhat premature — but it’s possible that the UFC was looking for a reason to get rid of him. Garza posted an update on Facebook last week that included this damning accusation: “Back in 2012 all ufc fighters were asked to sign a petition saying that the Ufc isnt a monopoly and that fighter are treated fairly. I was one of the few who chose not to sign it.”

And now, Vera and Garza join the legal mass-attack against the UFC that will become a major storyline in 2015. More ex-UFC fighters will surely file similar class-action suits (or join existing ones) in the near future, and we’ll keep you posted as that happens.

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