It had to happen eventually, so we might as well get it over with. A former “Ultimate Fighter” cast member — season four’s Mikey Burnett — is suing TufGuy Productions, Inc., which produces the show, as well as insurance company AIG, which insured him during the show. Sherdog has the scoop:
According to the lawsuit filed on June 9, Burnett claims alleged negligence against the defendants, who “carelessly, recklessly and negligently failed to provide a safe environment for the Ultimate Fighter 4 participants.”
Specifically, the 34-year-old Burnett states that he suffered a career-ending spinal injury during the show’s tapings.
The suit alleges that Burnett has suffered “serious bodily injuries, has endured and continues to endure both physical and mental pain and suffering and has incurred severe medical expenses.”
Burnett has also filed grievances with AIG, which allegedly insured Burnett during his time on the series, for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing for failing “to make a reasonable offer and payment in connection” with the policy.
As you may recall, season four was “The Comeback” season that featured former UFC fighters trying to battle their way back into the Octagon. You may also recall that during his time on the show Burnett could be seen voluntarily running into a wall. So, you know, there’s that to talk about in court.
As for the argument that the defendants failed to provide a safe environment, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. MMA fighting is, to begin with, a pretty unsafe environment. Unless Burnett can prove that the training, fighting, or living conditions were especially unsafe, this seems like a tough argument to make. You also have to wonder whether a guy who runs into walls when he’s bored is the best barometer of what constitutes a safe environment.