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Tag: class action lawsuits

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.

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Dennis Hallman and Javier Vazquez File Their Own Class-Action Lawsuit Against the UFC…With the Same Lawyers as the Other One


(Dennis Hallman is the 72-fight MMA veteran who made his UFC debut with a win over Matt Hughes back in the SEG era. Javier Vazquez is the guy in this gif who isn’t Chad Mendes. / Photo via MMAWeekly)

While doing more research on the class-action lawsuit filed against the UFC last week, Bloody Elbow’s John Nash came across something strange. A second, nearly identical class-action lawsuit against the UFC was filed yesterday, with MMA vets Dennis Hallman and Javier Vasquez listed as plaintiffs:

The fighters named are asking to be representatives for their class in lawsuit that accuses the UFC of an “overarching anticompetitive scheme to maintain and enhance its (a) monopoly power in the market for promotion of live Elite Professional mixed martial arts (“MMA”) bouts,1 and (b) monopsony power in the market for live Elite Professional MMA Fighter services.”

They are also represented by the same legal counsel that are representing Le, Quarry, and Fitch.

That last detail makes this particularly odd. Because why wouldn’t Hallman and Vasquez just join forces with the first lawsuit to begin with? Reddit user hulking_menace offers one possible explanation:

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Tito Ortiz Wants No Part of the Class-Action Lawsuit Against the UFC, Thank You Very Much


(To clarify, “BITCH” is actually an acrostic for “Buddy I Trust Completely, Hooray!”)

Considering his on-again, off-again relationship with Dana White over the years (which sadly never came to actual blows), one would think that Tito Ortiz would have been chief among the fighters filing the class action lawsuit against the UFC when the list of names was first released. Ortiz has thrown near CagePotato-ian levels of shade at the UFC since “retiring” in the cage at UFC 148, and has repeatedly emphasized above all else that the slave-like treatment of fighters young and old was at the root of his issues with the promotion. It’s almost as if he hasn’t realized that mo money = mo problems.

As it turns out, Ortiz actually *was* approached to get in on the lawsuit and the hundreds of millions of thousands of zero dollars it will yield, but declined the offer because he didn’t want to “lend his name to it.” Ortiz’s lawyer, George Prajin, spoke with MMAJunkie:

Yes, (he was approached). He felt that it was just best to not be a part of that suit.

Obviously, everybody wants a better situation for the fighters, as far as pay and benefits. But Tito just felt that at that particular time, he wanted to opt out.

Because mainly, they were using him for the publicity aspect, and he didn’t want to lend his name to it. 

It’s easy to understand why Ortiz would “opt out” of the suit if you give it more than a moment’s thought…

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Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against UFC — Details Inside [UPDATED]


(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.”

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