Former UFC fighters Jon Fitch, Nate Quarry, Cung Le and other plaintiffs involved in a class action lawsuit against the UFC have won a small victory in their battle against the promotion.
A report from MMA Junkie states that the judge overseeing the antitrust lawsuit will likely grant the plaintiffs “class action” status, meaning that the plaintiffs case will have the strength to move on, as not obtaining that status would’ve likely ended the lawsuit.
If the certification is officially granted, it would allow approximately 1,200 fighters to be grouped together to collectively sue the UFC for anywhere from $800 million to $1.6 billion. This would happen if the plaintiffs can prove that the UFC does possess a monopoly that can suppress the fighter’s earning power.
Quarry, who has been a part of the lawsuit since it’s inception in 2014, posted a lengthy update on Twitter, which was captured for transcript by MMA Junkie:
UFC lawsuit update:
We plaintiffs allege that the UFC has monopolized the sport of MMA and artificially kept wages down. (Among other things)
We believe that this is a feature of the UFC and every fighter has the same story so we are working towards a class action suit.
For that to happen we need Judge Bouleware [sic] to grant us class action certification.
That’s what we were hoping to get today.
The Judge did not give his judgement today.
However, he did make his opinion known and how we would most likely be ruling.
Judge Bouleware [sic], “If the court certifies the bout class, which is most likely going to happen, what will your next steps be?” said to the lawyers.
This is HUGE for us.
Essentially he said, “I’m not going to say I’m siding with the plaintiffs but I’m probably siding w/ them.”
And he didn’t say that just once. He made some form of that statement FOUR times.
Even asking if either team had anything new to present.
Why is a class certification so important? Because we will have one case representing over 1,200 fighters…
Instead of having to file 1,200 individual cases.
I can’t stress this enough. We’re not trying to destroy the UFC. Why would we? They’re the largest promoter, by far, worldwide.
We simply want past, present and future fighters to get paid what they deserve in a free market.
How does this effect the fans?
More money going to Fighters means better training camps, better healthcare and better fights.
Will PPV costs rise?
You never know but I will say this:
Why aren’t PPVs $5? Because you’ll pay $60.
Why aren’t they $100? You won’t pay that much.
The UFC is going to milk every penny they can get out of fans. If they felt they could charge more and get away with it, they would.
This simply means fighters will also perhaps make life changing money.
Not just the promoters.
We’re going to keep pushing forward until the sport is changed for everyone that wants to step foot in the cage with confidence that their success is dependent on their performance.
Not the whims of a promoter and willingness to “play the game”.
There has been no response or statement from the UFC or it’s legal team as to the judge’s potential ruling at this time.