Cohen Milstein is co-lead counsel in this antitrust class action on behalf of current and former UFC fighters who allege that the UFC unlawfully monopolized the market for mixed martial arts (“MMA”) promotion by, among other things, locking up fighters with exclusive contracts and acquiring its rivals, leading to suppressed compensation for the fighters.
The Court denied the motion to dismiss in September 2015, and along with co-lead counsel, Cohen Milstein has been vigorously pursuing discovery from the UFC and third-parties since that time. In June 2017, U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy A. Leen denied a bid by a third-party in the suit, UFC rival Bellator Sport Worldwide LLC, to quash a subpoena seeking fighter contract and financial information.
As of October, 2017 the parties continue to litigate a number of discovery issues as the Plaintiffs prepare to file their motion for class certification.
This class action was first filed in December 2014 in California federal court. It alleges that the UFC has unlawfully monopolized the markets for promoting live professional MMA bouts and for purchasing the services of elite professional MMA fighters, and it continues to engage in an anticompetitive scheme to suppress compensation for such elite professional MMA fighters by unlawfully eliminating competition from rival MMA promoters and maintaining and enhancing its monopsony power in the market for MMA fighter services.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that, among other things, the UFC’s alleged anti-competitive acts from at least 2010 to the present, have made (and maintained) the UFC as the only option for MMA fighters who want to earn a viable living in the profession. The complaint further alleges that, as a result of its anti-competitive conduct, the UFC receives approximately 90% of all revenue generated by MMA events in the US, and potentially worldwide, while paying UFC fighters a fraction of what they would earn in a competitive marketplace.
The case was transferred to Nevada in June 2015.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada denied the Defendant’s motion to dismiss the case in September 2015.
Cung Le, et al v. Zuffa, LLC, d/b/a Ultimate Fighting Championship and UFC; Case No. 2:15-cv-01045, U.S. District Court, District of Nevada