August 9, 2023
A Nevada federal judge gave Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters a crucial, long-awaited win Wednesday with the certification of one of two proposed classes in an antitrust suit alleging the organization repressed wages by up to $1.6 billion through coercive, exclusive contracts and the purchase of rival promoters.
U.S. District Judge Richard F. Boulware II certified a class of fighters who competed in at least one professional UFC mixed martial arts bout in the U.S. between December 2010 and June 2017, and he refused to certify a class of fighters whose identities were used in licensed merchandise or promotional materials.
Judge Boulware’s 80-page ruling came down to crediting the statistical model created by the plaintiff fighters’ expert economist, Hal J. Singer, while rejecting arguments from UFC parent company Zuffa LLC as the judge weighs allegations the organization has an illegal monopsony on the buyer-side market of purchasing fighter services.
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The fighters are represented by Eric L. Cramer, Michael Dell’Angelo, Patrick F. Madden, Joshua P. Davis and Mark R. Suter of Berger Montague, Joseph R. Saveri, Jiamin S. Chen and Kevin E. Rayhill of Joseph Saveri Law Firm LLP, Benjamin D. Brown, Richard A. Koffman and Daniel H. Silverman of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Bradley S. Schrager of Wolf Rifkin Shapiro Schulman & Rabkin LLP, Robert C. Maysey and Jerome K. Elwell of Warner Angle Hallam Jackson & Formanek PLC, William G. Caldes of Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis PC, John D. Radice of Radice Law Firm PC and Frederick S. Schwartz of The Law Office of Frederick S. Schwartz.