By now, the anti-trust lawsuit filed against Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, is old news. But understanding its nuances and implications remains a mystery for many, largely because the law is often unnecessarily confusing.
Many may think that the fighters who've brought the lawsuit, Cung Le, Nathan Quarry and Jon Fitch filed the complaint on December 16, 2014, because they think the UFC is only a monopoly. You might be wondering how much money is on the line and what exactly the evidence is against the UFC. You could read the complaint and still not have clear answers to either question and leave with a mistaken impression of what's really going on in the lawsuit. That's partially on purpose — lawyers often don't say more than they're absolutely required to. It's also because the rules behind civil litigation are very different from the courtroom dramas that we're use to seeing on television.
In this podcast, we break down the two main sides of the lawsuit, the monopoly and the monopsony, that the three fighters allege the UFC has created. We'll go through the significance of the two "classes" of plaintiffs that are represented by the lawsuit and the hurdles facing plaintiffs, like class certification and a looming motion to dismiss. Sound confusing? Don't worry, we've got you covered. After listening to this, you'll have a firm grasp of how the UFC has allegedly manipulated the MMA market, the results of the alleged monopoly and monopsony the UFC has created, the ins and outs of the legal process that the UFC faces, and much more.
Regardless of the outcome of this litigation — win, lose or protracted war followed by unsatisfying settlement — the lawsuit has the potential to pull back the curtain on many UFC secrets. Through the lawsuit, the world will get a peek into how the UFC really runs. More than even that, in defending itself at the class certification stage, in a motion to dismiss and especially during discovery, the world will see how the UFC views itself.
Lawyers have fancy multi-syllabal words, caselaw, statutes and regulations to hide behind. They use fine print and meticulous, often exhausting lines of questions to win arguments and cases. But they are also (especially at the highest level) storytellers. They understand that to win a case, a defendant, or a plaintiff, needs a compelling story about itself and about the other side. The story the UFC's lawyers tell about the largest, most well-respected MMA promotional company is one that every MMA fan will want to pay close attention to.
A former college wrestler, Taekwondo black-belt, and wannabe boxer, Paul Navarro (aka Fight Like Sugar) is now a full-time lawyer, part-time fight scribe, and high school wrestling coach.