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UFC Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit 2021 - Forcing Fighters Into Unfair Contracts & Salaries

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UFC Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit 2021 – Forcing Fighters Into Unfair Contracts & Salaries?

The UFC and Endeavor Group Holdings Allegedly Underpay Fighters and Stifle Competition, According to a Class Action Lawsuit

According to a new antitrust class action lawsuit, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) underpays its fighters, reduces competition, and engages in various anti-competitive acts.

Kajan Johnson, et al. v. Zuffa, LLC, et al.

Kajan Johnson and C.B. Dollaway, two seasoned Ultimate Fighting Championship fighters, filed the complaint in Nevada on June 24. 

The pair alleges that Zuffa, LLC and its parent company, Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc., violate antitrust laws by paying UFC athletes far less than they are entitled to and eliminating or harming other mixed martial arts (MMA) promoters.

Zuffa and Endeavor locked fighters into long-term, exclusive contracts that restrict them from participating in other competitions, the class action lawsuit states. 

Additionally, it alleges that Zuffa and Endeavor use their market dominance to compel fighters into re-signing contracts, effectively making the arrangements perpetual and preventing fighters from reaching free agency. They acquire and then close down other MMA promoters that compete with the UFC.

Fighting is a Must

Johnson stated that similar to other UFC fighters, who have filed class action lawsuits against Zuffa and Endeavor, he brought the complaint on behalf of himself and anyone else who was afraid to speak out against the injustice they have endured.

In addition, Plaintiff Johnson said he feels obligated to contribute to the improvement of the sport for his students and future mixed martial artists.

Dollaway added that they train hard and risk their bodies to succeed in MMA; each time they enter the octagon, they leave a piece of themselves in it, he continues. Furthermore, he demands that UFC should pay them a competitive compensation for their services like professional athletes in other sports.

Money is Stronger than Fighters

According to the Antitrust class action lawsuit, Zuffa hinders competitors from getting the best fighters essential to compete with the UFC by locking fighters to contracts and buying out the biggest rivals. Thus, putting down other companies to the “minor leagues.”

Johnson and Dollaway assert that by acquiring all possible competitors and signing virtually all top fighters to long-term exclusive contracts, Zuffa effectively eliminated any other opportunities for top athletes and aspiring ones to compete at the top level.

Thus, the claim alleges that due to a lack of competition, Zuffa pays UFC fighters a considerably smaller percentage of earnings than they could receive, compared to if they had more options.

The duo is willing to represent anyone who competed in a UFC match on or after July 1, 2017.

The antitrust lawsuit filed against UFC by Johnson and Dollaway is not the only one. A similar complaint alleging antitrust violations, currently pending in federal district court in Nevada, were filed by fighters:

  • Brandon Vera
  • Cung Le
  • Jon Fitch
  • Kyle Kingsburg
  • Luis Javier, and
  • Nathan Quarry

Editor’s Note on UFC Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit 2021 – Forcing Fighters Into Unfair Contracts & Salaries:

This article is written to notify you about UFC fighters allegedly getting locked by long-term contracts, paid less, and restrict from participating in other competitions.

Case Name & No.: Kajan Johnson, et al. v. Zuffa, LLC, et al., Case No. 2:21-cv-01189

Jurisdiction: U.S. District Court in Nevada.

Products/Services: Anti-competitive practice

Allegations: Zuffa, LLC and parent company—Endeavor Group Holdings, Inc.—violate antitrust laws, and their fighters receive a nominal payment

Status: Pending

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Suggested Article: What is the American Antitrust Law?

(PC – Andrius Petrucenia)

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