Mark Hunt has filed a civil lawsuit against the UFC, Dana White, Brock Lesnar, alleging racketeering, fraud, breach of contract, negligence, and others. Mark Hunt lost by decision to Brock Lesnar in the co-main event at UFC 200. After the fight it was revealed that Lesnar had failed two drug tests from samples taken before UFC 200. The lawsuit was filed in Nevada District Court.
UFC athletes need to be eligible to be tested by USADA four months before their first fight. Lesnar was given an exception by the UFC to the USADA testing process so that he could participate in UFC 200. Brock Lesnar had failed drug tests while he was at the UFC before becoming a professional wrestler full-time. The Nevada State Athletic Commission fined Lesnar $250,000 from his $2.5 million purse. Lesnar was also suspended for a year. Hunt believes that the punishment for doping should be much more arguing that the punishments are currently too low to deter people from doping.
Hunt placed a photo of Lesnar punching Hunt in the complaint.
In Hunt v. Zuffa, LLC, et al., complaint embeds a pic with the caption, "Doping Lesnar Fights Hunt, a clean competitor, at UFC 200." pic.twitter.com/Q4HCcUAIvc
— Jason Cruz (@dilletaunt) January 11, 2017
Hunt told ESPN:
“I want the UFC to understand it’s not OK to keep doing what they’re doing… They’re allowing guys to do this. They had a chance to take all the money from this guy, because he’s a cheater, and they didn’t.
“What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday? The message is, ‘You just have to cheat like this and it’s OK.’ In society, if you commit a crime, you pay. Why is it different in MMA? It’s hurt the business, so it’s even worse. They need to be held accountable for this.”
Mark Hunt has a UFC heavyweight fight scheduled for March of this year.
Hunt is claiming RICO violations, which means he can receive three times the damages. By doing so he has to prove that at least two counts of racketeering occurred in a specific amount of time in conjunction with a company. He is also arguing that the “UFC and its agents were affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit…”
Mark Hunt’s claim also largely rests on proving that the UFC and higher executives at the company granted Lesnar the exemption for personal gain with “knowledge or willful indifference to the fact that Lesnar has used banned substances…” During the discovery phase, Hunt might be able to find proof for his claim that the UFC knew in March, more than four months prior to UFC 200, that Lesnar might return to the UFC.
Lesnar is the third athlete Mark Hunt has fought that was using performance enhancing drugs, which Mark Hunt says are indicative of a much wider issue within the UFC.
A lot can be learned from the discovery phase that extends past knowing what the UFC did in this case but also reveal more facts that might aid the unionization efforts. The results of this lawsuit will be huge going forward on what processes the UFC must use when dealing with new athletes to the organization and how the UFC handles athletes who have a history of using performance enhancing drugs.