Mark Hunt has filed a civil suit against UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar.
The legal action stems from Hunt’s loss to Lesnar at UFC 200 in July, after which it was announced that Lesnar failed several drug tests. The current WWE superstar has since been suspended for one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
Hunt is now claiming that UFC, company president White and Lesnar “affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit”. The suit accuses the defendants of racketeering, negligence, fraud and breach of contract. The fighter is also looking for financial compensation for physical damages, as well as damages to his brand.
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.”
One of Hunt’s main issues is the reported $2.5 million that Lesnar received for the fight. When charged for the failed drug tests and suspended, Lesnar was also hit with a $250,000 fine – 10% of the purse. Hunt is arguing that Lesnar should not have been allowed to keep the remaining money. Says Hunt’s attorney Christina Denning;
“Once we found out the penalty was only 10 percent of his purse, we went back to the UFC and offered to accept [Lesnar’s] purse amount, less than the $250,000 penalty. We also wanted them to accept the clause moving forward.”
Under UFC guidelines, any fighter coming out of retirement are required to undergo four months of drug testing prior to the fight. In Lesnar’s case, UFC waived this requirement. Hunt also alleges that both Lesnar and the UFC knew that he would be coming out of retirement at least three months before it was officially announced. With UFC 200 still four months away at that point, there would have been plenty of time for Lesnar to enter the testing period.
UFC nor Lesnar have yet commented on the lawsuit.