PWInsider.com has acquired a copy of the lawsuit filed yesterday [Elite subscribers, click here] in the United States District Court of Nevada by UFC fighter Mark Hunt against Brock Lesnar, UFC and UFC President Dana White.
The lawsuit alleges that, "Without Mark Hunt's knowledge or consent, the UFC conspired and caused Brock Lesnar, a doping fighter, to fight Hunt, a clean fighter, despite the fact that Lesnar used substances banned by the UFC, USADA and WADA. The substances, Clomiphene and 4-Hydroxyclomiphene, are known “Post Cycle Therapy” (“PCT”) substances believed to be used after a period of strength training with anabolic steroids or similar prohibited substances."
The lawsuit acknowledges that Hunt lost his UFC 200 fight against Lesnar and that because he lost, Hunt "suffered severe physical injury, as well as economic and non-economic damages including without limit damage to his reputation, title contention, and future earning capacity."
Hunt is alleging that both Lesnar and UFC were "unfairly enriched" due to Lesnar being able to fight despite doping and that they made money in excess of the $2.5 million Lesnar made for his base fight purse at UFC 200 and that they did so at the expense of "fighter safety and fair competition."
Hunt's lawsuit notes that his past three opponents in UFC have been found to have used performance enhancing drugs and that the "Defendants’ conduct in connection with UFC 200 is representative of and consistent with a pattern of conduct by Defendants of wrongfully jeopardizing fighter health and safety for profit, in violation of state and federal law and the UFC’s own policies. The UFC’s pattern of conduct includes, but is not limited to, granting doping exemptions and drug testing exemptions to known doping-competitors, and causing those drug-enhanced fighters to compete with clean fighters."
Pointing out that UFC 200 PPV took place just prior to the $4.2 billion sale of UFC and that after Conor McGregor pulled out, the Lesnar vs. Hunt bout was moved to the all-important PPV main event status, Hunt alleges that Dana White "had a strong monetary motive (of approximately $360,000,000.00) to ensure the “success” of the landmark UFC 200 event, which occurred immediately prior to finalizing the sale of UFC, and to ensure the UFC’s high profile bout between Lesnar and Hunt would not be jeopardized regardless of doping violations."
The lawsuit points out that Lesnar was given an exemption from the required four month testing needed for a fighter returning from retirement, even though its been publicly acknowledged that UFC and Lesnar were in discussions for his UFC 2000 fight at least four months before it was officially announced in June 2016 and even though UFC had publicly denied Lesnar was back on the active fighting roster. Hunt alleges that the "one-off" fight was promoted as such to keep Lesnar from being tested as per policy for returning fighters - as was the fact that Lesnar would not be tested until he actually signed his fight contract for UFC 200.
The lawsuit states that on 7/8/16, Lesnar completed a pre-fight questionnaire stating he did not take or receive any medication or drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, from anyone or anyplace, within the month prior to his UFC 200 bout but had Hunt alleges Lesnar actually "upon information and belief" been taking banned substances prior to officially signing his UFC 200 fight contract, since he wasn't being tested during that time period.
The lawsuit also alleges that UFC and Lesnar worked together in order to hide Lesnar's doping and create an unfair advantage for him. The suit notes, "UFC wrongfully abused its discretion to grant Lesnar’s drug testing exemption via USADA, as both Defendants had actual knowledge of Lesnar’s participation in UFC 200 more than four months prior to the event. UFC and Lesnar conspired and caused Lesnar to evade USADA drug testing with actual knowledge or reckless disregard of Lesnar’s use of prohibited substances. As a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ conduct, Defendants caused a doping competitor, Lesnar, to fight a clean fighter, Hunt, in violation of state and federal law and the parties’ respective contracts."
Hunt also alleges that despite having the ability to expedite Lesnar's drug test results so that they could be returned within three days, UFC opted not to do so in order to protect Lesnar's ability to fight because it was so important to the financial well being of the UFC 200 event.
The lawsuit also notes that after the fight takes place and Hunt loses to Lesnar, two different drug tests, one before the fight and one the night of the fight, show that Lesnar has tested positive for Clomiphene and 4-Hydroxyclomiphene. It also claims that "In an Adjudication Agreement between Lesnar and the Nevada State Athletic Commission, Lesnar admitted to the above-referenced positive drug tests, and admitted these positive tests “brought disrepute to unarmed combat."
Hunt meanwhile, pointed out that his fight against Lesnar is now considered a no-contest and stated, "Indeed, every time Hunt fights a doping competitor with a resulting “no contest” outcome, his record remains stagnant, and is deprived of the opportunity to earn a win." In other words, his career has been hurt because every time he's fight of late, the results have been scratched due to positive drug testing results of his opponent.
Hunt is also claiming that UFC is actually in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act by working to allow certain fighters to be able to fight while doping, creating an unfair situation for clean fighters while unjustly enriching the company to benefit themselves to the greatest maximum financial gain, including the recent sale of the company.
The lawsuit notes, "The above-referenced CONDUCT constitutes an “ENTERPRISE” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. section 1961. This ENTERPRISE, consisting of individuals, corporations and other legal entities, and groups of individuals associated in fact, is separate and distinct from each individual Defendant. The structure of the ENTERPRISE consists of fight promotions, including UFC, doping fighters, including but not limited to Lesnar and [Viktor] Belfort, UFC employees and agents specifically referenced below, which ENTERPRISE is disguised and appearing as legitimately engaged in efforts to combat doping in MMA, when actually, the ENTERPRISE advances and willfully facilitates the use of steroids, both affirmatively and by omission as described herein. Each participant knowingly participates in the scheme and has a common purpose to acquire and obtain money by fraud, false pretenses or false representation or promises, which
CONDUCT is facilitated by wire fraud including emails as described herein."
Interestingly, Hunt lists WWE as a member of the Enterprise allowing such conduct. WWE is not currently a defendant in the lawsuit and beyond that mention, there is no allegation in the lawsuit that currently implicates WWE, as a company, or any of its officers, by name, in any way. Beyond noting that WWE allowed Lesnar to compete and that Lesnar later appeared at Summerslam 2016, there are no other references to WWE in the lawsuit as it is currently filed. However, it is also interesting to note that the lawsuit is also filed against John and Jane Does, with the idea that others may be identified and added to the lawsuit as the discovery process takes place. So, it may be that Hunt is leaving the door open to bringing action against WWE in the event his attorneys are able to find something that can potentially implicate them.
Others named in the alleged enterprise beyond Lesnar, White, WWE and UFC are Viktor Belfort, Frank Mir, Antonio Silva, UFC official Jeff Novitzky and former UFC VP and General Counsel Ike Epstein. The lawsuit specifically claims that UFC, Lesnar and White "Defendants and each of them, in the course of the ENTERPRISE and their respective occupations, knowingly and with the intent to defraud, engaged in multiple acts, practices and schemes which operated as a fraud and deceit by false representations."
The lawsuit also claims that UFC breached Hunt's contract through their actions, that they were negligent in their care for him as a fighter, and that the company broke the covenant of "good faith and fair dealing by deliberately countervening the intent and spirit of the contract through both its actions and omissions discussed herein, which CONDUCT was not in good faith." Hunt alleges that UFC was in a superior position in their relationship with Hunt and "wrongfully manipulated bouts, including UFC 200, in a manner that compromised Hunt’s benefits under the above-referenced contracts" and that Hunt was damaged due to the alleged acts against him to an amount that will have to be determined during trial.
Hunt is also demanding that Lesnar's UFC purse and PPV proceeds to surrendered to him as well as UFC "surrender a proportionate share of its UFC 200 profits in an amount to be proven at trial as justice requires pursuant to laws of equity."
Hunt has requested a trial by jury.
As of this writing, none of the defendants have been officially served with the lawsuit.
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