Jon Fitch, Cung Le and Nate Quarry are the first three names on the class-action lawsuit to be filed against the UFC. --Those are three fighters who have main evented in the UFC--two of whom fought in championship bouts during their careers but it should not be confused that these are the only fighters involved with the suit. They are, however, the "identity class plaintiffs" on the complaint. Carlos Newton is in attendance but not on the official document.
The suit alleges that the UFC has violated the Sherman Antitrust Act via an illegal scheme to eliminate competition. The result of these tactics is a marketplace where fighters are only able to earn a fraction of what they would in a competitive marketplace (along with fighters being forced to give up the rights to their name and likeness in perpetuity...etc).
The primary lawfirms involved are Joseph Saveri Law Firm, Inc (recently in news for successful antitrust case against Apple, Google, Adobe other tech giants) - Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll, PLLC (involved in $1billion+ victory against Dow Chemical and $500mil victory against Countrywide Financial Corporation) - Berger & Montague, P.C. It will also be taking place in the Bay Area in California. That's the home to Le and also a notoriously plaintiff friendly state in antitrust cases.
The suit singles out statements by UFC officials wherein they compare the promotion to the NFL as "the only game in town," but then draws important distinctions between the NFL and UFC in that multiple teams are bidding for the services of the athletes.
Also singled out are UFC practices such as not allowing sponsors in the cage if they'd sponsored rival fighters or events. Continuing the idea that the UFC has taken action to squash potentially competitive rivals, leading to a non-competitive marketplace which prevents fighters from being able to earn their worth as high level mixed martial artists.
While Le, Fitch and Quarry are the named plaintiffs, the class-action would be open to "All persons who competed in one or more live professional UFC-promoted MMA bouts taking place or broadcast in the United States during the Class Period. The Bout Class excludes all persons who are not residents or citizens of the United States unless the UFC paid such persons for competing in a bout fought in the United States."
We will have far more details in the coming hours and days. Make sure to stay tuned here at Bloody Elbow and follow along with our live coverage of today's press conference making the lawsuit official.