clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mark Hunt’s lawsuit against Dana White and the UFC just got a massive boost

Mark Hunt sued Dana White, Brock Lesnar and the UFC over claims the promotion allowed Lesnar to fight despite testing positive for banned substances.

Mark Hunt and Brock Lesnar face-off ahead of UFC 200 in 2016.
Mark Hunt and Brock Lesnar face-off ahead of UFC 200 in 2016.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

At UFC 200 in 2017 Mark Hunt lost to Brock Lesnar by unanimous decision. However, that decision was later overturned and changed to a no contest after it was revealed that Lesnar had tested positive for the banned substance clomiphene during a pre-fight drug test. Lesnar also tested positive for that same substance after the contest.

In response to this information Hunt sued the UFC, Dana White and Brock Lesnar. In his lawsuit he claimed that the UFC knew about Lesnar’s use of a banned substance before their fight.

A key detail in his lawsuit was that Hunt said he never consented to fight an opponent who was using banned substances and that losing to Lesnar had caused harm to his reputation and future earning potential. Hunt also claimed he was the victim of breach of contract, unjust enrichment, battery and fraud.

In 2019 a U.S. District Court in Nevada dismissed most of Hunt’s claims (per Conduct Detrimental). The only claim the court did not dismiss was a claim of breaking the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. However, that claim was thrown out later after the UFC were awarded a summary judgment.

Hunt has kept the fight going, though.

This week the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed some of that 2019 decision. The result of Hunt’s successful appeal is that his lawsuit’s claims of fraud and battery will go back to court.

The U.S. District Court will hear those claims again. However, this time they will have the instruction of a higher court that these claims are valid.

In their decision, the appeals court ruled that White’s statement that Lesnar would be “the most tested athlete on this card” could be grounds for fraud, since that was a false representation of material fact.

After his court victory Hunt took to Instagram to explain that this case “Was never about money.”

Mark Hunt: This was never about money and it never ever will be, if it was I would have made different decisions leading to this point. This was about a fair and even playing field for ALL fighters. Dana White, Lorenzo Fertita, Frank Fertita @ufc never ever gave me and many other fighters an even playing field to compete. The battle is back on and at least some justice has been served. UFC fighters are still fighting for peanuts 16 percent (shared) is nothing considering you are putting your life in the hands of another when you enter the octogon. A UFC belt should hold prestige but it’s worthless when fighters are cheating and it takes away the integrity of the sport. What do you think people??? I love seeing your thoughts good or bad

After UFC 200 Hunt went on to fight five more times in the UFC. His last Octagon bouts were three fights taken in 2018 versus Curtis Blaydes, Aleksei Oleinik and Justin Willis.

In 2020 Hunt lost a pro boxing bout to retired rugby league player Paul Gallen.