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Mark Hunt’s legal battle raises big concerns for UFC fighters

Mark Hunt UFC Dana White

The reported current status of Mark Hunt’s legal battle with the UFC could serve as a rather concerning warning to other UFC fighters

Mark Hunt has called out UFC bosses Dana White and Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, amid claims that he has lost his legal battle with them.

After his fight with Brock Lesnar was declared a no contest, Hunt claimed that the promotion put him in the cage with Lesnar, already knowing that he was using PEDs.

The court case was originally dismissed in 2019, however, the appeals court decided to reopen the cases on fraud and battery in September of 2021.

LAS VEGAS, NV - MARCH 04: Mark Hunt of Australia waits for a start of a round in a heavyweight bout against Alistair Overeem of the Netherlands during UFC 209 at T-Mobile Arena on March 4, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steve Marcus/Getty Images)

A concerning report.

An article from bjpenn.com then cited a report from ‘Combat Sports Law,’ which stated that Hunt had been ordered to pay the UFC $388,235 in legal costs.

The reason for this is one that could prove very costly to fighters looking to take legal action against the UFC.

The report stated, “In the recent case (Hunt v. Zuffa) the UFC prevailed on several motions to dismiss and a motion for summary judgment.

“The UFC sought to recover legal fees from Hunt under a clause in his contract with the promotion that has potentially crushing consequences to a fighter who unsuccessfully sues the promotion.

“The contract notes that a “prevailing party” may recover “its attorneys’ fees and costs” if required to litigate disputes “arising from or related to this Agreement.”

In other words, Hunt’s battle with the UFC won’t just leave him out of pocket due to his own legal fees and an inability to do his job with the promotion that he’s going after, but he will also suffer the repercussions of having to pay for the UFC’s legal fees.

While there is a lot to this decision that is inherently fair, as the stipulation should deter fighters from going after the UFC unnecessarily, the concern now becomes how financially taxing it must be to take a shot at the UFC.

Is it over?

If going after the promotion that pays you wasn’t already enough of a deterrent, Hunt’s case appears to be one that could ward other fighters off taking action, should a dispute arise.

Hunt, however, wasn’t ready to throw in the towel and believed the decision was premature but the report continued on in a manner that doesn’t look too promising for him.

“Hunt argued it was premature to order costs because of an ongoing appeal in the lawsuit between the parties. The Court, however, gave little weight to this argument noting as follows.

“While I appreciate Hunt’s professed desire to conserve judicial resources and prevent ‘the time-consuming task of determining a proper fee award’ should he win his appeal, I find that the efficient disposition of this matter is best served by my resolution of UFC’s fee motion. So, I deny Hunt’s request to defer ruling on UFC’s motion until after appeal”

The report then concluded with, “While Hunt concedes that UFC may seek attorneys’ fees and costs for defending itself against the full complement of Hunt’s claims under the explicit terms of the parties’ agreement, he argues that UFC’s fee request is premature and unreasonable and seeks costs disallowed under federal law. Because

“I find that UFC is entitled to attorneys’ fees and costs under the parties’ agreement, its request is reasonable, and its motion is ripe, I grant UFC’s motion in its entirety.”

Hunt’s reaction

Hunt reacted to one of bjpenn.com’s articles and called out the journalist who wrote the story, asking where he got his information.

“BJ Penn bro. Really Christopher Taylor? 2022, the start of a new year and u saying I got to pay this come on, bro. Where did u get this info from? Did u just make it up or what?”

Hunt continued to post on his Instagram story, suggesting that the case be settled in a different way.

“Mark the super Samoan vs Dana ‘the parasite’ White, Lorenzo Fertita and Frank Fertitta.

“5 rounds, MMA. These losers – Dana White, Frank Fertita and Lorenzo Fertita have sucked the life out of so many fighters. Him and his scum friends. You win, I drop the lawsuit. I win u pay every fighter u have ripped off since The UFC started. Now, who would pay to see that.”

“Cannot wait for this lawsuit to go to trial. We will see where all these scum haters with zero backbone are a bunch of cowards.”

While the report from Combat Sports Law doesn’t leave Hunt’s situation looking positive, his proposal to White and the Fertitta’s certainly won’t seem appealing.

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