Ath­letes spoke about the hell­ish work­ing con­di­tions in the pro­mo­tion.

A US court has approved a law­suit against the UFC filed by more than 1,200 fight­ers. They accuse Dana White’s pro­mo­tion of ille­gal prac­tices in order to take a dom­i­nant posi­tion in the world of mixed mar­tial arts.

The con­flict between the fight­ers and the cham­pi­onship has been going on for almost ten years — the law­suit was filed back in 2014. Dur­ing this time, sev­er­al hun­dred ath­letes joined him. In their view, the UFC used dirty meth­ods to gain and main­tain dom­i­nance in the mar­ket, while the fight­ers them­selves were under­paid for years.

Details of the pro­ceed­ings were pub­lished on Twit­ter by lawyer Eric Magrak­en, who deals with cas­es relat­ed to com­bat sports. Accord­ing to him, the pros­e­cu­tion had to do a lot of work and col­lect a large amount of evi­dence in order for the case to move for­ward.

Magrak­en not­ed that in the end they man­aged to con­vince the court to take the next step in this case. The lawyer high­light­ed three aspects that attract­ed the atten­tion of the author­i­ties:

  • UFC man­age­ment entered into “repres­sive con­tracts” with fight­ers;
  • addi­tion­al “ruth­less mea­sures” were tak­en against fight­ers out­side of these agree­ments;
  • the pro­mo­tion bought up com­peti­tors not in order to become bet­ter, but to deprive fight­ers of the choice in which cham­pi­onship to com­pete.

Lawyers argue that cham­pi­onship par­tic­i­pants receive only 20% of the UFC’s income, while in oth­er sports this share exceeds 50%.

Today, ath­letes are demand­ing com­pen­sa­tion from the pro­mo­tion, which can range from $800 mil­lion to $1.6 bil­lion. Among those voic­ing com­plaints about the UFC’s poli­cies are for­mer fight­ers Cung Le and Jon Fitch.

The law­suit is expect­ed to be tried by a jury in Las Vegas. “The fight for jus­tice for the fight­ers con­tin­ues”,” plain­tiffs’ lawyer Eric Kramer wrote on social media.

Fight­ers have pre­vi­ous­ly spo­ken about the harsh con­di­tions in the UFC. Thus, ex-cham­pi­on of the pro­mo­tion Fran­cis Ngan­nou refused a con­tract that would have made him the high­est paid heavy­weight in his­to­ry, after which he accused the tour­na­ment man­age­ment of over-con­trol.

Ngan­nou stat­ed that he does not feel like a free per­son work­ing in the UFC. He also drew atten­tion to the insuf­fi­cient wages of fight­ers. “Some­times I walk through the gym and see a fight­er who just lost a fight and got injured. But he trains fur­ther and waits for every­thing to heal, because he can­not afford treat­ment, know­ing that he can only make a liv­ing by fight­ing.”“, the ath­lete assert­ed.

UFC head Dana White then linked Ngan­nou’s rhetoric to the influ­ence of those around him. He also stat­ed that the fight­er decid­ed to leave the cham­pi­onship because he saw “more oppor­tu­ni­ties with weak­er oppo­nents” out­side the UFC.