UFC Fighters Achieve Massive Settlement Payment

AM Editorial Team

Updated on:

A substantial $335 million accord has been reached between the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its fighters, signaling an impending resolution to the longstanding wage suppression dispute. This agreement alleviates the need for protracted court proceedings, with a trial originally set for the forthcoming month. Legal representatives of the mixed martial arts combatants anticipate court endorsement by September.

Financial specifics for individual fighters under the proposed settlement are currently being finely tuned. The distribution of funds will undergo a rigorous examination by the court, which typically weighs factors such as the likelihood of success for both parties, the total reparation for the consumers, legal costs, and the allocation method.

Eric Cramer, representing the plaintiffs, expressed satisfaction with the development and is keen to submit settlement particulars to the judiciary shortly. In contrast, the UFC’s response to the settlement indicates a resolution to the Le and Johnson class-action lawsuits, which is seen as a positive outcome for all involved.

The roots of the litigation trace back nearly ten years, with a contingent of mixed martial artists mounting a legal front against the UFC. The contention was the exploitation of the organization’s market dominance to depress fighter wages. A determinant point in the legal battle arose when around 1,200 fighters achieved class-action status in the preceding year under the lawsuit fronted by Cung Le.

Kajan Johnson, another notable plaintiff, anchors a related case embodying the grievances of fighters who have competed since 2017. The UFC’s position on these lawsuits has consistently been to validate its market conduct, citing both industry growth and the emergence of market competitors as evidence of a robust competitive landscape.

Representatives from legal entities, including Berger Montague PC for the plaintiffs and Paul Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP for the UFC, will be the stewards of the legal proceedings. The ongoing dialogue between UFC and its fighters is pivotal to characterizing the sports organization’s relationship with its athletes.

In summary, the settlement’s definitive approval will have broad implications, from the distribution of financial reparations to precedents in sports litigation. The upcoming judicial review in the District of Nevada will critically seal the fate of this litigation.

  • Cases Involved:
    • Le v. Zuffa, D. Nev., No. 2:15-cv-01045
    • Johnson v. Zuffa, D. Nev., No. 2:21-cv-01189