MMA logoMMA

Mark Hunt Sues UFC, Dana White, Brock Lesnar over UFC 200 Fight

Brock Lesnar, left, takes down Mark Hunt during their heavyweight mixed martial arts bout at UFC 200, Saturday, July 9, 2016, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher/Associated Press
Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2017

Mark Hunt has filed a civil lawsuit against the UFC, its president, Dana White, and Brock Lesnar over his fight with Lesnar at UFC 200, claiming the parties colluded for an unfair competitive environment.

"I want the UFC to understand it's not OK to keep doing what they're doing," Hunt told ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto. "They're allowing guys to do this. They had a chance to take all the money from this guy, because he's a cheater, and they didn't." 

Lesnar failed two tests for performance-enhancing drugs, one before his fight with Hunt and another on the day of their bout. Making his return to the Octagon for the first time in nearly five years, Lesnar earned a unanimous-decision win over Hunt.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission overturned the decision after Lesnar's positive test and issued him a one-year ban from mixed martial arts. Since learning of Lesnar's positive pre-fight test, Hunt has been increasingly public with his displeasure at the UFC allowing the fight to go on.

The UFC, which typically forces a competitor to undergo four months of drug testing prior to coming back, waived that rule in negotiating Lesnar's return. The promotion announced Lesnar would serve as the co-main event to UFC 200 on June 4, barely one month before the July 9 pay-per-view. 

In the suit, Hunt accused the UFC, Lesnar and White of racketeering and fraud, per Okamoto.

"What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday? The message is, 'You just have to cheat like this and it's OK,'" Hunt told Okamoto. "In society, if you commit a crime, you pay. Why is it different in MMA? It's hurt the business, so it's even worse. They need to be held accountable for this."

Lesnar made $2.5 million in disclosed income for the bout, of which the NSAC took 10 percent ($250,000). Hunt, who made $700,000, sought Lesnar's purse in negotiations with the UFC before filing a lawsuit. Christina Denning, Hunt's lead attorney, offered this statement to Okamoto:

Once we found out the penalty was only 10 percent of his purse, we went back to the UFC and offered to accept [Lesnar's] purse amount, less than the $250,000 penalty. We also wanted them to accept the clause moving forward.

Mark says the penalties aren't harsh enough. What's interesting is that the penalties are harsh enough on paper, they're just not being enforced by the UFC.

Hunt is seeking "millions" in undisclosed damages. Neither White nor the UFC has commented on the suit. 

    

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices