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Attorneys for UFC, Dana White file motion to dismiss lawsuit brought by heavyweight Mark Hunt

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The law firm representing the UFC and President Dana White wants Mark Hunt’s lawsuit thrown out of court, arguing the UFC heavyweight’s allegations don’t hold up.

Las Vegas-based firm Campbell and Williams, which frequently litigates on behalf of the UFC, claims Hunt fails to establish a link “between the injury asserted and the purported injurious conduct” while attacking White with an “utter dearth of specific allegations,” according to a 26-page motion to dismiss filed today in in U.S. District Court Nevada and obtained by MMAjunkie.

The document can be read here. A motion to dismiss was expected from the UFC and White as they seek to avoid damages that could pay triple if Hunt’s claims are proven in court. Hunt’s reps have acknowledged they would drop the matter if a monetary settlement is reached.

Dana White

Hunt sought reparations from the UFC after ex-champ Brock Lesnar failed a pair of drug tests – including one given prior to the fight – after beating him via unanimous decision at UFC 200. When the promotion balked, he sued, naming Lesnar and White as co-conspirators in a criminal scheme to rob him of a fair fight. Lesnar recently retired after being given a one-year suspension by UFC anti-doping partner USADA, and his win was overturned.

“UFC and its agents have affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit, including being complicit in doping proliferation under the guise of advancing ‘the best anti-doping program in all of professional sports,’” read Hunt’s claim.

The UFC and White’s response dismisses Hunt’s suit as “not a model of clarity” and claims the fighter ignores “the inconvenient fact that the strict anti-doping drug-testing procedures implemented by Zuffa and administered by the independent USADA are the vehicle by which cheating fighters have been exposed and punished.”

It claims the fighter “nonetheless seeks to employ the heavy hand of the federal RICO statutes to stigmatize defendants and other individuals with baseless allegations of quasi-criminal conduct in the hopes of reaping a windfall in the form of treble damages. Unfortunately for Hunt, his RICO claims are fatally defective.”

Central to the response is the argument that Hunt can’t prove there was a criminal conspiracy because he doesn’t provide “competent allegations” of “concrete injury to a specific ‘business or property’” required by RICO statutes, and the fighter “never identifies a single provision” of a breach of contract between he and the UFC.”

The response bats aside Hunt’s claims of a conspiracy, claiming the fighter has no evidence that directly or indirectly proves the UFC and White acted to cause him harm, and that the lost opportunities alleged by Hunt were “contingent events that may – or may not – occur in the future depending on a multitude of factors.”

As for a breach of contract Hunt claims, the response states the fighter “never identifies a single provision of either contract that Zuffa purportedly failed to perform” and can’t claim the defendants failed to honor his contract. It also argues the promotion can’t be held directly responsible for Lesnar’s failure.

“While it is undisputedly Zuffa’s goal and desire that all its contracted athletes comply with the ADP and applicable laws governing prohibited substances, the contractual obligation Hunt seeks to impose – whether as an express or implied term – is obviously impossible for Zuffa to perform as it has no ability to control what any given fighter is going to put into his or her body except by way of establishing a set of rules that (i) prohibits the taking of banned substances, and (ii) imposes penalties for established violations thereof. Zuffa has done that.”

Despite the pending legal matter, Hunt (12-10-1 MMA, 7-4-1 UFC) is signed on to fight Alistair Overeem (41-15 MMA, 6-4 UFC) on Saturday at UFC 209.

For more on UFC 209, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.



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