Most of Hunt Lawsuit vs. UFC Dismissed

All but one of Mark Hunt’s claims in a lawsuit against the Ultimate Fighting Championship were dismissed in a Nevada U.S. District Court on Feb. 14.

Back in 2016, Hunt sued the UFC, president Dana White and Brock Lesnar on multiple accusations that stem from Lesnar’s failed drug test in connection with UFC 200, an event that saw Lesnar defeat Hunt by unanimous decision.

Some of the claims Hunt sued for included racketeering, fraud, battery and civil conspiracy and more. Judge Jennifer Dorsey dismissed most of the claims with prejudice, with the sole remaining being an accusation of “breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fear dealing” against the UFC. All claims against White and Lesnar were dismissed.

Hunt’s suit, which was amended in 2017, claimed the promotion, White and Lesnar all knew of the former UFC heavyweight champion’s use of performance-enhancing drugs ahead of UFC 200 and purposely had Lesnar’s clearance to fight from USADA sped up. The lawsuit further claims that Hunt was damaged monetarily and physically as a result of the UFC’s actions.

Under the UFC’s anti-doping policy, a fighter must be in the USADA drug-testing pool for four months (which has since been expanded to six) before fighting. Lesnar was in the pool for just one month but tested many times throughout the period, with most tests coming back clean. The failed test, in which Lesnar tested positive for clomiphene, was collected 11 days prior to UFC 200. But the failed test was not announced or disclosed until after the pay-per-view.

The UFC’s argument stated that Lesnar was not officially under contract with the promotion until about one month before UFC 200, and could not be in the USADA drug-testing pool. The promotion also has the ability to waive the rule.

The UFC did not have its partnership with USADA until 2015; Lesnar, who is the current WWE universal champion, competed for the UFC between 2007 and 2011, between professional wrestling stints.

Lesnar was fined $250,000 and suspended one year by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for the failed test.

In a written statement (h/t Paul Gift), Dorsey, citing a case known as Avila v. Citrus Community College District, said a violation on Lesnar’s behalf “does not automatically negate Hunt’s consent.”

The fact that Lesnar was allegedly doping violated the bout rules established by UFC and the NAC but does not alone establish that his conduct exceeded the ordinary range of activity in an MMA fight. As Hunt’s own allegations demonstrate, doping is an unfortunately common issue in MMA and was a risk he perceived. And although he argues that doping empowered Lesnar to move faster and hit harder, Hunt doesn’t allege that Lesnar’s conduct during the bout was somehow atypical — such as throwing Hunt out of the octagon or using ‘packed gloves’ or a weapon. Nor does Hunt claim that his injuries exceeded those typical of an MMA bout. Accordingly, I find that Hunt consented to his fight with Lesnar, which precludes civil-battery liability.

Dorsey has referred the case to a magistrate judge for a mandatory settlement conference.

Original Story: MMA Fighting

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