mma / News

Multiple Mark Hunt Lawsuits Against UFC, Brock Lesnar, and Dana White Are Dismissed

February 16, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Brock Lesnar Mark Hunt UFC 200

Going back about two years ago, former UFC fighter Mark Hunt filed multiple lawsuits against Brock Lesnar, the UFC and UFC President Dana White stemming from Hunt’s fight with Lesnar at UFC 200 in July 2016. MMAFighting.com reports that many of the lawsuits Hunt had filed were dismissed this week.

Previously, Lesnar defeated Hunt by unanimous decision at the their UFC 200 bout. The result was overturned to a No Contest after Lesnar tested positive for a banned substance during a post-fight drug test. When Hunt put forth multiple legal claims, he claimed the parties involved committed racketeering, fraud, battery, civil conspiracy, and other charges.

The U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Doresy out of Nevada dismissed many of those claims on Friday (Feb. 15) with prejudice. The only claim that was not dismissed is Hunt’s claim against the UFC for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. Additionally, all of the lawsuit claims against White and Lesnar by Mark Hunt were dismissed.

The judge went on to refer the lawsuit to a magistrate judge for a mandatory settlement conference. Hunt had first filed the lawsuit back in 2016. An amended complaint was later filed in June 2017. The complain stated that the UFC, White and Lesnar all knew that Lesnar was using some form of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) before the bout at UFC 200. Hunt’s camp claimed that all parties involved enabled Lesnar to bypass the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the regulatory testing body for the UFC, in order to let Lesnar compete in the fight. Hunt’s lawsuit alleged that he was damaged both financially and physically from a criminal conspiracy.

There was some controversy before the fight on how Lesnar was able to waive a period of getting drug tested for four months before the fight. At the time, Lesnar had basically come off a near five-year hiatus from MMA. Lesnar was tested for about a month before UFC 200. There was a sample collection about 11 days before the fight that was positive for the banned substance clomiphene. The test results did not come back until after the fight.

The UFC claimed that Brock Lesnar was not under contract until a month before the fight and could not have been put in the testing pool before that time. Also, the promotion maintained that the USADA policy allowed to waive the four-month rule, which is now at six months. Additionally, the UFC pointed out that Lesnar was not in a testing pool when he previously retired in 2011. The UFC only brought in USADA starting in 2015.

Brock Lesnar was ultimately suspended for his failed test for one year by USADA and the Nevada State Athletic Commission. He also had to pay a $250,000 fine to the athletic commission for the failed test. He has not fought in the UFC since that bout with Hunt.

Dorsey wrote in her dismissal that Lesnar’s violation of the drug testing policy “does not automatically negate Hunt’s consent.” The judge cited a ruling in a case, Avila v. Citrus Community College District, which involved a baseball batter hit intentionally with a pitch as a legal precedent. She wrote the following:

“Like that intentional throw, 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.”

Forbes writer Paul Gift also wrote the following on Twitter:

“All of Hunt’s claims, except for breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing under count six, are dismissed with prejudice; All claims against Dana White and Brock Lesnar are dismissed with prejudice.”