Zuffa and White move to dismiss Hunt’s lawsuit
March 1, 2017
Zuffa, LLC and Dana White have filed a Motion to Dismiss Mark Hunt’s lawsuit filed in Nevada.
Brock Lesnar, also a defendant, has yet to respond to Hunt’s lawsuit.
This past January, Hunt filed a lawsuit citing multiple causes of action including federal RICO charges as well as state charges of negligence and fraud.
You may recall that the parties had agreed to allow Zuffa to file a response until February 28th instead of in early February as originally required by law. Thus, it gave Zuffa extra time to file this Motion to Dismiss.
In its Motion to Dismiss, Zuffa claims that Hunt has no standing to prove a RICO claim. It notes that Hunt does not point to specifics which would satisfy the requirements.
It comes out swinging taking issue with the organization of Hunt’s lawsuit:
— Jason Cruz (@dilletaunt) March 1, 2017
Moreover, Zuffa claims that Hunt’s alleged injuries are subjective. For example, Zuffa claims Hunt’s claims of lost opportunities from losing to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 are speculative. This is against RICO laws per cases cited by Zuffa. Notably, Hunt does not point to a specific title fight, promotional opportunity or marketing opportunity lost which could be linked to his loss to Lesnar.
Zuffa attaches Hunt’s 2016 Promotion Agreement to the motion but it is filed under seal so the public cannot access it.
Interesting enough, Zuffa points out that the Promotional Agreement does not impose a contractual obligation “to provide Hunt with clean opponents.” Zuffa argues that it is impossible for Zuffa to control any fighter from taking banned substances.
Hunt’s claim for personal injuries are barred argues Zuffa due to his express assumption of the risk contained in his fight contract. Essentially, Hunt knew of the risks going into the fight and it absolves Zuffa from liability.
Under a Motion to Dismiss standard (FRCP 12(b)(6)), a plaintiff must allege facts that, if taken as true, demonstrate “a plausible entitlement to relief.”
MMA Payout will have more on this as Hunt’s lawyers will need to respond. From the looks of the lawsuit, Zuffa makes strong arguments as to why the lawsuit should be dismissed. Some interesting things to note. Brock Lesnar has not filed a response as the motion is only for defendants Dana White and Zuffa, LLC. Lesnar needs to respond or Hunt could move for a default. One has to wonder if the parties have carved out some sort of an agreement with respect to Lesnar. Zuffa makes its strongest case with respect to the RICO claims. This might mean that it wants the federal claims kicked so they can move it to state court in Clark County. Finally, with the issue with USADA and the waiver, why hasn’t it been dragged into the lawsuit?
MMA Payout will continue to monitor.