Zuffa, White and Lesnar seek to stay discovery in Hunt lawsuit pending Motion to Dismiss

April 27, 2017

Zuffa and Dana White have filed a motion to stay discovery in the Mark Hunt case pending the company’s Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit which will be heard on May 15, 2017 in Nevada.  According to the court filings, Brock Lesnar is likely to join the motion.

Joining the motion essentially places the party in the same place as the entity that filed the motion.  Thus, Zuffa and Lesnar (the law firm of Campbell & Williams represents Zuffa and Howard Jacobs represents Lesnar) would seek to stay the discovery sought by Hunt.

Hunt filed this lawsuit in Nevada federal court in early January claiming that Zuffa and Dana White violated the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, Fraud, False Pretenses, Breach of Contract, Breach of Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, Negligence and Unjust Enrichment.  The premise of the Complaint is that the UFC allowed Lesnar to fight at UFC 200 while providing the WWE wrestler with an exemption from the UFC’s anti-doping policy.  Lesnar tested positive for a banned substance in both an out-of-competition and in-competition drug test.  Lesnar had been tested by USADA on several occasions prior to the positive tests.

The current motion argues that the defendants (Zuffa, White and Lesnar) should not have to expend money to conduct discovery until the Court decides the merits of their Motion to Dismiss.  Essentially, why spend money on starting discovery if the lawsuit will be dismissed.  In a conference between the parties, the defendants asserted a request to stay discovery but the plaintiffs opposed a stipulated stay.  Hence, the motion.

Motion to Stay Discovery by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

Similar to the UFC antitrust lawsuit, the company is seeking to stay discovery pending the Court decision.  This makes sense from the defendant’s standpoint.  See if you can save some litigation expense if you can.  From Hunt’s perspective, you need to be as aggressive as you can in starting the process of obtaining discovery.  Thus, you force the Court’s hand to make a decision here.  Hunt wants to obtain discovery because it might obtain information that might aid its claims.  In the alternative, it might obtain information which might need to amend its lawsuit.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

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