Concerning the lawsuit Mark Hunt filed against the UFC, all but one of the charges have been dropped.
The heavyweight is suing the UFC, President Dana White, and Brock Lesnar for claims related to the drug test Lesnar failed before his fight against Hunt at UFC 200 in 2016. According to Hunt, the parties involved committed fraud, racketeering, civil conspiracy, battery, and more.
On Thursday, Feb. 15. 2019, all these claims were dismissed with prejudice by Nevada District Court Jennifer Dorsey, according to court records. The one claim that remained in the lawsuit is the claim that the UFC breached the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.
Dorsey referred the lawsuit to a magistrate judge for a mandatory settlement conference.
The lawsuit was originally filed in 2016, however, an amended complaint was filed in June 2107. The amended complaint claimed that the UFC and White were aware Lesnar was using performance-enhancing drugs before UFC 200. The involved parties made a way for Lesnar by the USADA, the UFC’s anti-doping program, and allowed him to compete. Furthermore, the lawsuit claimed that Hunt was financially and physically damaged by the criminal conspiracy.
Part of the lawsuit surrounded the “UFC’s decision to waive the then-provision in its anti-doping policy that a fighter was in the USADA pool must be in it four months before fighting. Lesnar was in the USADA pool for about a month prior to UFC 200 and was tested several times, most of them negative. The sample collection 11 days before the fight ended up comping up positive for the prohibited substance clomiphene, but the test results were not expedited by the USADA and didn’t come back until after Lesnar beat Hunt by unanimous decision.”
At that time, Lesnar was not under a UFC contract until a month before the match, therefore, could not have been put in the drug-testing pool. The anti-doping policy did allow the UFC to waive the four-month rule. This rule has since been expanded to six months. Additionally, the UFC stated that Lesnar was not in the drug-testing pool when he retired in 2011. The USADA was not hired by the UFC until 2015. The rule was put into place so fighters could not leave the program and then return quickly.
The USADA suspended Lesnar for one year and the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC). Additionally, he was fined $250,000 by the NAC for the positive drug test. He has not fought in the UFC since this incident, although he has been a key figure on WWE.
In the courting, Dorsey wrote that just because Lesnar violated the rules, “does not automatically negate Hunt’s consent.” She cited the ruling from Avila v. Citrus Community College District involving a baseball batter who was intentionally struck with a pitch as precedent.
“Like that intentional throw, the fact that Lesnar was allegedly doping violated the bout rules established by the UFC and the NAC but does not alone establish that his conduct exceeded the ordinary range of activity in and 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 Hung 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.”
By Jeanette Smith
MMA Fighter: Bulk of Mark Hunt’s lawsuit against the UFC dismissed
Image Courtesy of Miguel Discart’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License