LAS VEGAS (CN) — Tired of facing opponents who take performance-enhancing drugs, mixed martial arts fighter Mark Hunt has filed a RICO lawsuit against the Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC president Dana White and MMA fighter Brock Lesnar.
Hunt, who lost to Lesnar during a UFC 200 bout in July last year, claims Zuffa LLC dba UFC and its president knowingly enable fighters doped up on drugs to compete in professional fights with no consequences.
In his Jan. 10 federal lawsuit, Hunt says the UFC and White “circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit, including being complicit in doping proliferation.”
Hunt says the UFC enables doping via use exemptions, drug-testing exemptions and by not enforcing its own rules.
Hunt, who is from New Zealand and live in Australia, says he does not use performance-enhancing drugs, or PEDs, and consistently tests clean, but his last several bouts were against fighters known to use the drugs.
He says Lesnar, who also is a professional wrestler, used PEDs and tested positive for them before their bout, but the UFC and White let him fight.
Lesnar beat Hunt by unanimous decision; he was a late substitute for a fighter who was injured days before the scheduled fight.
Hunt says he “suffered severe physical injury” during the fight and “damage to his reputation, title contention and future earning capacity.”
After letting Lesnar fight, the UFC suspended him for a year for testing positive for a banned substance. But Hunt claims in the lawsuit that the UFC and Lesnar know four months in advance that Lesnar would compete in UFC 200, but the UFC granted Lesnar a four-month exemption from its policies anyway.
The UFC learned on July 19 that Lesnar tested positive for banned substances and overturned his win to “no contest,” Hunt says. Despite that, Hunt says, he suffered damage to his reputation, as the fight was the main event for UFC 200, and he lost the chance to fight and win fair UFC bouts.
Hunt seeks disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, compensatory and punitive damages for RICO violations, fraud, conspiracy, unjust enrichment, conspiracy, bad faith, breach of contract, negligence, and attorney’s fees and costs of suit.
Hunt has a 12-10-1 record in UFC fights and is scheduled to fight Alistair Overeem during UFC 209 on March 4 in Las Vegas.
Hunt’s attorney Scott Ingold, Higgs Fletcher & Mack in San Diego, could not be reached by telephone Wednesday.
The UFC did not answer a phone call to its headquarters in Las Vegas and did not respond to an email request for comment.
No contact or publicist information could be found for Lesnar or White.