Mark Hunt has filed a civil suit in US District Court as he seeks damages “in the millions” after the controversy surrounding his fight with Brock Lesnar at UFC 200.
Hunt has named the UFC’s parent company Zuffa LLC, UFC president Dana White and Brock Lesnar as defendants in a suit which alleges racketeering, fraud and breach of contract as some of eight charges he wishes to levy.
The suit was first reported by ESPN.com and has yet to receive comment from the UFC.
Speaking to ESPN, Hunt said: “I want the UFC to understand it’s not OK to keep doing what they’re doing. They’re allowing guys to do this. They had a chance to take all the money from this guy, because he’s a cheater, and they didn’t.
“What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday? The message is, ‘You just have to cheat like this and it’s OK.’ In society, if you commit a crime, you pay. Why is it different in MMA? It’s hurt the business, so it’s even worse. They need to be held accountable for this.”
Within Hunt’s suit, the veteran heavyweight suggests that the UFC and its drug testing partners, USADA, “affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit, including being complicit in doping proliferation under the guise of advancing ‘the best anti-doping program in all of professional sports.” Hunt goes on to say the defendants did so “by means including but not limited to various and rampant purported use exemptions, drug testing exemptions and by failure to enforce its own policies.”
‘The Super Samoan’ also claims that the UFC granted Lesnar an exemption from the regular four-month period for returning fighters “with knowledge or willful indifference to the fact that Lesnar was using banned substances,” leading to the defendants “unjustly enriched by their conduct to the detriment of Hunt, including through pay-per-view revenues far exceeding Lesnar’s $2,500,000.00 fight purse, in an amount to be proven at trial.”
The civil suit also goes on to cite reports that the UFC were aware of Vitor Belfort’s TRT abuse in the build-up to his light heavyweight title fight with Jon Jones and also that Hunt’s last three opponents all tested positive for banned substances.
“I didn’t want to be in this position,” Hunt said to ESPN. “It puts me in a weird spot because I’m still under contract. Fans say, ‘Mark, you knew he was juicing.’ I didn’t know. You look at him and think, ‘Yeah, he’s on the gear,’ but don’t judge a book by its cover and all that.
“This was the last straw. I lost that fight, it ruined it for my fans. It wasn’t good. I asked to get out of my contract but I can’t. I need to work like everyone else.”