Mark Hunt’s loss to Brock Lesnar in UFC 200 was overturned to a no contest last year, but now he plans to win in court. On Tuesday, the heavyweight fighter filed a lawsuit against UFC, its President Dana White and Lesnar alleging they broke a federal law that was originally set up to prosecute mafia racketeers in the 1970s.
“Cheaters deserve nothing!” Hunt said via his website on Wednesday. “These guys are cheating and they should be in court for it. [They should] lose all of their money if they’re cheating, because if I die in [the octagon], who’s going to look after my family?”
Hunt is seeking damages totaling at least Lesnar’s disclosed $2.5 million purse, plus a share of the pay-per-view payout from the July 9 event, citing damage to his reputation, fight career and marketing abilities, as well as lost opportunities to engage in fair competition. Hunt is also seeking lawyers fees and other relief under the guise that the defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which Congress passed in 1970 to tie mafia bosses to the corrupt actions of their lower-ranked employees.
The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada, alleges the UFC, Lesnar and White, who graduated from Hermon High School in 1987, violated RICO by running a “scheme” that resulted in clean fighters unfairly facing fighters who the promotion knew were using performance-enhancing drugs. It also alleges the promotion engaged in these activities “to the detriment of the health and safety of all fighters, and to the monetary benefit of [the UFC] and others involved in this scheme.”
The lawsuit says UFC, Lesnar, White and others “affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit” by willfully disregarding the promotion’s anti-doping policy.
“Defendants have accomplished this by means including but not limited to various and rampant purported use exemptions, drug testing exemptions and by failure to enforce its own policies,” states the lawsuit filed in a U.S. District Court in Nevada on Tuesday.
Hunt’s case rests on the UFC’s anti-doping policy, which is overseen by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Under the policy, retired fighters are supposed to undergo four months of random drug testing before being allowed to once again compete. The UFC, however, granted an exemption for Lesnar under a clause that allows the promotion to waive the mandatory tests under “exceptional circumstances.”
“Given Lesnar last competed in UFC on December 30, 2011, long before the UFC Anti-Doping Policy went into effect [on July 1, 2015], for purposes of the Anti-Doping Policy, he is being treated similarly to a new athlete coming into the organization,” the promotion stated (via Bloody Elbow) in June, when Lesnar announced he’d be coming back for the “one-off” bout.
Lesnar was later found to have failed both an out-of-competition and in-competition test for the two banned substances commonly used in conjunction with anabolic steroids.
The lawsuit alleges the exemption came just a month before UFC sold for more than $4 billion to Hollywood talent agency WME-IMG, and accuses UFC “of wrongfully jeopardizing fighter health and safety for profit.”
“That’s corrupt s–, man,” said Hunt, who made $700,000 for the UFC 200 bout. “These mother—– should be penalized hard. Dirty, scummy, cheating scum.”
Lesnar, who agreed to pay a $250,000 fine is currently serving a one-year ban for the failed tests, was the third straight opponent Hunt faced that was later found to have failed a drug test.
UFC declined to comment, while Hunt’s lawyers were not immediately available for comment.
The Washington Post is attempting to contact Lesnar.