Brock Lesnar‘s UFC 200 fight against Mark Hunt is almost six months behind us, but the repercussions continue to resonate. Most notably, Lesnar’s failed USADA drug tests from the fight, both in and out of competition. Those drug test failures ended up costing Lesnar $250,000 and have officially gotten him banned from MMA for one year.
For his part, Hunt has never stopped loudly objecting to Lesnar’s violations or his treatment by the UFC in the whole situation. Hunt, who took the fight on short notice, accused Lesnar of being “juiced to the gills” leading up to UFC 200, and took his opponent to the woodshed when it turned out he was (technically) correct.
Since UFC 200, Hunt has been one of the loudest voices calling for unionization of MMA fighters, in large part due to what he feels is a gross disparity in pay and treatment between himself and Lesnar. Lesnar received a much-publicized payday that at the time was a record breaking $2.5 million (not including suspected percentages of pay-per-view buys). For his loss, Hunt received a paltry-by-comparison $700,000.
ESPN reports that in the wake of the official USADA ruling against Lesnar, Hunt has now filed a civil suit.
The suit, which was filed in Nevada District Court on Tuesday, alleges the defendants “affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit.” It accuses the parties of racketeering, which carries the potential weight of treble damages, and fraud, among other allegations. Hunt is seeking financial relief for damages, both physical and to his overall brand.
The suit is twofold from Hunt and his team’s point of view: not just trying to get money from Lesnar, who Hunt feels is a cheater who needs to die in a fire, but also to send a message to UFC about how they treat fighters they view as marketable stars, who get special circumstances and are treated with kid gloves, regardless of whether they break rules and potentially put other fighters in danger.
“I want the UFC to understand it’s not OK to keep doing what they’re doing,” Hunt told ESPN.com. “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.”
Hunt’s lawsuit claims the fighter is seeking damages “in the millions,” and also alleges that although Lesnar’s first failed test happened a week prior to UFC 200, UFC and USADA failed to go through available channels to expedite the investigation and sample process. Meaning that, if true, the two bodies knowingly placed Hunt at potential risk.
Hunt is currently still scheduled to fight Alistair Overeem at UFC 209 on March 4, although whether that fight actually happens in light of this lawsuit is anyone’s guess. UFC and Lesnar have yet to respond, and Lesnar could be looking at a very lengthy legal battle in the year ahead.