Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has a looming legal fight on its hands outside the Octagon (read more about that here), but it's unclear exactly who is leading the charge and the reason(s) behind it.
That all changes today (Tues., Dec. 16, 2014) at 4 p.m. ET.
There is a news conference planned in San Jose, Calif., this afternoon to reveal specific details of the legal action from a collection of mixed martial arts (MMA) professionals -- who could potentially be UFC veterans, current fighters and possibly even tertiary entities such as managers and sponsors, among others -- against UFC. Plaintiffs' names will be released during this must-watch press conference (no video feed is available at this time).
MMAmania.com will remotely monitor the event live and provide all the latest live updates you need below.
Meanwhile, former UFC read full story here) when he reacted to the imminent lawsuit, noting "it's time to fight back." With a former UFC champion intent on joining the litigation against his former employer, who knows what type of other fighters we could see as a part of this lawsuit.champion made headlines yesterday (
The list of disgruntled ex-pats is long and, quite possibly, distinguished. And we'll all find out soon enough. Don't go anywhere -- drama is about to unfold.
MMA FIGHTER LAW SUIT ANNOUNCEMENT CONFERENCE CALL UPDATES (Starting at 4 p.m. ET):
Alex here. Let the fun begin!
On hold for the press conference now. The hold music is worse than usual.
Last chance to guess who is involved in this lawsuit. GO!
-- Word is that Jon Fitch, Nate Quarry, and Cung Le are a part of the class action lawsuit.
-- Law Firms involved include Cohen Milstein, Joseph Saveri Law Firm, and Berger & Montague. Apparently major antitrust firms.
-- Conference Call about to go live.
-- Attorney Joseph Saveri discussing the class action lawsuit to begin the call.
-- Saveri introduces Cung Le, calls him a "modern Bruce Lee"
-- Saveri introduces Nate Quarry.
-- Saveri introduces Jon Fitch.
-- 12:45pm PT: These fighters filed class-action antitrust suit in San Jose against Zuffa (UFC parent company). Discussing "monopolization" of the industry.
-- Fair pay, changing the status quo, and restoring competition in MMA are main goals of this law suit.
-- Fighter pay being discussed. UFC's profit margins allegedly highest among other sports even though they are a profit company.
-- Discussing ZUFFA's purchase of Strikeforce as part of their monopolization.
-- No mention at all of Bellator/Viacom yet.
-- Attorney speaking about unfair UFC contracts, cutting off competition for other promoters. UFC has "all the leverage they need".
-- "Fighters deserve better".
-- Rob Masey is crying on the call thanking Carlos Newton for having unwavering support for this lawsuit.
-- Masey rehashing same topics that were just mentioned moments ago. Discussing fairness, UFC and ZUFFA monopolizing MMA industry, and MMA fighters poor compensation.
-- Masey introduces Cung Le to speak.
-- Le: "It has a been a tough road. I'm just honored to be a part of this lawsuit against the UFC". Guess he won't be fighting inside the Octagon anymore...
-- Nate Quarry now speaking about media members having their credentials taken when being in opposition of UFC, thanks everyone for being on the call today.
-- Quarry says many current UFC fighters told him anonymously they back this lawsuit 100%.
-- Quarry: "We deserve to have a say in our careers".
-- Questions are now up for the panel.
-- Certifications, Injunction, and damages are part of the goal of this class action lawsuit. "Free and fair competition"
-- Question: What's the difference between UFC and NFL/MLB/NBA etc.?
-- Short answer: Those are league sports, each league has a player's association, but a fighter's association is not a goal of this lawsuit. Sorry Jamie Varner.
-- Economists will determine the "damages" owed to fighters.
-- Lawyers blockading a lot of questions. Shocking!
-- Ariel Helwani asked if any other fighters will join the suit. Answer: Not scheduled as of yet, but others are interested and back the lawsuit.
-- Lawyer just broke down the steps of how the case will proceed.
-- Helwani asks about Bellator as competition, lawyer dismisses the question essentially... Again, shocking!
-- Viacom is not involved in lawsuit.
-- ...And more blockading questions from lawyers.
-- Lawyers are taking over this conference call. Not allowing Le, Fitch, or Quarry to answer anything.
-- Nate Quarry disagrees that this suit will hurt MMA.
-- Cung Le confirms he is still in contract with UFC.
-- Gilbert Melendez taking offers from Bellator/UFC last year is being discussed. Lawyer says it is not "true competition", and there should be a lot more offers on free agent market that help the fighters.
-- Le says he will not fight for UFC again.
-- Carlos Newton speaking, but not mentioned in the suit. Says "UFC is the fastest growing monopoly in the world".
-- Applause as the press conference comes to an end.