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UFC releases statement, reveals 'powerhouse' legal team against class-action lawsuit

Game on.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The gloves are officially off on.

ZUFFA, parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), recently announced that it has entrusted the law firm Boies, Schiller and Flexner LPP to lead the charge in the class-action lawsuit levied against the mixed martial arts (MMA) company a few weeks ago.

The official statement (via MMA Fighting):

We have built a popular business from modest beginnings by meeting the needs of fans and fighters. Millions of people have watched our bouts, we have instituted leading health and safety measures for our athletes, and fighters are free to negotiate contract terms. We will stand up against the plaintiffs in this litigation every step of the way, and have engaged attorneys from Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP with a depth of experience in antitrust issues. We are proud of the company we have built, confident in our legal position, and intend to prevail in this lawsuit.

Lead litigator, Bill Isaacson, also released a statement:

"The antitrust laws have long favored companies that create new products and services that consumers want. That is exactly what the UFC has done here through its long and substantial investment in building a popular sport."

The original class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of Cung Le, Jon Fitch, and Nate Quarry on Dec. 16, 2014 with Brandon Vera and Pablo Garza joining the fight shortly thereafter.

The plaintiffs are being represented by major antitrust firm, Cohen Milstein Law Firm, who earlier this year was a part of a $450 million lawsuit settlement against consumer electronics giant, Apple.

Also, Joseph Saveri Law Firm -- whose lawyers are currently deeply involved in high-profile cases against Apple, Google, Intel, Pixar and Lucasfilm -- will be a part of the legal proceedings. Rounding out the team is Berger and Montague, a law firm that has won over $22 billion in verdicts and settlements.

While those resumes are indeed impressive, ZUFFA's legal team -- which was described the The Wall Street Journal as a "litigation powerhouse" -- isn't exactly the junior varsity squad.

The firm -- which is known for its landmark cases such as United States vs. Microsoft, Bush vs. Gore and In re Vitamins -- recently won a $4 billion settlement for American Express against Visa and Mastercard.

More recently, it assisted in winning a landmark case that saw former college basketball standout, Ed O'Bannon and NBA legends Bill Russel and OscarRobertson, sue the NCAA claiming "it violated antitrust laws by conspiring with the schools and conferences to block the athletes from getting a share of the revenues generated from the use of their images in broadcasts and video games."

The injunction will now allow players at big schools to have a trust fund set up that will include money -- which will not exceed $20,000 or $5,000 per year -- generated from television contracts, which will only be available to them once they leave school.

After breaking down this impressive tale of the tape, this is bound to be a long and brutal heavyweight slugfest.

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