Is ZUFFA, the parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), running a mixed martial arts (MMA) monopoly? The answer in 2012, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), was "No."
But a lot has changed between now and then.
Namely, the antitrust lawsuit filed against the world's preeminent combat sports promotion, which came after some of its former employees banded together to accuse UFC of abusing its market power to "intentionally and systematically cripple the free market."
Read the fine print here.
That, according to a report from MMA Junkie, was enough to get the attention of the FTC, who will now give ZUFFA a second look. And depending on the timeline of its latest investigation, it could be privy to 15 years of financial records (depending on this).
No one outside of UFC knows what the actual profits are (for now), but they have to be pretty substantial for the promotion to make this list.
And this one, too.
Attorneys for UFC don't sound overly-concerned, according to the report, referring to the antitrust accusations as "meritless." Truth be told, this second look from the suits at the FTC could be nothing more than a formality stemming from the recent legal complaint.
Too soon to tell.
Though we do know which team these guys are rooting for.