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Jon Fitch will 'go to hell, fight the devil in his hometown' after UFC lawsuit gets transferred to Las Vegas

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According to DMX, it's pretty hot down there.

Esther Lin

Earlier this year, mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) headliners Jon Fitch, Cung Le, and Nate Quarry, among others, were named as "identity class plaintiffs" in a class-action lawsuit against ZUFFA.

The lawsuit accuses UFC of violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, after illegally maintaining monopoly and monoposony power by "systematically eliminating competition from rival promoters, artificially suppressing fighters' earnings from bouts and merchandising and marketing activities through restrictive contracting and other exclusionary practices."

Get all the finer details here.

While the lawsuit was originally filed in San Jose, California, attorneys for ZUFFA were successful in getting the proceedings shipped to Las Vegas, Nevada -- home base of UFC -- which could be considered a (small) victory for the defendants.

What were the deciding factors?

Here's an excerpt from the motion to transfer (via Combat Sports Law)

"It is apparent that Nevada is far more convenient for Defendant and its corporate witnesses since they are all based in Las Vegas and would need to travel to San Jose in order to participate in significant litigation events. The participation of these witnesses is critical to both sides. For their part, Plaintiffs have not convincingly shown that Nevada is any less convenient for them. Indeed, only three of the named plaintiffs actually reside in the Northern District of California. The other eleven named plaintiffs would face the need to travel even if this case was not transferred. Similarly, almost all of the other unspecified non-party witnesses referenced by Plaintiffs - those who have participated in various UFC events around the country - are equally inconvenienced by California and Nevada forums. Thus, this factor, considered the most important consideration of them all, weighs strongly in favor of the transfer since this district is not particularly convenient for a majority of those involved. Furthermore, aside from electronically-stored documentary evidence that is equally accessible in both forums, most if not all of the other relevant sources of evidence and proof are in Nevada, not California."

Read the entire motion here.

While the change in geography is likely to have little effect on the bigger picture, considering most of what transpires over the next several months will be handled by attorneys, Fitch recognizes the move back to "Sin City" as an opportunity to emerge victorious in hostile territory.

UFC, which may still have to cough up 15 years worth of financial records, vows to "vigorously defend itself," for whatever that's worth.