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Judge rules antitrust lawsuit against UFC can proceed after denying motion to dismiss

Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta of Zuffa LLC, which owns UFC
Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta of Zuffa LLC, which owns UFC

Just four simple words sums up the state of affairs in the current antitrust lawsuit levied against UFC by select ex-employees of the organization:

Today, a federal court in Nevada ruled that UFC's argument to dismiss the case -- based on a failure to "plausibly show that Zuffa's alleged exclusive dealing arrangements are anticompetitive" -- was denied.

Hm. So much for their "powerhouse" legal team? Well, it's still early days.

The class-action, antitrust lawsuit against the UFC for monopolization and anti-competitive business practices in the sport of mixed martial arts was transferred from Northern California to Nevada in June.

The original lawsuit was launched by former fighters Cung Le, Nate Quarry and Jon Fitch last December (read the copy here) and more fighters have since joined the cause.

Paul Gift of Bloody Elbow was at the courthouse in Las Vegas today and has reaction from many of those fighters, and others, right here.

UFC has since responded to the decision with a statement:

The United States District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada held a hearing on UFC's motion to dismiss today. The Court correctly explained that on a motion to dismiss it must consider all the factual allegations in the complaint as true, and the complaint must be liberally construed in favor of the plaintiffs. Using that standard, the Court denied the motion to dismiss. As we have consistently stated, UFC competes in a lawful manner that benefits athletes around the world and has created a premier organization in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). We look forward to proving that the allegations in the complaint are meritless.

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