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UFC: Contract negotiations would be ‘unmanageable’ if fighters knew what others made

A filing in Mark Hunt’s lawsuit against the UFC makes another strong case for fighters needing a union.

Auckland Blues Training Session Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Mark Hunt’s lawsuit against the UFC and Brock Lesnar continues to plod forward, and while we have no idea if he’ll manage to extract large sums of money out of either party, the process itself seems to be causing the UFC some decent stress. In the latest tidbit of news from the case, labor lawyer Lucas Middlebrook has shared an eyebrow-raising request from the UFC to keep Hunt’s UFC contract under seal (aka private).

Their reasons?

”Public disclosure would harm Zuffa relationships with the hundreds of fighters it has under contract by inhibiting the company’s ability to negotiate with any given fighter as he or she may desire to be paid based on an apples to oranges comparison of what others have received as opposed to the unique facts applicable to that fighter,” the filing from UFC lawyer Hunter Campbell reads.

”I have personally experienced fighters holding out or refusing to accept contract offers based on the perception that he or she should receive the same deal as another fighter regardless of differences in experience, skill level, fight records, marketability, etc.,” it continues. “If this situation were multiplied across the hundreds of fighters needed to successfully run Zuffa’s business through the public disclosure of individual fighter contracts, the contract negotiation process would become unmanageable.”

As if the need for UFC fighters to unionize hasn’t been obvious enough lately, these court documents are always extra damaging because they don’t allow for the kind of PR spin the UFC can normally put on such situations. Fighters knowing what other fighters really get (not the bull numbers provided to athletic commissions) would be a nightmare for the UFC. All the more reason fighters need this information.

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