Judge dismisses most of Mark Hunt's case against UFC, Brock Lesnar
Former UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt's civil lawsuit against his former employer suffered a massive hit Thursday.
U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey threw out all but one of the claims Hunt made against the UFC, UFC president Dana White and former opponent Brock Lesnar in a civil lawsuit filed in early 2017. The claims were dismissed with prejudice, meaning Hunt cannot refile based on the same claims.
Judge Dorsey ordered Hunt and the UFC to enter a mandatory settlement conference on the final outstanding claim -- breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. That claim is against the UFC only. All of Hunt's claims against White and Lesnar were dismissed.
In his filings, Hunt, 44, accused the UFC, White and Lesnar of collusion ahead of Hunt's non-title bout against Lesnar at UFC 200 in July 2016, in an effort to allow Lesnar to use performance-enhancing drugs. He accused the UFC of delaying its announcement of the fight to help Lesnar circumvent anti-doping rules, and alleged he suffered financial damages as a result. Included among Hunt's claims were federal and state anti-racketeering violations, fraud and breach of contract.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada ultimately disagreed with Hunt's claims.
"His main theory of damages -- that he would have won UFC 200 if Lesnar hadn't been doping -- is highly speculative and thus fails to show that defendants' alleged RICO violations and fraud proximately caused Hunt's financial losses," Judge Dorsey wrote. "Hunt's remaining claims are also fatally defective."
Before UFC 200, the UFC did execute its right to waive a then-mandatory four-month testing window for Lesnar, who came out of retirement for the heavyweight bout. Under previous rules, Lesnar was supposed to undergo random testing for four months before being eligible to compete, but the UFC waived that requirement, citing exceptional circumstances. Lesnar went on to defeat Hunt via unanimous decision.
Shortly after the event, it was revealed Lesnar failed a prefight drug test for clomiphene, an anti-estrogen agent. The Nevada State Athletic Commission fined Lesnar $250,000 -- 10 percent of his $2.5 million purse -- and suspended him one year. The result of the bout was also overturned to a no-contest.
Hunt, who received a disclosed purse of $700,000, asked the UFC to impose its own fine on Lesnar and essentially award him Lesnar's purse. When the organization declined, Hunt elected to take legal action.
His representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Hunt, who fights out of Australia, is no longer under exclusive contract with the UFC. He fought for the promotion five times since filing suit. His contract came to an end with his most recent fight, a unanimous-decision loss to Justin Willis in December.