The UFC have reportedly made more wholesale changes to their fighter agreements and contracts with combatants under their banners going forward, which include a waiver to prevent class action lawsuits, as well as numrous further terms which appear to restrict fighters.
As per an initial report from Bloody Elbow reporters, Anton Tabuena, and John S. Nash, the UFC, as per official contracts reportedly obtained by the outlet, have made a number of changes to their promotional agreements and contracts, which appear to add several more restrictive changes for fighters under their banner.
ANotbaly, the new addtiions come in the form of an arbitration agreement and a waiver which would impact class action lawsuits. And may potentially impact the current antitrust lawsuit which has been brought against the UFC.
As noted by the initial report, the UFC made several previous changes to their contracts and promotional agreements around 2017, which included the introduction of a ‘sunset clause’ which would see contracts end after a period of five years, the removal of a period of exclusive negotiating, as well as the promotion’s retention of exclusive image rights for just two years, which had been shortened.
Facing the aforenoted antitrust lawsuit brought against them, as noted, the changes introduced by the UFC back in 2017 would subsequently divide the two current lawsuits brought against them; Le vs. Zuffa LLC which was brought from December 16, 2010 through to June 30, 2017 – and a further lawsuit which was filed back in 2021, which covers every fighter that competed under the UFC’s scrutiny between July 1, 2017, and today.
The current antitrust lawsuits against the UFC may be impacted as a result
As per Bloody Elbow, as a result of changes in promotional agreements, changes could potentially forced the two class action lawsuits to be split separately, which may see damages against the UFC mitigated, with their Defense claiming how combatants in both groups would then be fighting under different contracts and therefore, different conditions.
“Waiver of Class, Collective, and Representative Actions. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, the parties agree that no claims made be initiated or maintained on a class action, collective action, or representative action basis either in court or arbitration. This means that neither party may serve or participate as a class, collective, or representative action representative or member in any proceeding as to Covered Claims either in court or in arbitration.”
“Claims Not Covered. The claims which are not covered by this agreement to arbitrate are, to the extent applicable: claims that are not subject to mandatory binding pre-dispute arbitration pursuant to applicable federal or state law, including claims brought pursuant to the California Private Attorneys General Act, and claims currently pending in the lawsuit entitled Le v Zuffa, LLC, Caso No. 15-cv-01045 in the District of Nevada.”