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High-risk gamble by Mark Hunt attorneys to sue UFC for racketeering may be backfiring

By Zach Arnold | June 27, 2017

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A strategic legal calculation to grab media headlines and Federal jurisdiction has possibly put Mark Hunt’s historic doping lawsuit against UFC in jeopardy.

Part of a court transcript quoted in Dana White’s motion to dismiss court filing against Mark Hunt reveals that the Federal judge involved in Hunt’s lawsuit versus UFC & Brock Lesnar is extremely skeptical about a mixture of both Federal and state (Nevada) causes of action filed. Outside of breach of contract and breach of implied covenant, the judge in question (nicely) is highly skeptical of the lawsuit filing by Team Hunt.

That doesn’t mean the judge will automatically toss out parts of the lawsuit filing. It’s possible parts could be removed and the judge gives Team Hunt a chance to amend the complaint. The big problem for Team Hunt is whether or not the judge tosses out the Federal RICO (racketeering) cause of action.

If the Federal RICO cause of action doesn’t survive, it means there’s no Federal jurisdiction for Team Hunt to sue UFC & Brock Lesnar. Which means the case, should it survive, would move to Nevada state court. The belief is that a state court would be a much more favorable venue to both UFC & Brock Lesnar. I’ve argued against this conventional wisdom.

Nevada, like Florida, is a state where old-school causes of action like unjust enrichment still exist. Concealment and fraud are also on the table. There are plenty of options in state court that make Team Hunt’s attempt to sue in Federal court an unforced error.

I still think Mark Hunt has a decent chance of getting a settlement or winning a court case against UFC. Discovery and deposition is going to be a pain in the ass for both UFC & Lesnar. It is in Lesnar’s best interest to settle this case as quickly as possible. The question is whether or not Team Hunt will be able to get one party to turn on the other.

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