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UFC Settles Antitrust Lawsuits, Agrees to $335 Million Payout

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has resolved a pair of long-standing antitrust lawsuits through a settlement agreement, sparing the parties involved from a trial.

In a disclosure filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, TKO Group Holdings, the parent company of the UFC, revealed that they had reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in two separate lawsuits, agreeing to pay out $335 million.

According to the filing, the agreement was finalized on March 13, 2024, with the settlement amount to be paid in installments over an agreed-upon period. The terms of the settlement will be formalized in a long-form agreement and submitted to the court for approval. The company anticipates that the settlement amount will be tax-deductible.

The first class-action lawsuit, Le et al. vs. Zuffa, involved approximately 1,200 fighters, including prominent names like Cung Le, Nate Quarry, and Kajan Johnson. Experts had estimated potential damages suffered by the fighters to be between $894 million and $1.6 billion, with a trial originally scheduled to determine the final amount.

The settlement comes after Judge Richard Boulware postponed the start of the trial, which was set to begin on April 15. Judge Boulware had made it clear that further postponements would only occur if the parties reached a resolution.

The plaintiffs, represented by fighters such as Cung Le, Nate Quarry, and Kajan Johnson, engaged in private mediation with the UFC, leading to the eventual settlement that averts a trial.

In response to the settlement, the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association, represented by attorney Rob Maysey, expressed satisfaction and indicated that further details would be disclosed upon filing with the court in 45-60 days.



The initial antitrust lawsuit dates back to 2014, with fighters alleging that the UFC engaged in anti-competitive practices to maintain dominance in the market for elite professional MMA fighter services. TKO Group Holdings had consistently maintained their position while acknowledging ongoing discussions for a potential resolution.

With the settlement agreement reached, Judge Boulware's approval is required to conclude the lawsuits without proceeding to trial, marking the end of a lengthy legal battle for all parties involved.


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