Mark Hunt gearing up to take UFC to court
Fan-favorite fighter Mark Hunt has been quiet recently in regards to Brock Lesnar’s pair of failed drug tests surrounding their UFC 200 fight back in July.
When the UFC announced at UFC 199 in June that Lesnar and Hunt would be fighting at UFC 200, it was also revealed that they had waived the mandatory 4-month period in which a fighter is eligible to be tested by USADA before becoming an active fighter and being cleared to fight. Lesnar’s exemption stretched over the course of the first 3 months, allowing him to only be tested starting one month before the fight, which was when it was announced that he would be fighting.
Lesnar’s exemption didn’t sit too well with Hunt, however it wasn’t until after their fight that it was revealed that Lesnar had not only failed a random out-of-compeition drug test in the month leading up to the fight, but also a fight night drug test.
Hunt was quick to put the UFC on blast for putting him in the Octagon with a fighter who was on banned substances, requesting 50% of Lesnar’s purse, before changing his mind and demanding 100% of Lesnar’s purse for the event. Back at the end of July, the UFC had reached out to Hunt regarding the situation, however there had been no word as to an update regarding the situation, until now.
Hunt, and attorney Christina Denning, spoke with MMAMania to discuss the fact that they are ready to take the UFC to court over the matter:
“One of the things about a lawsuit or a potential lawsuit is that we’ve got to let Brock Lesnar go through and exhaust his ability to challenge the findings of USADA,” she explained. “And Brock Lesnar’s hearing was originally scheduled for sometime in October, but it got put off until November 10. I’ve been trying to figure out if I need to make plans to go out there because we’ve requested permission to participate in that hearing before the Nevada Athletic Commission. Brock Lesnar retained an attorney (Howard Jacobs) who handles these things and I found out today in calling that attorney, who is representing Brock Lesnar, that he has already requested another continuance, which would push this out into mid December. It has not been granted yet. We are just trying to stay on top of that. We’ve requested an extension beyond the two minutes we are allowed to speak because it is a public forum and I would like to go and represent Mark’s interest in front of the NAC. And that leads me to the kind of conundrum that we are in with respect to this whole process.”
“We’ve got the UFC’s own anti-doping policy, which also gives the UFC the ability to take away Lesnar’s purse, and it’s broad enough to include any money that he makes from the result of these fights,” Denning explained. “So, theoretically, the UFC upon the finding of a violation could take all of the money back from Brock. Not only the 2.5 million dollar purse, but anything he earned from pay-per-view, if he had a win bonus–all of that–and then put it into it’s anti-doping program. Or better yet–and what we’d like to see happen–is the person that had to get in the ring with him gets allocated that money.
“If such a policy was implemented it would definitely deter some UFC fighters–maybe not all–from actually doping in the first place because instead of a slap in the wrist or a suspension because they were planning a sabbatical anyway, it would cause them to forfeit the money that they’ve earned. So, we have an interesting dynamic between the UFC, it’s anti-doping regulation and how that reconciles with the Nevada State Athletic Commission jurisdiction over what happens with the person’s money. My understanding is that any fines that are imposed for violations haven’t been that great anyways. But conceptually, those two entities have the ability to take the money and do with it what the statute allows them to do with it on the one hand, and then the policy allows it to do on the other hand.”