The UFC’s recent woes continue.
Five days after announcing a fighter roster downsize, the company is facing a lawsuit that could result in $5 billion in payouts.
The UFC earned $900 million in total revenue last year, but President Dana White projects the organization will lose more than $100 million without ticket revenue in 2020.
The lawsuit, which was first filed in 2014 and granted class action status on Thursday, claims UFC has suppressed fighter wages, abusing its power as a monopoly in MMA.
Anyone who fought in the UFC between 2010 and 2017 — about 1,200 fighters — could be in line to receive money.
The case is built on the premise that the UFC historically pays its fighters less than 20% of its total annual revenue, as compared to the 48%-50% share players get in the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL.
The plaintiffs — Cung Le and a few other former fighters — are also reportedly seeking larger structural changes, including banning long-term contracts.
There’s still a long way to go before the case could head to trial or be settled.
The UFC reportedly plans to appeal the class action status and has filed a motion for summary judgement, arguing that the fighters have no case.