MEDIA & BUSINESS: Mark Hunt’s lawsuit inexplicably under the radar

By Robert Vallejos, MMATorch contributor

Mark Hunt vs. Frank Mir (photo credit Matt Roberts @ USA Today Sports)

At UFC Fight Night 110 the UFC will present a card with one of its headliners embroiled in a potentially damming lawsuit against the UFC. The headliner/plaintiff in question, Mark Hunt, recently struck a major win in his lawsuit against the promotion, but can anyone explain what actually happened? If you are drawing a blank, it is perhaps due to the fact that the story went unreported by several major MMA media outlets.

The continuation and amendment of Hunt’s lawsuit regarding the UFC’s handling of Brock Lesnar’s failed USADA drug tests prior to UFC 200 was first reported by Mark Raimondi of MMAFighting.com on Friday, June 2. The report featured the inclusion of communication between Hunt and UFC president Dana White.

In the ensuing days, the story was not reported by: Sherdog.com, MMAJunkie.com, FloCombat.com, FoxSports.com, BloodyElbow.com and Sports Illustrated’s primary MMA blog FanSided.com.

(It should be noted that Paul Gift of BloodyElbow.com provided extensive insight via his Twitter)

While this might just be an oversight, given that the news was dropped late on a Friday and on the day before a UFC pay-per-view, it does seem like a major omission by some of the most trusted and vigilant MMA media outlets.

Reporting on legal proceedings might not be the most attractive sharable content that modern websites crave, but they are nonetheless a vital source of relevant news. On the contrary, the UFC-Hunt courtroom drama is potentially the most explosive saga in all of MMA. If Hunt is found to be vindicated, the very foundation of the UFC could crumble.

With that said, this story is not only salacious but also extremely relevant to the future of the sport. Therefore, even the most mundane of motions in this case are newsworthy. Not to mention the inconvenient little fact that the plaintiff in this case is an active UFC main event fighter.

It should be noted that Hunt in headlining UFC Fight Night 110 for two reasons. On one hand, as a native Australian, Hunt is an obvious choice to drive ticket sales. On the other hand, Hunt is being designated as a sacrificial lamb to heavyweight rising star Derrick Lewis. Hunt is still a useful commodity that the UFC will continue to promote, despite being engaged in active litigation.

Hunt being an active UFC contractor is an additional reason that the independent MMA media must control the narrative and facts of the case. If left to their own devises the UFC would gladly accept a news cycle where any mention of this case goes underreported. The UFC does not need any assistance in burying this story; the MMA media corps should avoid being complicit in furthering the UFC’s interests.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: MEDIA & BUSINESS: Comparing the UFC live event business of 2016 and 2017

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