Mark Hunt Making MMA Betting Headlines Again
While most MMA betting fans are looking forwarding to a bet on UFC’s next forthcoming event, it seems that the organization will be having their hands full with some legal issues over the next couple of months. Mark Hunt, the fighter who most recently got pounded by a doped up Brock Lesnar at UFC 200, has filed a civil suit against the UFC, its president Dana White, and Lesnar himself.
In the suit, which was filed at Nevada District Court on Tuesday, Hunt claims that White, Lesnar and the UFC, “affirmatively circumvented and obstructed fair competition for their own benefit”. Additionally, the suit accuses the defendants of racketeering, treble damages, fraud, and other allegations. Ultimately, Hunt is seeking financial compensation for the damages he sustained in the bout, both physical and to his brand. Most online sportsbook fans will remember the damage Hunt sustained in that fight, as well as how much larger Lesnar than Hunt looked at the weigh-ins.
Hunt, a 42-year old MMA betting veteran with a 12-10 record (7-4-1 1 NC in the UFC), has not been shy to make his resentment with the UFC public. Specifically, Hunt was tremendously upset that Lesnar failed multiple drug tests before the bout. The results of the tests didn’t come out until the fight had finished, but the damage had already been sustained. Hunt was enraged not because Lesnar had tested positive, but rather at the UFC’s lack of desire to punish Lesnar financially. Before that incident Hunt had been vocal about the need for harsher penalties for doping violations and has been even more adamant since the stint with Lesnar. Those who bet on UFC events should sympathize with Hunt’s plight; a cleaner sport results in better, more profitable online sportsbook odds.
Hunt told ESPN.com that he wants the UFC to understand that their current business trends are not acceptable. Specifically, electing not to fine Lesnar when they had more than enough reason for doing so, as well as legal precedent.
“What message is that sending to the boys and girls who want to be a fighter someday? The message is; ‘You just have to cheat like this and it’s OK.’ In society, if you commit a crime, you pay.” Hunt stated. “Why is it different in MMA? It’s hurt the business, so it’s even worse. They need to be held accountable for this.”
MMA betting fans will agree that Hunt is unquestionably in the right here. Hunt risked personal health to compete in a fight with predetermined rules, rules that were fundamentally violated. Hunt’s claims about obstructing fair competition are not an exaggeration either.
Under the UFC’s current anti-doping regime – which is enforced by USADA, a retired fighter must pass four months of random drug testing before being cleared for competition. The UFC chose to waive that window for Lesnar, choosing to cite exceptional circumstances. After UFC 200 had been completed it was revealed that Lesnar had failed a prefight drug test taken on June 28th, as well as a second test taken the night of the fight. Lesnar’s results showed that the WWE star had tested positive for clomiphene, an estrogen blocker commonly associated with steroids. Online sportsbook fans who caught sight of Lesnar before the event have no doubt the fighter was indeed taking steroids.
In the end Lesnar was fined 10% of his $2.5 million purse by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and he was also suspended for a year by USADA. Lesnar will be able to compete in MMA on July 15th. Hunt’s purse for the bout was $700,000. Hunt had asked the UFC to fine Lesnar an additional amount and to credit that amount to Hunt – something that is well within the UFC’s rights and is actually stated in the UFC’s anti-doping program. The UFC refused and Hunt has responded with a civil suit.