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UFC pursues Mark Hunt for over $388k in attorney fees following court win

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After winning a fight in court, UFC parent Zuffa is hitting up Mark Hunt for attorney fees.

Citing a clause in Hunt’s promotional agreement, Zuffa attorneys on Tuesday asked a judge to award the company over $388,000 after prevailing in a lawsuit Hunt filed in January 2017, per court documents obtained by Bloody Elbow reporter Paul Gift. The request does not guarantee Zuffa will collect, and Hunt may contest the motion.

Until this past month, Hunt remained in litigation with the UFC despite leaving the promotion at the conclusion of his contract in December 2018. A judge dismissed one remaining claim – breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing – in his multi-pronged suit, which alleged the promotion conspired to cheat him out of a fair fight against Brock Lesnar at UFC 200. The heavy-handed slugger unloaded a foul-mouthed rant at his former promoter upon hearing the news.

Hunt drew headlines when he accused the promotion of knowingly circumventing its own anti-doping policies when it granted Lesnar an exemption from a four-month testing window to fight at UFC 200. Lesnar later tested positive for a pair of banned estrogen blockers and was suspended by the UFC’s anti-doping partner, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. His win was overturned to a no-contest, and he later retired from the sport, freezing his suspension.

Hunt wanted the UFC to pay him Lesnar’s reported $2.5 million purse after the drug failure. The industry-leader balked and aggressively defended itself after Hunt filed suit, alleging racketeering, fraud and breach of contract, among other claims.

Zuffa attorneys note in the filing that Hunt continued to attack the promotion and its president Dana White after losing in court, citing an MMA Fighting story that carried his Instagram tirade. They also note an admonition from the judge of Hunt’s “overenthusiastic” use of the RICO anti-corruption statute to prove his allegations of corruption, which were dismissed outright.

Hunt hasn’t fought since a lackluster loss to Justin Willis in Adelaide, Australia. One of the most beloved strikers in MMA, he earned seven performance bonuses and was one-half of one of UFC President White’s favorite heavyweight bouts, a five-round barnburner with Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva in 2013.

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