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UFC settles wage suppression allegations for $335 million before trial

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(NEW YORK) — TKO, the parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship, will pay $335 million to settle a class action lawsuit over wage suppression, according to a company filing Wednesday.

“On March 13, 2024, TKO reached an agreement to settle all claims asserted in both class action lawsuits for an aggregate amount of $335 million payable by the Company and its subsidiaries in installments over an agreed-upon period of time,” TKO said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The settlement comes just weeks before a trial was to begin April 15.

At issue were allegations that UFC used long-term contracts to delay or prevent free agency by hundreds of fighters and coerced them into signing deals that prevented them from maximum earning potential.

The lawsuit was originally filed against Zuffa LLC, the former name of the owners of UFC, in December 2014. Zuffa was later purchased by Endeavor, which merged with World Wrestling Entertainment in April 2023 and was renamed TKO Group Holdings.

The original lawsuit included fighters Cung Le, Nathan Quarry and Jon Fitch and expanded to include fighters such as Brandon Vera and others. The lawsuit was granted class action status in August 2023.

The U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada had denied the UFC’s motion for a summary judgment in the case on Jan. 18, opening the door to the trial beginning in April.

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