This should quiet some of the recent union talk ... at least for now.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) today announced the introduction of customized accident insurance coverage underwritten by Houston Casualty Insurance Company designed to complement existing event coverage to nearly all of the 350 athletes competing on the UFC and Strikeforce rosters.
The expanded policy now adds "24-hour worldwide medical life insurance and dental coverage, as well as emergency medical evacuation," in addition to paying 100-percent of the insurance premiums.
From UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta:
"Our athletes are some of the very best in the world and we've committed significant financial resources to provide them with insurance that complements the gold standard we have set for event-related coverage. We're pleased to provide coverage that enables our athletes to seek and receive treatment for injuries sustained while preparing for bouts."
That coverage now extends to training camp, a major source of fighter injuries.
UFC Hall-of-Famer Randy Couture recently went on record about the future of combat sports as it pertains to employee salary and benefits.
"The Natural" was confident a move to unionize could be avoided if "key issues" were resolved that were able to bridge the gap between risk and return.
Put simply, if a fighter is expected to "leave it all on the line" during a bout, the promotion should be expected to protect them when they do.
Is the introduction of this new benefits package a step in that direction?