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Professional Fighters Association’s executive board to include active UFC fighters, expected to be introduced soon

Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

Professional Fighters Association (PFA) is still fighting the good fight in its efforts to finally form a union in mixed martial arts (MMA) to protect the "collective interest" of all fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster. It’s a fight that will likely be long and drawn out, but former Major League Baseball agent and attorney Jeff Borris and Lucas Middlebrook are determined to make it happen.

One of the next steps PFA plans to take is naming an interim executive board that comprises nine active UFC fighters to lead the charge. If all goes as planned, the board members could be announced within a month ... perhaps during UFC 205 fight week in New York City next weekend.

Middlebrook recently spoke with MMA Fighting, explaining what exactly the executive board will be responsible for:

"Those nine individuals are going to be responsible for making policy decisions. As the union starts to collect more authorization cards and gets closer to potentially filing with the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board), or asking for voluntary recognition, there's certain things that you have to do both from an administrative end and from a legal standpoint. You have to have a constitution and bylaws that end up getting filed with the Department of Labor, and there's things in those constitutions and bylaws that you're really going to want fighters to start making the decisions on. You can amend those at a later date, but you don't want just a lawyer and an agent drafting that for the fighters. This is something they should have input on. It's going to be their union. So ultimately the executive board is going to be empowered with making policy decisions for the union going forward and administrative decisions on when we're ready to file with the NLRB. Obviously I'll be there to counsel them on any legal points and answer any questions they have. But it's going to be a union of the fighters and run by the fighters, so the sooner we can get some sort of executive board in place, really, I think the more genuine and the more realistic that the union is, because you have fighters already making decisions for the profession and their career."

Middlebrook admits that fear is still an issue among fighters who aren’t quite ready to throw their name in the hat to support a union. This guy, though, isn’t one of them.

According to Middlebrook -- who also serves as attorney for Nick Diaz — once the board is announced and the members are introduced, other fighters will be more keen on turning in their union cards to show their support.

That said, he says the association won’t be able to gauge where they actually stand in their efforts until early 2017.

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