Disgruntled Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters past and present, including, but not limited to Mark Hunt, Jose Aldo and T.J. Dillashaw, among others, will be pleased to learn that Professional Fighters Association (PFA) today announced its formation to, "organize these hard-working athletes so that they may collectively bargain their terms and conditions of employment pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA)."
Dana White and Co., including the new owners at WME | IMG, meanwhile, probably just threw up a little in their collective mouths.
PFA has apparently assembled a team of experienced sports professionals that are charged with representing "the collective interests of the fighters employed by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)." Donald M. Fehr (Executive Director for NHL Players Association and MLB Players Association), Tony Clark (Executive Director for MLB Players Association), DeMaurice Smith (Executive Director for NFL Players Association) and Bob Foose (Executive Director for MLS Players Union) were just several of the high-profile names associated with PFA in a recent press release.
More from the release:
"PFA has assembled a team of professionals to assist the fighters in this historic quest to take control of their careers and their future. The team includes long-time sports agent Jeff Borris, labor attorney Lucas Middlebrook, economist Andrew Zimbalist and an array of experienced support staff. The major sports players' unions, including the MLBPA, NFLPA, NHLPA, and the MLSPU, have provided PFA with their support of the UFC fighters' quest to organize and collectively bargain their terms and conditions of employment. The scales have been tipped in favor of the UFC for too long. It is time for the fighters --- the one's responsible for the UFC's success -- to receive their equal share."
Whoa ... talk about taking it to the "next level." Indeed, if PFA can gain a foothold among fighters, UFC, as well as other leading mixed marital arts (MMA) leagues, will have to drastically reconsider their "my way or the highway" bargaining techniques. It's essentially a Pandora's Box that could affect fighter pay, benefits, pensions, health care, suspensions, roster cuts and so much more.
Welcome to the big leagues, UFC. For more information on the newly-formed PFA visit ProFighters.org.