This week news was announced that several UFC fighters and former CEO of Bellator MMA Bjorn Rebney would be announcing something that would redefine the sport.
This in turn lead to plenty of speculation as to what a conference call could be about. Top of the rumour slide is that a fighters union or an association will be formed. This is fuelled by, Bjorn Rebney apparently registering the domain names mmaathletesassociation.info, mmaathletesassociation.net, and mmaathletesassociation.org a sign that the announcement at least includes that.
As of 9pm GMT , Tim Kennedy took to the microphone in front of over 100 journalists saying ‘we’re going to change the face of the industry today’ going on to say ‘We’re here to never leave someone behind. The one sided system that the UFC has in place will be changed immediately, I’m proud to announce the official launch of the Mixed Martial Arts Athlete Association.”
George’s Saint Pierre says ‘that in most sports the money is 50/50 for athletes. In MMA it’s 8%. even Conor McGregor isn’t getting his fair share’
Donald Cerrone added He admits that he didn’t write a speech, but probably should have. Says he’ll speak from the heart instead.
Cain Velasquez touched on his major surgeries and how other fighters have to go through the same, with no retirement health plan in sight.
Bjorn Rebney added ‘We’re all MMA fans. MMA is an incredibly dangerous sport. When the group that makes money hand over fist and the athletes responsible are asked to put their lives on the line and they get pennies.’ Bjorne also stated the most successful year He ever had as a promoter, He paid his athletes 53% of revenue.
Cerrone added after that this is a big risk and he has no fucking idea what’s going to happen, but will run until the wheels fall off.
GSP had reassuring words to his fellow fighters ‘I know you might be afraid, but it’s like a fight. You shouldn’t be afraid’
The main take home from this call is that all of the fighters have focused on health insurance and financial security once they retire. They want a level, safe and secure field for fighters and promoters. The future of the MMAAA is unclear, but it is a positive step for all the sports athletes.
– Steve Brigg