Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighters, all of whom are hired on as independent contractors by organizations like the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), are now contending with a fight many everyday working people face daily: wage theft and good ol’ school worker abuse.
The athletes are joining forces, creating the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association (MMAFA) and reached out to Union Review/Labor Side Communications to assist with telling their story in order to raise awareness and solidarity simultaneously with the goal of getting workers to sign on in support of their petition extending the Ali Act to cover them.
The dirty fighting was amplified when the UFC eliminated individual sponsorships by signing an exclusive multi-year contract with corporate sponsor Reebok.
The deal with Reebok created a dress code policy requiring all of the athletes to wear only Reebok gear while fighting or anywhere near the venue. In addition, the deal — estimated at $70 million — created a tier pay-out determined by how many fights a contender had, ultimately costing fighters a lot of money in lost sponsorships.
The Ali Act, enacted in 2000, protects the rights and welfare of boxers, and expands on legislation preventing exploitation, conflict of interest, and enforcement. The newly formed MMAFA’s petition is the first and most immediate action anyone can participate in to show support and solidarity in getting these athletes covered. Sign the petition and please share this widely.