ByAmy Kaplan, writer at
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Amy Kaplan

A historic moment has come for professional MMA, a professional fighters association has been officially established.

According to a press release sent out by the Professional Fighters Association (PFA) on Thursday, an association has been established to represent the collective interest of UFC fighters so that they can collectively bargain their terms and conditions of employment.

This association will be run for fighters, by fighters with the help of a long time sports agent, a labor attorney and an economist, among others.

This new association is being backed by many other professional sports association including the MLBPA, NFLPA, NBAPA and the MLSPU.

“As Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, I support the efforts of the fighters to organize. The solidarity and commitment of the group will be essential to their ability to protect and advance their workplace rights,” said Tony Clark, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association.

This historic move comes shortly after the announcement that the UFC had been sold for $4 billion. There has been talk recently of an association forming after many fighters were upset about changes that directly impacted their income including the new UFC uniform policy.

UFC fighter Mark Hunt was vocal following his UFC 200 loss to Brock Lesnar after Lesnar was flagged by USADA for two separate failed drug tests. Hunt believes he was put at risk fighting an athlete who was potentially using steroids and believes the UFC failed to think of his best interest. This was the third time Hunt had fought an opponent who was later flagged for PEDs.

The PFA website introduced two graphs which show the current state of the UFC vs. other professional sports.

In the first graph they show the amount of revenue and how it is distributed.

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In the second graph they show the benefits that other professional athletes receive versus what UFC fighters are given.

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The website lists needs above and beyond what is listed above, including uniform fight contracts, life insurance, ranking system and drug policy.

The UFC has not commented on this announcement yet.

(Image via Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports)


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