By Zach Arnold | August 11, 2016
The irony of Nick Diaz’s attorney being part of a new UFC Fighters Union is super delicious. Lorenzo Fertitta cashed out just in the nick of time, as he always does.
The Professional Fighters Association is being headed by Barry Bonds’ agent, Jeff Borris. It allegedly has the support of former baseball Godfather, Don Fehr, who is the king of hardball.
The question then becomes: where do fighters race to first? PFA or Rob Maysey’s MMAFA organization and his fighters engaged in an antitrust lawsuit against UFC?
After you answer that question, then there’s a next series of questions:
- Would UFC even recognize or do business with an organization like PFA? There are thousands of fighters willing to fight for peanuts.
- Would UFC be willing to ice out booking any fighter aligned with PFA… even if it involves their top names and even if it means significantly hurting their own quality of product?
- What would a group like PFA mean for USADA drug testing? Collective bargaining agreements handle drug testing. How do you get a CBA with a company like UFC if UFC wouldn’t recognize and accept the existence of a PFA?
- How would a proposed union like PFA manage to clawback ancillary rights for fighters on marketing likenesses if the current UFC contracts signed by fighters gave away those rights in the first place?
- Why would UFC give up their Reebok contract and revert back to fighters being able to obtain their own sponsorships? It goes against the business theory of a 360-style contract to give a powerhouse agency like William Morris the power to market fighters into pop and business culture.
- Why would any fighter with ties to WME or aspirations of ties to WME agree to join a union like PFA?
Bonus question: Should unionization become successful, how much longer before UFC starts raising prices on everything in order to justify rising costs of doing business?