Fertitta: Unionizing or not is up to the fighters

by Steven Marrocco | source: mmajunkie.com

This past Saturday at UFC Fan Expo 2010, Lorenzio Fertitta, who purchased the UFC in 2001, said collective third-party representation – an issue that's long shadowed the sport's explosive rise to popularity – is not under his company's domain.

"We have no role," Fertitta said. "So we're not in a position to say we support it, or we're against it. That's entirely up to [the fighters]."

"One of the things that's a little bit different is that fighting in general – I know a lot of people have talked about the same issue (with) boxing – fighting seems to be such a individual sport," he said. "And guys have different needs and different motivations, and what's good for a guy like Chuck Liddell is maybe not good for a kid like Paul Kelly coming up.

"They have different needs and are (at) different times in their careers, so I'm not sure if it works or not."

"We do the best we can to tend to them," Fertitta said. "Anybody who gets injured in the UFC, we cover that 100 percent-plus. We carry more insurance than any promoter in the history of the world (and) take care of more things – actually take care of everything for a guy who gets hurt in a fight.

"So we try to tend to their needs as best we can."

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tags: UFC   Lorenzo Fertitta   


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Bonedog site profile image  

6/5/10 12:04 AM by Bonedog

I think the biggest reason fighters need a union isn't just pay or insurance. It's needed to ensure basic fairness in contract negotiations. Likeness rights for example. The AKA fighters were basically strongarmed into signing them away. They either agree to what the UFC offers to pay for them, or they get cut. That's fundamentally unfair in my opinion.

TheClips site profile image  

6/4/10 10:29 PM by TheClips

Wondering when this was going to get caught and corrected: I was


6/4/10 10:23 PM by K-Dub-"T"

Inferred implications; comprehend some.  

Doem site profile image  

6/4/10 10:15 PM by Doem

iirc there are laws that protect actions to organize a union.Whats he going to say, im going to crush the unionz?

emr7774 site profile image  

6/4/10 10:05 PM by emr7774

 Unfortunatly its the fans that would suffer in the event of organizing by fighters.  Companys have projected profits for fiscal years.  By organizing, all the costs the company would assume ( pension,medical, unemployment etc. ) would be passed on to the comsumer= higher prices on merchandsing, ppv. 

MPA site profile image  

6/4/10 9:35 PM by MPA

If Boxers don't have unions, why in the world would anyone think MMA fighters would?This isn't the NBA or the NFL. Jeez!

Sandy Pantz site profile image  

6/4/10 8:04 PM by Sandy Pantz

so unions are bad for the sport

Jenny Wishbone site profile image  

6/4/10 7:59 PM by Jenny Wishbone

I disagree on all counts. First of all, the headline fighters bring in spectators and PPV sales. That's why they get paid well.Second, if there was a fighter's union, it would be career ending for lower tier fighters to act as scabs(e.g., they would be barred from training with or kicked out of the top gyms and probably black listed from the sport). There is an interest in remaining united during strikes, so it becomes dangerous to break rank. Third, if the UFC engaged in a prolonged strike, it would lead to fighters signing with competing organizations - something that the UFC wouldn't obviously want.Fourth, violent spectator sports like football and hockey already have unions, so your unsafe argument doesn't add up. Five, there is plenty of opportunities in sports with unions for owners unwilling to meet player demands to bring in minor league replacements. It doesn't happen because unions have leverage, and owners generally don't want to go through protracted negotiations if they can avoid it, especially since it hurts sales and the images of their brand.Lorenzo is simply playing "indifference" because he knows how much the unions would increase the fighter's leverage and bank.It definitely makes sense to start a union - whether it will happen is a different issue.

Chomas site profile image  

6/4/10 7:55 PM by Chomas

Unions are gay.  For team sports the dynamic is different all around, but in general I hate unions.  99% of you have no perspective on unions, so you shouldn't give your opinion.  I deal with unions every day.  These guys are a bunch of cunts.  Basically inflating the cost of buiness IMO, to their own best interest.  Sometimes the quality of work is better from union workers, sometimes not.  I know how the game works, and its a shity game.