UFC announces written Code of Conduct, with teeth


At today's FOX 6 pre-fight press conference, UFC COO Lawrence Epstein announced the compary would iniate a written code of conduct at the beginning of this weekend's event. The UFC’s Conduct Policy does not represent a new policy, so much as it is a codifying existing standards.

Helping to implement the policy will be just announced UFC Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations Matt Hughes.

"The implementation of a written code of conduct for UFC athletes," said Epstein. "There's gonna be a huge connection with what Hughes does and our new code of conduct. It's really not something that's new, just something that's been put in writing. We've always felt our athletes need to live up to a high level of conduct and the high standards of the UFC.

"This whole situation really started frankly when we took a look at the sports landscape and looked at what all the other major sports leagues were doing like the NFL, Major League Baseball, NHL, etc. We also took a look at what some of the associations are doing.

"I think, as many of you know, UFC's relationship with athletes is an independent contractor relationship. It's not like the relationship in the NFL where they're actually employees of the team. We looked at some of those organizations that had similar legal models and what we discovered was those organizations had an individual who was responsible for what they call athlete development and what we're calling athlete development also. The role of that person was first and foremost to be a mentor, to try and provide experience to hopefully keep guys out of trouble and stop guys from making mistakes that could affect both their career and could tarnish the image of mixed martial arts and the UFC."

"We took a look at our roster of athletes and fighters who have helped built the sport. Matt Hughes is a great guy, has done a lot of good works throughout his career. Matt is going to be that guy for us. He's going to be the mentor for our 450 athletes. He comes with a unique set of experiences and has been at the highest level of the sport. He knows the challenges that come along with that and will be providing that perspective to our athletes.

'We're trying to make the UFC the best place in the world for athletes and frankly to be second to none. I don't think anybody is more focused on the relationship with athletes than Dana White is. We've developed the fighter healthcare program and this one today is the next step in the experience between UFC athletes and the organization."

“Hughes will be an invaluable resource for UFC athletes. Leveraging the background and expertise he gained over a Hall of Fame career, Hughes will be dedicated to providing guidance on a wide range of issues athletes face inside and outside of the Octagon. This includes understanding the heightened social responsibility that comes with being in the public eye, to best practices when dealing with endorsements or managing finances, to the basic daily challenges of staying healthy during training, as well as the need to steer clear of illegal and/or performance-enhancing drugs.

“In addition to his work with UFC athletes, Hughes will engage with state athletic commissions and international federations to provide regulatory insight from the perspective of a professional athlete.”

Read entire article...

In an interview with Bleacher Report, Epstein provided further details.

“This stuff’s already frankly been in place for many, many years and we’ve always sort of had an unwritten code of conduct that we expected our athletes to live up to," reiterated Epstein. "Now we put it in writing, that’s really the only change. There are some teeth in the program, penalties associated with violations, but as far as we’re concerned this policy is going into effect immediately.”

When asked about “the teeth” of the policy Epstein said that there would be financial penalties associated with violating the policy, but also some community service.

“For example, if you make a discriminatory comment about a certain community, you would be required to provide some community service to that community. In our view that’s going to turn into a benefit.  It’s easy to criticize people you don’t know, but once you get to know somebody, once you get to experience what they’re all about it sort of changes you as a person in a way that money or fines could never do.”

Read entire article...


tags: UFC   Matt Hughes (detail)  Lawrence Epstein   


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Recent Comments »

Reed Rothchild site profile image  

1/25/13 5:32 PM by Reed Rothchild

Rule 213: Thou shall be able to say the word 'Fuck' in every sentence

IFCnate site profile image  

1/25/13 5:25 PM by IFCnate

Why Matt Hughes was Gilbert Yvel busy?

JeffersonDArcyChoke site profile image  

1/25/13 5:14 PM by JeffersonDArcyChoke

It'll be nice when this sport gets big enough that it doesn't have to hire every former name fighter. These guys are figureheads anyway. Like 1986 WWF with "President Jack Tunney" when Vince Mahon was always running the show. Chuck and Matt are just Jack Tunney guys to shake hands and make the rubes buy the new product. Because a lot of fans weren't as interested after Chuck, Randy and Tito left so trotting them out on camera reassures people and is an attempt to sell you on the new fighters who just aren't as compelling as those guys.

Ruthless Rye site profile image  

1/25/13 3:26 PM by Ruthless Rye

Wait a second.It has been stated that Matt and his brother raped an underage girl.It has been stated that Matt slept with the wives of his training partners while with Pat Miletich.Quite the role model for a Code of Conduct.

RickStorm site profile image  

1/25/13 1:03 PM by RickStorm

As funny as I think this statement is... It's probably more true then ya think

octowussy site profile image  

1/25/13 12:55 PM by octowussy

I'm dying here that a couple of bozos are trying to turn this into a political thing. This goes double for the dude who somehow thinks this infringes upon HIS freedom. Ok.So I suppose they made this move because, as Dana has said anytime he or one of his fighters has done or said something stupid, everyone is such a PUSSY?

chaplinshouse site profile image  

1/25/13 12:13 PM by chaplinshouse

yeah i REALLY feel like Dana is inventing positions to hook up his friends.  in a way i respect that but it's not in the COMPANY'S best interest at all.  if u want to throw money at them for nothing just let them stay at home and pay them for it.  Future headline:  Dan Hardy retires.  Gets UFC office position "senior technical director of fighter travel."  Dana went on to say 'few fighters have racked up more flight miles than Dan Hardy, he's a perfect fit"

shaqitup site profile image  

1/25/13 11:58 AM by shaqitup

Didn't Dana say chuck pretty much just collects a paycheck? TBH i assume it will be similar with Matt.

shaqitup site profile image  

1/25/13 11:56 AM by shaqitup

#1 rule in the conduct, Fighters may not take the mic from joe rogan. #2 fighters may not talk bad about the ufc in a post fight interview, or talk about how they're leaving. I wonder why it's implemented for this event eh.

chaplinshouse site profile image  

1/25/13 11:53 AM by chaplinshouse

Hughes code of conduct chapter one: Taunt and tease fighters much better than you on national television that you're supposed to fight later.  get ass beat for it in front of world in a one sided pounding.  go out of your way to call a fighter into a room you have no connection with just to tell him you don't like him (rashad) questions gentlemen? if they have to put a guy in this position someone more like rich franklin is a much better choice.  matt is a very close minded hypochristian with no patience for people that don't think like him