Ragin’ Kajan: Lack of UFC vid game compensation ‘disgraceful’

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

UFC lightweight Ragin’ Kajan Johnson isn’t in the new EA Sports UFC 3 video game, and he’s happy about that. During a recent appearance on Nick Baldwin‘s The MMA Circus podcast Johnson said nearly all fighters aren’t paid for the use of their likeness.

Ironically, the Canadian fighter worked at EA Sports headquarters in Vancouver doing motion capture for many fighters, so he was paid for the game, while few others were. Johnson says he established a good relationship with people at EA Sports; it’s the UFC he has a problem with.

“I think it’s disgraceful, actually. I think it’s insane,” he said to Baldwin for BloodyElbow.com. “I don’t understand how we’re supposed to be such a forward-thinking society, how we’re OK with a giant corporation exploiting the people like this. It doesn’t make any sense to me.

“Across every single other sport, whether it’s NFL, NBA, MLB, those athletes that are in that game are making money. If they’re using their face and their likeness and their name, they’re gonna be compensated for it. And we’re not — it’s not even on the table for discussion really.”

“Once again, the UFC has failed to look out for our best interests when negotiating with another company. It’s the UFC’s fault. It’s not EA’s fault. I have no problem with EA, I have no problem with the game, I got a problem with the UFC.”

“Every[fighter] and their f***ing dog is posting about this game. Are you not even thinking of the f***ing money that we all just lost? Are you not even thinking about this massive TV deal that’s coming through, that we’re getting zero points on? What the f***. On what planet? It’s insane.

“I’m heavily f***ing disappointed. I’m getting more and more disappointed with the rest of the fighters, because nobody is saying anything. Everyone is willing to lay down and beg at the f***ing door. We own the f***ing house – we are the house, we are the product. Without us, there’s no show. Yet we’re begging? For what? I don’t get it. I don’t understand how everyone doesn’t see what I see.”

“We need to form a body, for sure, we need to form a union. But the union can’t be a typical union. And from what I’ve seen on Twitter lately, the whole NLRB thing is not doing all that well under Trump right now. But we need to form a union, but not just for UFC. If it’s just for UFC, it solidifies their monopoly. We need an ACTRA- or an SAG-type model for a union.”

“The promotions would be able to share fighters and the titles would all be under the Ali Act. It would all be individual sanctioning bodies.”

“What’s happening instead without it around, we’re just being enslaved. It’s just slavery.”

“Now, how do we do that? That’s the problem. How do I do that from Vancouver, Canada by myself? I’m trying to do whatever I can. I’m still reaching out to people and collecting information and trying to figure out the problem. Once we figure out exactly how to get this union to exist, then it’ll just be handing out cards [to] get members.”

“It needs to get done. What’s happening instead without it around, we’re just being enslaved. It’s just slavery.”

“The majority of the roster, the 99 percent, we have no power to. So we’re just stuck with whatever they want to give us, which is nothing.”

Kajan Johnson fights Rustam Khabilov at UFC Fight Night 127 on March 17, 2018, at The O2 Arena in London, England.

Image courtesy of Rocky Okoye.