UFC Champ Calls For Fighters Union
The executives over at UFC aren't gonna like the latest comments posed by fighter Jose Aldo. Aldo, UFC's lineal featherweight champion, recently expressed his support for a formal fighter association and monthly fighters salaries.
As it currently stands, the majority of fighters are paid per fight and hold no major sway at the bargaining table with companies such as UFC. Aldo's comments were in reference to UFC's uniform deal with Reebok, which many fighters, namely former UFC light heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort, have publicly criticized for paying less than other sponsors did before being banned from the ring.
UFC President Dana White, doing his part, has taken a firm stance against fighters organizing. They have also have a contentious past with Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents workers in Las Vegas' hotel, food, and gaming industries. The Culinary Union and Teamsters are leading the union drive at the world's biggest MMA promoter.
But Aldo still believes a fighters' association could be a great way to protect athletes physically and financially.
"Whether we like it or not, we are susceptible to injuries which could leave us sidelined for a long time. That harms the fighter who only gets paid when he fights," Aldo told Brazilian MMA website Combate. "If you're hurt, there's no income."
"It's a way to protect athletes," Aldo added. "It could really help."