The Obstacles to UFC Fighters’ Unionisation

This article examines the prospect of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters forming a certified trade union and entering into collective bargaining with the UFC.

  • It first provides an overview of the UFC’s development from fringe spectacle to mainstream sport and the current economic relationship between the promotion and fighters.
  • It then provides a history of unionisation efforts, before assessing the legal obstacles fighters must overcome in order to get the UFC to the bargaining table.
  • It concludes with a discussion of the Muhammad Ali Expansion Act which would extend economic protections that apply to professional boxers to their counterparts in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), and is seen by many as a legislative alternative to labour organising.

You can read the rest of this article at LawinSport.

No Turning Back after May-Mac

This article was originally published on Fight News Australia.

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After nearly a year of trash talk, a bizarre media tour and more twists and turns than anyone could have predicted, the fight that was meant to be impossible is now less than a week away. UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3 MMA) will make his professional boxing debut against the undefeated, 15-time world champion Floyd Mayweather (49-0) at T Mobile Arena on August 26th, in what will likely be the biggest combat sports event in history.

The fight marks a turning point for the UFC, who have broken convention in allowing McGregor to compete outside the octagon.

Continue reading “No Turning Back after May-Mac”

The Cyborg Chronicles

Chris “Cyborg” Justino was patient and methodical, stalking Tonya Evinger with leg kicks and punches for two and a half round before four crushing knees brought the game but outmatched Evinger to the canvass and forced referee Mike Beltran to intervene and stop the carnage.

The fight lasted longer than some had expected. Evinger, a bantamweight giving Cyborg a ten-pound weight advantage, was a virtual unknown amongst mainstream MMA fans before Saturday and had never competed in the Octagon despite the 135lb division being the UFC’s most established women’s weight class. To make matters worse, she’d taken the fight on short notice, serving as a replacement for the Australian Megan Anderson, who pulled out of the event in late June.

Continue reading “The Cyborg Chronicles”

Not Worth The Risk – A look at Johnson vs Dillashaw

This article was originally published on Fight News Australia.

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Given the year that MMA fans are having, it’s perhaps not that surprising that many appear to be clamouring for a “super-fight” between flyweight champion and pound-for pound king Demetrious Johnson, and former bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw.

After all, a full five months into 2017, there have only been a handful of standout UFC cards, and if the ratings are any indication, “Might Mouse’s” last title defense against Wilson Reis failed to capture the attention of the broader fan base. Compare this year to 2016 – where the company had five events that broke one million pay per view buys – and the demand for a big fight is understandable. Especially given that it’s compensation for the loss of the highly anticipated bantamweight title fight between Dillashaw and reigning champion Cody Garbrandt, which was pulled from UFC 213 due to Garbrandt injury woes.

Continue reading “Not Worth The Risk – A look at Johnson vs Dillashaw”

A Division Held Hostage

This article was originally published on Fight News Australia.

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So this is where we are in 2017. A 36- year old career welterweight who has been inactive for more than 3 years, leapfrogging a laundry line of contenders in a higher weight-class that he’s never fought in before, to fight for a belt that he may not defend – or worse, defend against big names instead of legitimate challengers.

Continue reading “A Division Held Hostage”

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

This article was originally published on Fight News Australia.

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2016 was truly a year to be a UFC fan.

In the space of a meagre 12 months, there were seismic shifts in almost all of the promotion’s weight classes, with 10 new champions being crowned and five new additions to the pound-for-pound rankings*. We saw the short-lived return of Jon Jones, the capitulation and resurgence of Conor McGregor, the likely end of Ronda Rousey’s fighting career, and the birth of potential superstars in Stipe Miocic, Max Holloway and Cody Garbrandt. These and countless other storylines sent MMA media and fans into a frenzy on what felt like a weekly basis, and for better or worse continued to garner mainstream attention.

Continue reading “Between a Rock and a Hard Place”