Two days ago we learned that a major announcement was coming that would re-define the mixed martial arts industry. Since then the world has been speculating as to what it could be.
Today we learned as former Bellator frontman Bjorn Rebney and former UFC champions Georges St-Pierre, Cain Velasquez, and TJ Dillashaw joined Tim Kennedy and Donald Cerrone, in revealing the major announcement.
Kennedy was the first to speak and announced the formation of the Mixed Martial Arts Athlete Association.
“We’re here to make sure that no fighter in the UFC gets left behind,” Kennedy said.
This is the beginning. Hundreds of fighters have been waiting for the right team to get behind. This is it! Feel empowered and contact me. https://t.co/QoJ3WmdYyB
— Tim Kennedy (@TimKennedyMMA) November 30, 2016
Rebney lashed out at the UFC and the WME-IMG who purchased the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization earlier this summer.
St-Pierre, Velasquez, Kennedy and Dillashaw are all represented by Creative Artists Agency, a rival talent firm to new UFC owner WME-IMG.
The fighters talked about wanting more insurance and more of a percentage of what the UFC is taking in, as well as some sort of package or something to set them up for when they are done fighting.
Rebney stated that the association is not to be confused with a union and urged fighters that if the “fighters up here all got hit by a bus today, the last thing you would want to do is form a union.”
The former Bellator CEO stated that a union would not help the fighters in their fight for more benefits as they are all independently contracted to the UFC.
The group of fighters stated that they do fear backlash and their is uncertainty as to what the UFC will do. Both Cerrone and Kennedy are on the UFC 206 fight card in Toronto next weekend.
“Every time we fight, we’re afraid,” St-Pierre said. “This is a different fight. I know a lot of us are afraid. It’s time to step up, do the right thing.”
Rebney had high hopes of a solution with the UFC and WME-IMG to come forth in the coming weeks.
— The MMAAA (@Themmaaa) November 30, 2016