We are professional Mixed Martial Artists (MMA). Competing professionally in MMA, we give more physically and mentally for less money and benefits than any professional athletes on earth. The toll that MMA takes on us, both short and long term is massive. And, for giving everything we have to the sport we love, we receive a shamefully small fraction of what’s fair. We fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
The UFC was recently sold to William Morris Endeavor International Management Group (WME/IMG) for over Four Billion Dollars ($4,000,000,000), establishing what many of us have known for years; that the UFC has an enormous valuation and has generated spectacular profits year after year after year for its owners, making them billionaires. While players in every other major sport, (NFL, NBA, MLB and the NHL) receive roughly half of every dollar generated by those leagues, we receive just 8 cents of each dollar*. So, while our brothers in the NFL received roughly six and a half billion dollars ($6,500,000,000) last year, as UFC fighters we received pennies on the dollar*.
The reason Dana White and his partners were able to sell the UFC to WME/IMG for billions, is because of us. The athletes’ who fill the stadiums, drive the spectacular PPV buy rates, who propel the domestic and international television ratings and license fees and who are responsible for the millions upon millions in sponsorship worldwide.
And, with the UFC valued at $4 Billion and WME/IMG valued at over $6 Billion, in addition to receiving shamefully low pay, as UFC Fighters we receive: No Disability Benefits, No Pension, No Healthcare benefits post retirement, No payment for our name, image & likeness rights, No neutral arbitration mechanism for dispute resolution with the UFC, No voice regarding drug testing policies and No retirement plan*.
Athletes in other major sports receive these benefits. And, worse yet, many of the over 5,000 employees working at the WME/IMG/UFC conglomerate receive these benefits as well*. But, as the fighters who put our lives on the line day after day for the WME/IMG-UFC conglomerate, we receive no benefits and a fraction of the purses we rightfully deserve for our blood and our effort.
At our current show and win bonus structure as UFC fighters, if every one of us (over 500 UFC fighters) fought 3 times each year for the next eighty two (82) years, we would still not come close to equaling the amount of money that Dana White and his partners received in a single day when they sold the UFC to WME/IMG*.
The Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA), which is made up of UFC fighters and a Board comprised of some of the biggest names in the UFC, has three prime directives to accomplish for our members in short order:
To secure a substantial settlement for all UFC fighters from the WME/IMG/UFC conglomerate to compensate us for the egregious, predatory, unethical and unlawful wrongs that have been perpetrated on us for many years.
To secure a five (5) times increase in each and every UFC athletes purses, providing us with Fifty percent (50%) of all revenues generated by the UFC each year.
To secure the additional benefits listed in this mission statement for every one of us.
To clearly show how wrongful and outrageous the UFC’s lack of payments to us has been for over a decade, consider this: As UFC fighters if we received a percentage of revenues in purses anywhere close to what our brothers in other major sports receive; A UFC fighter currently making twenty five thousand dollars per fight (between show and win bonus) would make $125,000 per fight. A fighter currently making fifty thousand a fight would make $250,000 per fight. And, if you are one of the very few among us who makes a hundred thousand or more per fight, you would make a half million ($500,000) or more per fight. And, these are not dream numbers. These are the actual levels of per fight compensation we should be receiving. And, what’s most disturbing is that the major sports ownership groups who pay their athletes 50% of all revenues, still have profitable businesses. Meaning, if the UFC paid us what we deserve, five (5) times what each of us currently makes, they would still make a respectable profit*.
This is our fight. To win this fight, we have secured the most experienced and expert team in MMA history. Ours is a fight we will not stop fighting until the fight is done. We will win this fight by joining together and by publicly and aggressively taking all necessary steps to ensure that the UFC-WME/IMG conglomerate provides us what is fair and what we deserve.
* The small asterisks (*) in this membership form, indicate statements made based on our (i) decades of elite level experience in the MMA industry ,and (ii) analysis and consultation from a collection of the most experienced, expert individuals in the MMA and entertainment industry, (iii) substantial research and due diligence by professionals in the MMA industry, and based on (i) – (iii) we believe this information to be correct, accurate and representative of the wrongful conduct of the UFC and its ownership toward its athletes. But, because the UFC is totally and completely unwilling to disclose any information publicly about the enormous amounts of net profit they generate each and every year on the backs of its Athletes, we cannot make these statements as absolute fact.