Web
Analytics

The Best Resource For Mixed Martial Arts MMA

GSP and Star Studded Line Up Announce The Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association

208 0

GSP: “Even tho I know a lot of fighters are afraid, it’s time to step up and do the right thing. It’s time to join in.”

When GSP said he had a big announcement earlier this week, he wasn’t lying. The former welterweight champion along with Donald Cerrone, Tim Kennedy, T.J. Dillashaw, Cain Velasquez and former chairman and chief executive of bellator, Bjorn Rebney, held a conference call today to announce the official launch of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association.

According to the all fighter board, this association is about fighters past and present, and plans to address issues in regards to wage gaps, pension, and healthcare. The association repeatedly urged current fighters to “join in”, as though the association may not be perfect, it’s the best chance they have right now.

Kennedy: We have been looking for the best horse to get on the race. No horse is perfect. This is the best.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

The MMA Board will consist of 5 fighters

GSP

Cain Velasquez

Donald Cerrone

Tim Kennedy

T.J. Dillashaw

Bjorn Rebney (as advisor)

The resounding message of the association seems to be a safe place for fighters, that is run by fighters. They’re calling for basic rights that is afforded any other athlete in any other sport. In short they’re trying to legitimize MMA not only as a promotion but also as a sport – on both sides. While we don’t have the audio of the press conference, we do have a play by play of the major talking points via Twitter.

Kennedy: I am proud to announce the official launch of the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: Maybe to UFC I will be seen as a villain like I was when I spoke about PEDs. But that situation was rectified, so hoping this will too.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: I am one of the rare fighters who is healthy and wealthy. I can’t say that about most guys.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: We are here to take a stand and fight for the fighters who are afraid to get fired, afraid to get left broken with no insurance or care

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Donald Cerrone up next.

“I didn’t write a speech. Fuck, I wish I had.”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Cerrone: Years ago I wouldn’t have spoke up out of fear that the UFC would have benched me or fired me.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Cerrone talking about the health care and pension problem. “There’s so many things I want answers to. I’m here to ask questions too.”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Next is Dillashaw.

“I’m TJ Dillashaw. I’m here to speak about what’s right. … It’d be nice to have a plan after I’m done fighting.”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Dillashaw: To hear that we only get paid 8% of what the UFC brings in is crazy to me.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney: These athletes are risking more for less than any pro athlete on earth. They are paid pennies on the dollar.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney says when WME-IMG bought the UFC, they should have flown all fighters out and apologized for how they had been treated.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney: WME-IMG pays itself 25 mil a year “management fee” for the UFC. “I kid you not.”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Kennedy: We have been looking for the best horse to get on the race. No horse is perfect. This is the best.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: Even tho I know a lot of fighters are afraid, it’s time to step up and do the right thing. It’s time to join in and do the right thing.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: We should never be afraid to stand for the virtues. To stand for what’s right.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney says they want to get back what they lost, get 50 cents on the dollar instead of 8 cents, negotiate of a CBA comparable to MLB etc.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Ian McCall just asked a question. He asked what they are going to do to get other fighters on board.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Kennedy responds to McCall. “Do you want to see change? Do you want to see something different for your future?”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney says they are just focused on the UFC, just like NFLPA or MLBPA. “The undisputed leader in the space.”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney says they haven’t reached out to UFC yet and don’t plan on doing so first. Also, as of now, only the 5 fighters there are on board.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney says UFC fighters are independent contractors, so they should not form a union. “We are not forming a union. We are an association.”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Kennedy: the fighter is going to be running the association. End of story. Rebney is going to be a very valuable aid.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Kennedy: the five fighters there today are the board members. Bjorn is not on the board. The fighters will make all the calls.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: I know a lot of the agents and fighters will be threatened by the UFC.

This is my personal mission. We’re not here to let anyone down.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: I’m here to better the situation of UFC fighters.

Maybe I’ll fight again, maybe I won’t. But I’m doing this to help the fighters.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Of the 5 fighters in the room, 2 (Cerrone & Kennedy) are fighting in 10 days @ 206, and 2 others (Dillashaw & Velasquez) in 30 days @ 207.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Cerrone: I’m scared to f’n death. But I still have a contract. I still have a fight next weekend.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP believes McGregor is aware of what is going on. “He knows what’s right. He’s not a coward. Everyone knows what we’re doing is right.”

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: Of course we want the biggest name in the sport. We need it. But every name counts for us: from the biggest name to the smallest.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney says he’d welcome Randy Couture to step in with them, too.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: The reason I didn’t fight in the UFC is because the deal they were offering me wasn’t fair. This changes nothing.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

GSP: My lawyer told me I’m a free agent. But you know how it is, there are two sides to every situation. We have strong evidence I’m a FA.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney doesn’t think MMA will exist in 10 years if the status quo continues.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney says some people “have stepped up” when asked about who’s funding this. Doesn’t detail names.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Kennedy says a strike is not the mission. They want to work with the UFC and help build the sport.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Kennedy: Where the UFC is headed right now is an unsustainable trajectory. MFers can’t walk.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Former Bellator matchmaker (under Rebney) Zach Light is also a part of this group.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney: Jim Quinn is the Michael Jordan of this stuff. We’ve talked to Tony Clark of the MLBPA and others, as well.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

Rebney: this has an enormity of ugly on one side of it.

— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 30, 2016

While this all sounds perfectly reasonable, the real question is how many current fighters will actually join. We all know UFC rules with an iron fist, so it’s easy for the “healthy and wealthy” GSP to tell other fighters “don’t be afraid” – this is their livelihood on the line. Another concern is the “all fighter” board. While it sounds great in theory, does the beer swigging Mr. “I didn’t write a speech. Fuck, I wish I had.” have the capacity to head a new Association at such a volatile stage. Being one of the most active fighters in the UFC, does he even have the time?

One things for sure, the UFC will come down harshly and threats will be made. If this Association doesn’t work you can be sure Dana White will extra diligent in stomping out any revolution in the future.

Let us know what you think about the new fighter association and if you think it stands a chance.

The post GSP and Star Studded Line Up Announce The Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association appeared first on Cagepotato.