LAS VEGAS — Jeff Borris stepped onto UFC turf and fired the first salvo against promotion brass Thursday night.
The well-known baseball agent is attempting to organize UFC fighters to start a union. And Borris started off a press conference for the Professional Fighters Association (PFA) here with direct shots against UFC president Dana White and new company owner Ari Emanuel of WME-IMG.
Borris said he invited White, Emanuel and WME co-CEO Patrick Whitesell to the press conference and for a further dialogue about a fighters union. White and Whitesell, Borris said, didn’t return messages.
Borris said White was “disingenuous at best” when he said Wednesday at a press conference that he had not heard about movement for a union. The longtime agent of Barry Bonds and others said he did manage to reach Emanuel on his cell phone and didn’t get the response he hoped he would.
“He, in a tone only my wife speaks to me in, says ‘Don’t ever call me again. I don’t want to speak to you. I don’t want to have anything to do with you,'” Borris said.
Borris said he then texted Emanuel: “I think that’s unprofessional. I’ll let you get away with that now. But once we become a union and we’re certified by the National Labor Relations Board, you’re gonna have to take my phone call and you’re gonna be forced to.”
That is the goal of the PFA. Borris and Lucas Middlebrook, known in MMA circles at Nick Diaz’s attorney, are hoping to get 30 percent of UFC fighters to sign an authorization card allowing for a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) election. The PFA would then need a majority of the more than 500 fighters in the UFC to vote “yes” for the PFA to collectively bargain for them with the promotion.
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