Releasing UFC Fighter Torres & Morals Clauses

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight contender and former World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) champion Miguel Torres was released for tweeting the following:

“If a rape van was called a surprise van more women wouldn’t mind going for rides in them.” That post was subsequently removed and replaced with, “If a windowless van was a called a surprise van more people wouldn’t mind going for rides in them. Everyone likes surprises.”

I would like to debate this with Dana White as being excessive by giving a morals clause (contract law interpretation) on the subject matter and to compare it to the allegations that Dana White's mom made against him. See this site or video interview at

Dana has contributed colossally to the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA) but how did the Zuffa, LLC executives assess these allegations? They did not fire him immediately. Anyone know if Dana has a morals clause in his contract?

Another example why athletes need managers, agents and lawyers to protect their interests!

There are morals clauses in Zuffa, LLC contracts that executives can enforce on conduct deemed to place the UFC in a negative light. However, I know I could persuade Dana it was too harsh.

They have been used by entertainment studios in the early 20th century against actors who had drinking problems or engaged in bad conduct. Too bad the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause which requires a hearing before a government official takes away your license involving your profession cannot be invoked here.

It would be better result to investigate the claim more fully and if fit require training and community service for the athlete to mitigate the potential harm.

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I don't know that it would matter if Torres' contract had a "morals clause."

My guess, and it's just a guess, is that the contract is drafted in such a way as to essentially make Torres an at-will employee of Zuffa. There is likely a provision that Torres can be fired at any time and for any (or no) reason. That is how most of these contracts work.

The "six figure contract" is just a marketing ploy. That compensation is usually expressly contingent upon remaining an employee of Zuffa. Phone Post

Thanks for your comment. They are independent contractors not employees but if they were employees they are at-the-will of Dana White. Check out the U.S. Supreme Court factors for independent contractors in Creative Center for Non-Violence.

"Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC and Strikeforce, has announced that its 350 or so fighters, who are all independent contractors, will now be eligible for what it calls "customized accident insurance coverage."

Whatever the relationship is, I'd bet that it is terminable by Zuffa at will.

Whether Torres SHOULD have had his contract terminated is another question entirely (and probably a moot one, at this point). Phone Post