We Need MMA WatchDog Organization

I'm not a big fan of the workers unions of today, however, they did serve a good purpose at one point. Ideally, they're in place to protect their workers from their company taking advantage of them.

What I propose is a "union" or MMA Watchdog Org(for lack of a better word), a rights organization that will look out for the fighter. This organization will be independent of any fight production and will be non-profit. Here is an example:

Joe Bruiser is a paying member of this MMA union and takes a fight with Xtreme Cage Fights. The promoter pulls some shady shit (Jamie Levine, KOTC, etc) and Joe goes home without fighting and without pay. He protests to his union which does an investigation. The union determines that Joe was wrongfully treated and wasn't compensated. It's the unions responsibility at this point to fight on Joe's behalf. If it means a legal fight, so be it.

One of the biggest issues is the safety of the fighters so if you go to an event, this org. would make sure that the event had medical insurance, ambulance onsite, cut doctors, etc. This would give the event and the sport legitimacy with the state and athletic commission where the event resides.

The next thing would be to get some firepower behind it like Bruce Buffer or other big names that have the money and the organizational fortitude to get this thing started.

I have a ton more ideas how this thing could shape up, but I wanted to see what some of you guys thought of this idea? If anyone here has the wherewithal to make this happen, such as training in law, this could be up your alley.


*chirp chirp chirp chirp*

You mean like what happened between Chris Brennon & KOTC? Like a mediator or something like it?

Yes. That would be a good example. Another example is what happened when Chad Mason shafted a bunch of fighters like Erin Toughill and Sean Sherk. This watchdog org would expose him and make sure he has all his ducks in a row before he can promote again.

For shows like TKO in Canada who shaft fighters and other promotions as well, this org will be the buffer with the athletic commissions and will bring standards to shows to avoid shit like that.

I really think this could be a good thing for the sport.

ttt for some fighter opinions. Would you guys pay maybe 50 bucks a year to support this organization? If not, why?

We are a VERY long was from this ever happening.

Joseph, I agree. The first start is to get people talking about it. There are people with the willingness and the financial backing to get it started. Someone has to really believe in it to pursue this. I would definately take a part in the process, but the financial part would be difficult.

good points

Sounds very similar to what Mike Reilly posted about doing a month or so ago. I don't remember the exact title of the thread, but there was a lot of discussion about it. The title may have been something like Professional Fighter's Assn.

I am not at my home computer so am not sure, but I believe Mike's email is reilly@icc.tv or it could be mike@icc.tv or something like that. It might be beneficial to contact him or make a thread here to his Attn.

Just a thought.




Contracts are part of the problem. Fighters, especially in lower class events, don't typically have managers or representatives to help them interpret these contracts. They're fighting for pennies, and as Chris Corderio from KOTC says, they're willing to fight for free. Thats another reason for a "professional fighting association".

Pride, who runs one of the best shows in the world, is notorious for last minute changes and switches opponents last minute. Fighters need to be compensated or have representatives protect them from these sorts of things. Because one minute you're fighting Joe Blow and the next minute, they've changed it to Vanderlei Silva.

Well... the biggest issue with this, is the fighters themselves. Right now fighting in the UFC or a trip to Japan in the holy grail. The terms and conditions don't matter, the pay, the opponent, the value of the fight to the fighter's career all take second seat to just getting scraps from the UFC's or a Japanese promotion's table.

I have worked with guys who turn away from fairly good deals (as MMA goes) to take less or a get a worse bout just because it is in the UFC.

This sport needs an identity and the fighters (fans as well) need to have a better view of MMA as a whole as opposed to simply going for after a spot in the UFC as the crowning achievement.


You make a good point. If the UFC gets a regular TV show, that will help some of these up and coming fighters get a spot at the big show. It will also go a long way to help legitimize the sport. Wouldn't it be cool to see MMA in the Olympics :-)

In relationship to pay, if there was a wage scale or a minimum wage of sorts that would benefit the younger fighters who want to get to the big show. I understand that some promotions go broke just paying the fighters after paying the production and facilities. Hopefully a fighters association will prevent this from happening so all parties walk away in a win/win situation. How that will work is beyond me at this time :-)

ttt for more input

I see what you are saying, but also look at what you are saying...

"If the UFC gets a regular TV show, that will help some of these up and coming fighters get a spot at the big show. It will also go a long way to help legitimize the sport"

In the minds of so many, it is still just about the UFC... It is a buyers market and they basically control the imagination of the entire NA MMA scene... We need an MMA TV show... not a UFC TV show.

We need growth from the bottom up.. We need a bigger more expansive foundation for MMA as a whole. Right now if is basically the UFC teetering on a stilt and everyone clamoring over each other for a chance just to touch it. We need more "big shows", thus providing more "big show opportunities" (instead of just the UFC).

But that is tough when everyone just has tunnel vision. This is a bigger issue than fighters not being taken cared of. We need to step back and see the bigger picture before we can plan a "watch-dog" group. Otherwise it would basically be "watch-dog" group v. UFC. As I pointed out, the fighters are all about the UFC, so the WD group doesn't have a leg to stand on...

I don't think this is such a good idea. The fighters are really in no place to demand more money since their shows don't really pull in many people.

Not to mention the corruption that would follow. People would get put into the UFC and shows based on their connections, not on their fighting ability. (Yeah it's kinda like this already, but it would get much worse).


I agree with you. I never thought about it in that context. However, the UFC is the organization right now putting in all the money and effort to get this TV show. There are going to be other shows trying to ride on the coat-tails of the UFC and all the efforts they put in. Thats fine, however, it's going to be tough to match the look and feel of the UFC. Right now, thats all we have in America...at least with their exposure.

I actually enjoy the Shooto organization. You always have tough fighters in your shows and the general perception is Shooto is a no-nonsense type event. I would love to see you guys go mainstream on PPV.

very good points,i don't think a fighter union would work right now,because the sport is still so unorganized.

The thought of an mma tv show would work better,for our sport,than a ufc or pfc show.

And Zuffa nor Pride has shown any signs that they are willing to go in with smaller promotions,to form an appropiate minor league system.If we all join forces,and created our own Governing body,we could do so much more for our sport.

but the members of the underground,argue about paying to support this site,i'd hate to see the arguments about being asked to pay an additional $25 a year.

right now it is to the largest extent,every man for himself.The Japanese promotions do not get along,some american promotions do not get along,several want to be the sanctioning body,but won't take a backseat to any other sanctioning body.it's like watching a bunch of beagles in a pen.so i pray that the ufc does make it,as well as every other promotion,but unity in our sport will never happen,even if it's just the fighters.


I see what your saying about the "union" idea. It doesn't really have to be a union so to speak. I'm thinking more of a rights organization. Something that will standardize the contracts and pay for beginning fighters. It will also be there to hold promoters feet to the fire when they decide to skip town and not pay their fighters. There are a ton of things that could be done to better the sport.

Robert, I agree with people arguing to pay 20 bucks for this site. I'm still a mudnamer. It might be a little different if this organization could make a fighter an extra 200 bucks to show for each fight. If you decide to be a free agent, you obviously won't reap the benefits of being in the organization.

Everyone has brought something good to the table so far. Keep the ideas coming!