The obstacles to UFC fighters’ unionisation

MMA fighters in smokey background
Published: Saturday, 26 August 2017. Written by Jacob Debets No Comments

This article examines the prospect of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters forming a certified trade union and entering into collective bargaining with the UFC.

  • It first provides an overview of the UFC’s development from fringe spectacle to mainstream sport and the current economic relationship between the promotion and fighters.
  • It then provides a history of unionisation efforts, before assessing the legal obstacles fighters must overcome in order to get the UFC to the bargaining table.
  • It concludes with a discussion of the Muhammad Ali Expansion Act, [1] which would extend economic protections that apply to professional boxers to their counterparts in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA),[2] and is seen by many as a legislative alternative to labour organising.

Continue reading this article...

Register with your email and password
Already a member? Sign in

Get access to all of the expert analysis and commentary at LawInSport including articles, webinars, conference videos and podcast transcripts.  Find out more here.

Related Articles

About the Author

Jacob Debets

Jacob Debets

Jacob is a freelance writer and recent JD graduate from Melbourne Law School. He will be commencing as a trainee lawyer in 2019 for Arnold Bloch Leibler, in their Workplace Advisory team. In the interim, he is working on a book analysing the economic relationship between the UFC and its athletes, as well as academic papers on the influence of technology on legal education, and the labour dimensions of the "gig economy". You can view more of his writing at jacobdebets.com.

  • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.

Copyright © LawInSport Limited 2010 - 2020. These pages contain general information only. Nothing in these pages constitutes legal advice. You should consult a suitably qualified lawyer on any specific legal problem or matter. The information provided here was accurate as of the day it was posted; however, the law may have changed since that date. This information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any specific situation. LawInSport is not responsible for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of this information. Please refer to the full terms and conditions on our website.