UFC President Dana White Doesn’t Think a Fighters Union Will Ever Happen

November 25, 2012
45 Comments

Dana White at UFC 123In any industry that employs a vast number of people – particularly industries where there are wide differences in compensation – there is always talk of whether or not the workers should form a union to protect the interests of the masses when it seems a small group reaps the highest benefits.

Talk of a fighters union has long been on the tongues of many, especially with the exploding success of mixed martial arts across the globe.

It seems little effort has been made over the years to actually form a union for mixed martial arts athletes.

UFC president Dana White, at least publicly, doesn’t seem to care one way or another whether there is a fighters union, but does have a theory as to why there isn’t one.

“The thing about fighting is, fighting is not a team sport; it’s an individual sport,” White remarked recently.

“It’s going to be tough to see a day when (Anderson) Silva or GSP is giving up big chunks of their money to guys who won’t make two fights in the UFC.”

Should it ever come to fruition, however, White doesn’t seem overly concerned.

“If it happens, it happens. I have to negotiate with somebody on the fight contracts.”

What do you think, do fighters need a union? Would it make the sport better?

  • Poeger

    Membership is optional…

  • Saberol

    The small guys in the industry may probably get better
    treatment (they will receive the same pay for the same work; won’t be laid off whimsically, etc) if they unionized. But mediocrity in job performance is always a danger in unions, and you may be forced to employ more hands than what
    you need or can afford. Definitely for those who cannot be seen as mediocre, such as the fighters themselves or their personal trainers, unionizing will not make
    sense.

    • Richurd Cheese

      I’m willing possibly watch slightly lower levels of performance in exchange for many of the things you mentioned along with increased safety and benefits for retired fighters. Anything gained at someone else’s expense is not good.

      • MarxistBS

        Watch pillow fights then. And leave fighting for the real men. If you want safety, go be a teacher, or some lazy ass alongside the road watching the Hispanic guy work while you get paid $80 bucks an hour for not doing anything. That sure helps the country…

        • Richurd Cheese

          I said “slightly”. Not a pillow fight… Romney lost, your kind are going extinct. The racist, blindly religious, nationalistic ignorant fools like you are disappearing. Good riddance!

          • jeremy

            your a dipshit.. you bring up Romney out of know where for whatever reason, then rant on like an idiot liberal.. nothing you said makes any sense.. your the fool if you voted for obama.. he spent more in 4 years then Bush in 8 and out spent every one of the first 41 presidents combines.. MORON… hell yeah i would like a man like Romney who could take care of the economy.. community organizer who added 6 trillion in debt in 4 years or a successful business man? simple choice.. you stand the FOOL

          • Richurd Cheese

            The wars that Bush started are off the budget… Obama is not coming for your gun, China is not going to invade, and Jesus is not coming back. You can quote manipulated statistics that you get from Fox news, but none of that garbage is productive. Hate mongering propaganda dedicated to keeping people committed to old world oppressive views. You obviously are uneducated. The winds of change are blowing, move to China if you dont like it. Romney is gone forever, thank black baby jesus.

    • Guest

      Right, because there’s been such a drop off in caliber athletes and play in the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL or even boxing for that matter since those sports unionzed. Unions are always better for the work force and hence better for everyone. More benefits, some job security and higher pay will attract better athletes which in turn makes for a better product and raises the bar for everyone and not just the guys at the bottom: fighters like Silva and St Pierre hitting the top of the glass ceiling with regards to paydays will see that ceiling rise further upward. You shouldn’t be surprised to hear that kind of obvious “divide and conquer” bullsh*t coming from a sleazy hustler like White.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anthony.forrester.37 Anthony Forrester

        Sure unions are better for everyone. Ask the steel workers of this country how good their union was to them. All there jobs are overseas. Auto workers union almost ruined the American automobile industry.

        • Richurd Cheese

          I bet you voted for Romney, lol.

          • dathump

            I have watched unions distroy companies with little to no regard for the “employee” They are no better then the big robber barons you speek of, just out to get rich off the sweat of somone else’s brow. Its just worse with unions, they don’t build, buy, sell, or ship anything, If a union company goes under, they dont have to rebuild, or start over, just recruit a new batch of suckers. Next time you see a company going bankrupt, check and see what union drove their cost up to un competitve levels.

          • Richurd Cheese

            You are brainwashed… I feel bad for you.

          • dathump

            no, not brainwashed, just lived it from both sides, employee and managment. Most pro-union people are the ones brainwashed by a promise of big pay for little work. From my experiance, modern day unions protect the lazy. Dont feel bad for me, I am flourishing in a non union enviroment and doing quite for myself, but thanks for your concern.

          • Richurd Cheese

            Ignorance is bliss… I don’t know if I would call it “flourishing”. You need to read more, try Plato, or maybe to some research into the subject of Proto-Indo European dominance in the Bronze Age.

          • dathump

            I do like how you name drop Greek philosophers and ancient ideologies, not sure the relivance to this conversation about a modern day fighters union. I am not saying unions didn’t have their place, but in this day and age, they tend to do more harm then good.

          • Richurd Cheese

            Exactly why you should read. Also the Bhagavad Gita has some good stories about logic.. If you read, then you would understand the relevance… I will leave you with a quote from Jesus “Forgive them father, for they know not what they do.”
            That is kinda how I feel about all you right wing crazies.

      • Timothy Malone

        You should read an economics book. You might learn something.

        • Richurd Cheese

          You should read one that wasn’t authored by the cronies of robber barons. Stop watching fox news, its bad for you.

        • johnnybooker

          You should read a history book about the Industrial Revolution, and then you would know why unions became necessary in the first place.

  • Richurd Cheese

    They need a union ASAP. Look at how the NFL players union has successfully negotiated to increase safety, pay, and benefits for current and retired players. If some of the top fighters and Zuffa have to give up some money for the sport to be safer and providing better compensation to the lower-tier fighters then so be it.

    • CommonSense

      Oh yeah, just like boxers in the undercard, which are the athletes that need help, are getting paid more than those in UFC undercard fights, right? lol. Stop picking your examples and look at the big picture. NFL players make a ton of money regardless of being unionized or not.

      • Richurd Cheese

        You told me to stop picking examples, and then you picked examples… That is funny!

  • gnodeb

    It would be cool if we have something to force MMA to become real competition. I know that fights are for real, but match making is based on marketability and fighters willingness to fight. You can not find that in any other competition. You can not call out some top tennis player and demand a match. You have to earn that spot. And you can not decide not to play a final match and keep title either. Match making should be based only on results. If athletic commission can not do that, I’m not sure union can. And until we don’t have a real competition we don’t need union at all.

  • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

    This is just like any other job. People are working their asses off to get into the UFC. If you dont like how Zuffa treats you then find another job or find another organization to work for. Half of these guys should be grateful with what they have achieved and what they will receive. I always stand up for fighters but I just think Dana and Lorenzo take care of them well and are always trying to do more. C”mon they got fighters insurance! Who ever seen that coming? Besides are there any fighters who actually do this because they love the sport anymore? I never stop hearing about the money. I know we all need it but to a point c’mon enjoy what you do and live for the moment.

    • Richurd Cheese

      Zuffa has a monopoly, there is nowhere else to go. Insurance is nothing compared to what Dana and Lorenzo are making off of these fighters. All Zuffa cares about is money, but you give them a pass and want the fighters to not care about pay and “live for the moment”. What have you been smoking?

      • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

        A monopoly? They purchased Strikeforce b/c it was for sale and by doing so they helped keep a lot of fighters around and in the rankings. They could have just folded it all but they kept putting money into the business. Of course Zuffa cares about money, it’s business and their obviously good at it b/c the growth just continues. It’s good for the promotion and the fighters as well. And there are other places to go it’s a world wide sport; its just the UFC is the #1 promotion known in mma. Nothing wrong with that either.

        • Richurd Cheese

          You have no idea what you are talking about. Zuffa is doing the same thing Standard Oil would do. It is easy to succeed in a fledgling market when you have enough capital to crush the competition early. It has nothing to do with them being “good” at business, they cornered the market early, and now they have no competition. There are a lot of things wrong with that… You must be trapped in a bubble to have these kind of opinions.

          • Adam Bruss

            Since Zuffa purchased the UFC, MMA has grown a lot thanks to them.

          • Richurd Cheese

            The oil business grew under Rockefeller. The means don’t always justify the ends, dummy!

          • Adam Bruss

            You better stop using your computer because it’s made of plastic which comes from oil! dummy!

          • YouAreAJoke

            Just like they bought Bellator, right? And M-1 which was giving them trouble. And all the other 100 MMA organizations out there. Stop whinning and being jealous about the rich. Don’t compare apples and oranges. You have absolutely no arguments for what you are proposing. None of your points are close to being correct.

          • Richurd Cheese

            They are using those promotions as minor leagues, most of the champions from those promotions end up in the UFC. Are you rich? Why are you so concerned for them? You must be uneducated, so my only advice is read, go to the library and read. If you have the guts.

          • dathump

            How well will these small promotions do when a union comes in and mandates that they must pay their fighters big money? The UFC can survive a union, but the smaller guys wont make it. There are other promotions out there, but no one took it to the level the UFC did. They didn’t corner the market, they captured it, The goal of most fighters is to make it to the big show and get big show money, the stepping stones are there, they just have to go up them.

          • Richurd Cheese

            Im waiting for Ayn Rand quotes…

          • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

            So b/c they purchased Zuffa when it was down and out and put in the work and money today it’s easy to succeed in the market today? lol … They didn’t enherit a successful business and buy out the competition; they put together an incredible strategy towards an investment that payed off; talk about hard work. They corned the market early?? lmao Shame at them for taking a chance at the market and putting their money into an investment before anyone else. Damn those risk takers! ;)

          • Richurd Cheese

            You have trouble spelling, so it is no surprise you have trouble with economics. What the UFC does is anti competitive, and bad for the market. You can lmao all you want, but that will not remove your foot from your mouth, or your head from your butt. By the way, that is a neat trick, you managed both at once.

          • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

            Your opinion is biased and uneducated and your insults are childish and not even clever. You can hate on Zuffa all you want; You obviously have something against people who make something of themselves in the business world. Enjoy the fights…

          • Richurd Cheese

            You obviously do not know what biased means. I only have a problem with Zuffa following the model of the titans of industry. J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and John Rockefeller pioneered this type of business strategy. They call it horizontal and vertical integration, and it eliminates a free/competitive market, which is not good for anyone. You need to educate yourself, but I don’t think you have the guts!

  • bonkerstheclown mcpickle

    Unions are tricky things. They can be great for workers but they can drive everyone crazy. Old-school unions did a great job looking out for the rights of the workers, but grew corrupt. The biggest problem is the “us vs them” “good vs evil” “worker vs management” mentality that unions tend to create and strengthen. Sports unions drive fans INSANE too. You go from ridiculously underpaid athletes before 1970 or so to a bunch of millionaires whining and demanding millions more dollars to play a damn game.

    It’s the undercard guys that get squashed. The UFC pays them far better than anyone else: about $8000 per fight minimum. That number should probably be higher. The pay for you big stars is a state secret. Guys like GSP, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, BJ Penn, etc. Those guys get a base pay because the UFC is legally required to report something. That amount is $200K – $400K, and just a tiny drop in the bucket. Their real pay day comes from earning a percentage of pay per view revenue. The specifics are not disclosed but as long as any one of them gets 500,000+ PPV buys they’re making well over a $1 million per fight. No other fight promotion can come close to that. But if they want Floyd Mayweather pay for a Floyd Mayweather PPV buy-rate, UFC fighters might need a union to fight for that bigger paycheck.

    I’d rather see more pay go to the little guys. The big stars are doing just fine thank you very much.

  • Guest

    Richurd Cheese, you seem to be good at someones money. Is it yours? Since you appear to have so much why don’t you start handing out yours, you don’t need all of it.

  • Guest

    Richurd Cheese, you seem to be good at spending someones money. Or is it yours? Since you appear to have so much why don’t you start handing out yours, you don’t need all of it.

    • Richurd Cheese

      Im not the one that prints the money, so I cant do much… Why don’t you help someone out, you will feel better, and then you wont be an angry pill.

  • bajafox

    Unions will drive the price of PPV’s up to $75 each, lol

  • dathump

    Ask the NHL how the union is doing for them? The amount of extra pay they may recieve after the strike, it will take longer then most of their careers to make up for the money lost due to the strike. As a fan I hope it will never happen, It will drive up the cost of the tickets, PPV’s. It will make it harder for fighters to just fight, there will be union reps clashing heads with managment all the time, you think event problems because of injuries are bad now, wait untill some union rep throws their demends in and see how hard it will be to get a last minute replacment. MMA is still new and a fragile sport to say the least, If the union gets involved and there is a strike, there is a good chance it may never recover.

    • Richurd Cheese

      Maybe Dana and Lorenzo should take a pay cut…