Upheaval within PFA as Smith, Middlebrook withdraw support

November 29, 2016

Leslie Smith has written an open letter in which she states she is no longer supporting the Professional Fighters Association.  Per MMA Fighting, labor lawyer Lucas Middlebrook is also severing ties with the organization he helped found with agent Jeff Borris.

The information of a possible board of fighters was leaked to the media which appears to be the reason for the parting of ways.  Eleven names of current UFC fighters were revealed.

Smith stated that she helped compile a list of potential fighters to target for the board.  The list, according to Smith, was to be confidential but the names as well as other information about the PFA appeared in an MMA Junkie article.  She was also upset at the fact that the PFA intended to set up an agent advisory board in addition to the fighter board.

Smith wrote a letter about the situation in which she proposes the next steps in organizing MMA fighters.

Middlebrook left for the same disclosures made.  Borris does not know how the leak of information happened.

Payout Perspective:

Altruism or naivete on the part of Smith?  Smith is passionate about organizing fighters but it appears that there was a misunderstanding regarding her role with PFA.  Whether or not there was an understanding about the confidentiality of the information passed on by Smith is a question that someone at the PFA could answer.  Obviously, the Junkie article revealed a lot about PFA’s goals as well as the potential for a board.  This might be seen as showing its hand too early.  It also might be a way to gain some PR for the organization at a time when it needed to gain traction with fighters.  The concern about disclosing names for a board is that it might cause discord between the fighters and the UFC. Middlebrook leaving PFA also reflects a lack of cohesion in the organization less than 3 months into its venture.  With the anticipated announcement of another attempt to organize fighters coming up on Wednesday, PFA may lose steam even before it begins.

One Response to “Upheaval within PFA as Smith, Middlebrook withdraw support”

  1. MMA Fighters Announce Formation of New Union on December 1st, 2016 10:09 AM

    […] and fighter Leslie Smith announced that they would be withdrawing their support for the PFA due to the release of names regarding the potential organization of a board of […]

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