Smith talks Project Spearhead in SBJ article

March 12, 2018

The Sports Business Journal reports on Leslie Smith and her efforts to organize UFC fighters with Project Spearhead.  The effort “by fighters, for fighters,” seeks to collect enough signatures by fighters to obtain an National Labor Relations Board vote to determine the fighter employment states.

Via SBJ:

In order for the NLRB to look at the issue, Project Spearhead must collect cards from fighters representing 30 percent of the UFC roster, or roughly 200 of the organization’s more than 600 fighters. That will give the group what is known as “a showing of interest,” which will meet the threshold for the NLRB to determine whether or not the fighters are employees. Project Spearhead was launched in February and the group has a year to collect the necessary cards.

The article explains why this effort will be different from those that had come and gone in recent memory including the Professional Fighters’ Association which indicated is no longer active.  Smith and current outside counsel Lucas Middlebrook were previously associated with this group.  Also, the MMAAA which included Bjorn Rebney as an advisor and Georges St Pierre and Cain Velasquez as members has not been active as well.  This leaves the MMAFA as the only other group seeking to organize fighters.

Payout Perspective:

It will be interesting to see how these efforts will go.  Smith, Kajan Johnson and Al Iaquinta are the three fighters that are leading Project Spearhead.  While social media has seen some fighters voice their support, we will see how many actually sign on for this effort and then the bigger issue will be whether they will vote to be considered as employees.


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