PFA head calls for “live debate” to discuss merits of fighter organizing

April 4, 2017

Despite a deadline to garner enough signatures to go forward with a union for UFC fighters, MLB agent Jeff Borris and his organization, Professional Fighters Association, is seeking to debate competing entities over the right to represent athletes according to the Sports Business Journal.

Borris’ PFA has fallen off from the momentum it seemingly had when it the formation was announced this past summer.  Borris made media rounds and appeared accessible to anyone that wanted more information on the organization.

But since this summer, he lost the support off labor lawyer Lucas Middlebrook and UFC Fighter Leslie Smith.  The split may have been due to the release of names of a possible board of fighters that appeared in an MMA Junkie article.  According to Smith, the names were supposed to be confidential.  Borris denied releasing the information.

Borris had given a deadline of early April to obtain information or he would cease operations.

Borris is requesting a live debate as he believes it “would benefit the fighters so they can make an informed selection of who they want leading this movement.”

MMAAA’s advisor Bjorn Rebney or MMAFA’s Robert Maysey indicated that they were not interested in debating Borris.

Payout Perspective:

It is interesting to note that these tactics attempted by Borris is not working out.  The “live debate” concept seems like a last-ditch effort to garner some media attention.  However, it only seems like a sideshow that would denigrate the efforts made by others to organize fighters for better working conditions.  While Borris may have some good ideas, he seems to be thought of as an “outsider” to the MMA community.  This might be a good thing, but most seem to have more trust in Rebney or Maysey’s organization than with PFA.

MMAFA posts statement on Facebook page

August 17, 2016

The Professional Fighters Association is making waves after its announcement last week of its formation and intent to unionize UFC fighters.  Jeff Borris has made the media rounds and announced a press conference set for Thursday in Las Vegas.

Maybe in direct or indirect response, the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association (MMAFA) has released a statement via its Facebook page.

The Facebook statement goes on to address the issue of agents involved in organizing fighters:

Agent efforts to organize and agent involvement in association operations suffer from two fatal conflicts. First, agents vigorously compete with each other, creating divisions preventing successful formation and operation of the association. Second, agents appropriately view all issues through the lens of “my clients.” Association efforts, on the other hand, must be viewed through the lens of all member fighters.

PFA’s Borris is a sports agent and is a part of an agency that represents the Diaz brothers.  The obvious inference by the MMAFA in its post is that agents should not be involved in efforts to organize fighters due to conflicts of interest.

Borris said in his interview on The MMA Hour that he is not opposed to MMAFA and believes that their mission differs from PFA.

Payout Perspective:

It’s clear that PFA and MMAFA are, or will be in the near future, on a collision course.  Both want to organize fighters.  PFA wants to unionize just UFC fighters while MMAFA is looking at a broader base of MMA fighters to organize in an association.  Who is right?  Who is wrong?  What opposition will they face aside from each other?  Time will tell.