Traction Building After Mark Hunt Called For Fighters Association
Mark Hunt’s recent calls for a fighter’s association have begun to receive support from some high-profile names, with Jose Aldo and Ben Henderson joining the call for an association to be set up.
The Super Samoan pulled no punches in an interview with MarkHunt.tv last week, explaining his reasons for wanting a fighter’s association in true Hunt style.
“The way I see it, the Brock Lesnar doping thing is just another reason why we need a fighter’s association,” Hunt said via phone interview. “These guys are just making up the rules as they go.
“First the Reebok thing, then Brock’s 4-month testing exemption. Conor gets pulled off a card for not going to a press conference that me or Brock didn’t go to anyway. Work that out.
“Yet fighters refuse to support other fighters when they f*ck us over.”
Well, now it seems that some big name fighters are indeed beginning to support each other.
Speaking with MMAFighting.com, former UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson has thrown his support behind Hunt ‘100 percent’.
“I 100 percent support Mark Hunt, everything he’s doing and talking about. I think it’s a long time coming, it should have been here a long time ago.”
In addition to Henderson, former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo has been making statements about the need for a fighters association.
“I am missing (an association of fighters). Always I say that. I think when we create, will greatly change our class. The athlete is beginning to have greater support.”
This is not the first time that Aldo has spoken about the need for a fighters association in MMA. He was very candid about the issue in an interview with Bloody Elbow back in October 2015.
“In the NFL, Nike makes the uniforms, but teams still pay their athletes, the same goes for NBA. Life gets hard for fighters who are just starting and earn no pay-per-view money. We spend a lot with trainers, sparring partners, etc. Nobody in this day and age goes to a gym to be punched in the face for free. Whether we like it or not, we are susceptible to injuries which could leave us sidelined for a long time. That harms the fighter who only gets paid when he fights. If you’re hurt, there’s no income. It’s good to have sponsors because that’s what keeps a fighter going. Nobody has spoken to me about a union, but it would be great. It’s a way to protect athletes, it could really help. Nobody considered this. Fighters are too disunited because rivalries between gyms in the past. Of course, this is not as strong as before, but it still happens. It’s like this, if I don’t fight for a price tomorrow, somebody else will accept that money.”
Calls for a fighters’ association have been around for a long time but are now starting to gain real traction and fighters who have called for it in the past are renewing their efforts now.
One such fighter is MMA legend Cung Le, who had this to say in an interview with Bloody Elbow on Wednesday:
“There are a lot of things that need to be done and without a fighters association it’s not going to get done. And it’s not only money. We need to make sure the commissions are doing their job. That we fighters have a say in how things work. That the judging is better or that the testing is fair. And that we are more worried about fighters’ health. We should have a say in all that. Fair is fair.”
Hunt has expressed his desire in a fighters association and has urged his fellow fighters to get in touch with him.
“I mean shucks I’m not an expert on all this, but me and my team have been talking to the experts about how to make this a reality,” he said.
“To the fighters listening to this, I want them to get in touch with me via my Facebook page and we can get this thing going. I won’t name anyone until we sort it all out, but get in touch and let’s make this happen.”
Calls for a fighters association have never been louder and with the sale of the UFC going through, now is the perfect time for the people who make this sport what it is, to have their voices heard. Mark Hunt is willing to lead the charge and is urging his fellow fighters to join him on the battlefield.