clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jose Aldo thinks a fighters' union 'would be great'

Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

The No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC supports the idea of a fighters' union, and doesn’t rule out helping start one in the future.

UFC featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo, who faces interim champion Conor McGregor at UFC 194 in Las Vegas on Dec. 12, believes that a union "would be great" for MMA athletes, and has a theory on why fighters never started one before.

"Nobody ever talked to me about a union, but that would be great," Aldo told Combate. "It’s a protection for the fighter, that could help a lot. Nobody ever considered this. Fighters are not united because of the past of rivalries between teams and martial arts. It’s different from the old days now, of course, but that still happens. If I don’t fight for this money, someone else will accept tomorrow. Fighters are not united, and that’s why we don’t have many privileges."

With a UFC and WEC record of 15-0, the 29-year-old champion doesn’t feel ready to start a union on his own today, but plans on creating one when he retires from the sport.

"I don’t see myself responsible for this today, with my head focused on this. I have to make a living through fighting, I’m a champion, and I can’t deal with this other side," Aldo said. "My life as an athlete is still too strong, it’s hard for me today, but who knows one day, when I stop fighting. I will try to study more, together with others, to build something big for new athletes."

As a union leader, "Scarface" would petition for monthly salaries for MMA fighters.

"I support this idea, of course," said the champion. "Nike does uniforms in the NFL, but the team pays salaries to athletes, and it’s also like this in the NBA. For fighters that are starting and don’t earn much, that don’t get pay-per-view (points), life gets hard. You spend a lot of money with physical trainers, coach and sparring, because nobody today goes to the gym to get punched in the face for free.

"If (a monthly salary) happened, it would be great, otherwise, we keep going. We’re subject to injuries, we can stay out for a long time, and that hurts the athlete that doesn’t make money unless he’s fighting. If you’re injured, there’s no income. It’s good to always have a sponsor to support you, because that’s what keeps the fighter going."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting