As was expected when the announcement was teased earlier in the week, Wednesday saw the public unveiling of the latest organization to join the labor fight against the UFC and WME-IMG.
With Georges St-Pierre, Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone, Cain Velasquez, Tim Kennedy, and TJ Dillashaw in the fold, the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association was announced on a conference call with the media this afternoon. Former Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney joined the fighters on the call, saying that he is working as an advisor and helping provide strategy and support.
The association laid out their plans to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with the UFC and establish a 50/50 revenue split between the promotion and fighters. They are solely focused on the UFC, and the participants claimed multiple times on the call that UFC fighters only receive eight percent of the company's revenue.
The call began with each participant making a statement. Kennedy went first and made the official announcement. He mentioned that they're concerned about the fighters of yesterday and tomorrow, and pointed to how fighters of the past have been forgotten and discarded.
While saying that the association was something that needed to be done, Cerrone noted that he's scared to death but still has a contract with the UFC and will still be fighting on next weekend's pay-per-view.
St-Pierre was asked about potentially recruiting Conor McGregor to the organization, and said that they want the biggest names in MMA but every name helps. St-Pierre said that even McGregor and the UFC's top stars don't get paid their fair share.
"He knows what's right," St-Pierre said about McGregor. "He's not a coward. Everyone knows what we're doing is right."
Though some of the fighters are represented by CAA -- a rival to UFC owners WME-IMG -- Rebney said that CAA isn't officially backing the association but supports their athletes.
The five fighters make up the current board of the association. Rebney clarified that the organization is indeed an association and not a union because UFC fighters are independent contractors and unionization would slow down the process.