Global Fighters’ Union Established To Boost Global Conditions For Fighters

The Global Fighters’ Union (GFU) has been launched to improve conditions for fighters across the globe. 

Athletes, activists, managers and trainers and more have come together to establish a body for the welfare of fighters from any combat sport. Among the leading names are former boxers Paul and Stephen Smith. Paul was a former British super-middleweight champion, while Stephen was a super featherweight fighter. Any member will be entitled to advice on better salaries, contracts, health insurance and much more.

“I’m one of four brothers who have all competed in boxing at every level of the sport. Throughout our careers, we’ve experienced first hand practices which are the norm in combat sports – but ones that wouldn’t be allowed in any other profession. The GFU will address those practices to make combat sports a safer, better, fairer business for all involved,” Paul Smith said

Fighters’ welfare was one reason why Francis Ngannou walked away from the UFC. The former UFC heavyweight champion reportedly rejected an $8 million offer. That was the highest Ngannou would have ever earned in the UFC, eventually getting him the Jon Jones fight. But one of the primary reasons for his rejection was the UFC’s refusal to provide free health insurance. In a sport where a career can end at any given moment, Ngannou recalled feeling disappointed with the news. 

“I asked for health insurance, couldn’t have…They said I can pay my health insurance. And I said yes I can pay my health insurance, for me at this point it’s not a problem, but how about those guys at the bottom that make ten plus ten. They can’t really afford health insurance. And I have been there, so it’s something that I still carry in my heart,” Ngannou stated

MMA fighter Ryan Curtis is currently in critical condition after injuring his neck, back and spine in a training session. Bellator’s Leah McCourt started a GoFundMe, hoping to raise £100,000.

That goal has been achieved with the target now at £150,000. Conor McGregor helped donate £25,000, but it goes to show the importance of protecting fighters.

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