Smith’s Case vs UFC in ‘Holding Pattern’

On the morning of June 29, Lucas Middlebrook, the attorney for MMA fighter Leslie Smith, said that an investigator for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) deemed Smith’s case against the UFC to have merit and that the organization would file a complaint. However, things have now changed hours later.

According to the attorney, the Region 4 investigator now says the matter will first have to go through the organization’s Division of Advice in Washington, D.C. before a complaint can officially be filed. Middlebrook says the case is now in a “holding pattern” and claims that he feels the UFC is flexing muscle in the U.S. capital.

“It is my opinion that the UFC, unable to prevail on the merits, has now commenced the pulling of political strings to evade responsibility for violating the [National Labor Relations Act],” Middlebrook said. “This only means delay, as Leslie will take all legal measures necessary to ensure Region 4’s initial determination stands.”

Smith was released by the UFC back in April after refusing to fight Aspen Ladd missed weight for their scheduled bout at UFC Atlantic City. Smith was paid her show and win money before getting booted by the promotion after the event. Smith is claiming in her case that her release demonstrated unfair labor practices from the MMA promotion and that its fighters should be deemed employees and not independent contractors.

She is the president of Project Spearhead, an organization that is trying to get UFC fighters unionized.

The UFC claims to have a differing of events from Smith’s side of the story, but neither the promotion nor any of its representatives or legal team members have issued any public statement in regards to the case.

Smith filed her charge against the UFC back in May with NLRB Region 4, headed in Philadelphia.

Original Story: MMA Fighting

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