Kevin Randleman, former UFC champion, thinks that MMA fighters need to unionize and get the half of the pot they're entitled to.
Kevin Randleman has been around the MMA game for a long time and he's seen almost everything there is to see while fighting a long list of legendary opponents. From time in the UFC (where he won the heavyweight title), to PRIDE to Strikeforce and plenty of smaller stops along the way, Kevin has never been a guy who has hesitated to speak his mind.
In a really interesting two part interview with Rattling the Cage MMA's Tony Reid, Randleman covers a vast variety of topics, but possibly most interesting was what he had to say about the need for fighters in the UFC (a promotion he thanks for growing the sport) and other promotions to unionize (transcription done by MixedMartialArts.com):
"I've always given accolades to (the UFC) for everything they've done for the sport and keeping it around, but the bottom line is, they're not the f------ sport. Every guy that fights, we're the sport, and without us, there ain't, there won't, there is no fights.
"Until we get together and unionize ourselves, there's not going to be a bigger payday... It's going to take another company with a guy with some big money that can take fighters away with big money and big promises, and you know what, it's coming."
"We as fighters, we're entitled to half of the pot. Without the fighters, the UFC would fold. Without the fighters, Bellator would fold. Without fighters willing to bang every day, it would fold.
"There should be insurance for every fighter that's on the company's f------ payroll. You should have insurance just like any other company should have. So if you're training and you're under contract with the UFC, you should have health insurance and life insurance.
"(MMA) is not a rich man's sport. It's just rich men that own the sport. It's a blue collar man's sport, and blue collar men should have more say in what goes on...You ain't Michael Vick, and we ain't f------ dogs."