Saturday, November 27, 2021

Donald Cerrone Backpedals on MMAAA: “I didn’t know I was sitting on a board.”

With two of the five board members of the new MMA Athletes Association fighting this weekend at UFC 206 and two more fighting at UFC 207 three weeks later, it’s only natural that the Association is a topic of conversation at the fighter media engagements. What wasn’t necessarily expected was a major development, and we got one on Wednesday at a media day in Toronto. According to an account from MMAFighting, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone told the assembled media that until he heard about it during the MMAAA conference call, he had no idea he was sitting on the Association’s board.

“As far as the Association goes man, Georges [St-Pierre] and Tim [Kennedy] called me and asked me to be part of it,” Cerrone explained. “I didn’t know I was sitting on a board. That kind of took me by surprise, sitting there like, oh wow. I spoke to Dana [White] today on the phone. He’s coming to town, and we’re going to go out to dinner and talk. There’s a lot of things I think this sport needs, you know, retirement pension, health care, things I think we need.”

To hear Cerrone explain it, he was there more to support the message of fighter benefits than anything else, rather than present himself as an official part of a group with advisor Bjorn Rebney and fellow board members Kennedy (his teammate at Jackson-Wink MMA), St-Pierre, T.J. Dillashaw, and Cain Velasquez. He explained that”I wasn’t sitting there saying, ‘we’re moving forward today, we’re going on strike, we need more money. That wasn’t coming out of mouth at all. There were a couple of people that were there that I don’t plan on working with and being a part of, not mentioning any names. I was there mostly just, not saying I’m leading a board or I’m sitting on a board, but more voicing my opinion of what this sport needs.” He specified those needs as “health care” and “some kind of pension for retirement”

Cerrone was highly complimentary of the UFC and Dana White throughout, saying that “The UFC has been nothing but great to me. I can’t complain, they give me what I want. And like Dana said, I called him and he helped me out [with legal issues]. That’s true, man. I was in a bind, he got the best lawyers you can pay, and saved my ass.”

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