Leslie Smith and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) may be in for a court battle.
Smith was scheduled to compete this past Saturday night (April 21). She was to be featured on the UFC Fight Pass portion of the UFC Atlantic City prelims. Her opponent Aspen Ladd missed weight and Smith decided not to take the fight. The UFC paid Smith her show and win money to let her out of her contract.
It’s no secret that Smith has been outspoken on how the UFC treats its fighters. She created Project Spearhead in an effort to unionize. Smith says fighters under the UFC banner are treated like employees even though they are independent contractors.
As a result of what transpired at UFC Atlantic City, Smith plans to take up claims to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). She explained why during a recent appearance on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour:”
“It’s my opinion that what the UFC did was illegal. Because they have created a situation where it encourages a climate of fear where the other people in the UFC on the roster are going to be fearful of publicly organizing and standing up for their rights. By creating a climate of fear, that violates federal law. That’s the whole point of the National Labor Relations Board and the laws that are in there.”
Smith went on to say that if she didn’t take legal action then she wouldn’t be living up to what she’s been fighting for. She launched a GoFundMe page to cover her legal fees. She hopes that the NLRB determines that UFC fighters are in fact employees and not independent contractors.
“The Peacemaker” leaves the UFC with a record of 4-3 under the promotion. She won her last two bouts. In her last outing, Smith earned a TKO win over Amanda Lemos.
What are your thoughts on Leslie Smith seeking legal action against the UFC?