Friday, August 14, 2020

UFC 251’s Jose Aldo Thinks It’s A ‘Horrible Time’ To Unionize

Jose Aldo advises disgruntled MMA fighters not to attempt starting a union during the coronavirus pandemic.

Aldo will be in action this Saturday night (July 11). He’ll collide with Petr Yan for the vacant UFC bantamweight championship. This will be Aldo’s first crack at bantamweight gold and if he emerges victorious, then barring a scale fail he’ll be in an elite group of fighters who have won UFC gold in two weight classes.

Jose Aldo Says Now Is Not The Time To Unionize

Aldo is aware that fighters are having issues with the UFC’s pay structure. During a media scrum, Aldo said that while valid points are being made, he feels starting a union at this time would be a mistake (h/t MMAFighting).

“I think this is a horrible time to do that,” Aldo said at a media scrum in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. “We see so many companies going bankrupt, people losing their longtime jobs, and here’s the UFC trying to make us work, trying to give us work. Look at all the money they’re spending. Look at everything they’re doing to get back and get us back into fighting.

“I do agree that there needs to be some type of union and fighter pay needs to be discussed, but right now just look at the families that don’t know what’s gonna be tomorrow, what’s gonna happen to them. Here we are, we have a chance to work. We’ve made it this far. It’s hard enough to get here, so this is not the right time to do that.”

Before agreeing to a new deal to step in and save UFC 251’s main event, Jorge Masvidal had his issues with fighter pay. “Gamebred” felt the UFC was trying to “bully” him to take a lowball offer to fight Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight championship. While the title shot was given to Gilbert Burns after initially failed negotiations, Burns tested positive for COVID-19 and Masvidal was able to receive a deal he’s satisfied with. Of course, that is at least for now.

UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones is at a standstill with the UFC. “Bones” was hoping for a pay increase to fight Francis Ngannou at heavyweight. Jones claimed the UFC wouldn’t even look at the possibility of paying him more. UFC president Dana White then claimed that Jones asked for money in the $30 million range. A few more back-and-forth verbal exchanges led to Jones threatening to vacate the 205-pound gold and even sit out for multiple years until some changes are made.

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