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The never-ending conflict in mixed martial arts between management and labor, or should we say between promoters and fighters, has really come to the fore this year. Over the last few months an antitrust lawsuit, the new Reebok deal, and the USADA testing policy have sparked debates on fighter pay, lost sponsorship income, and lack of input from the athletes on the rules and regulations governing them. And this is in only in the UFC, never mind the number of complaints that one sees directed at other promotions. All of this has had led to discussions of possible solutions, including perhaps the most serious talk of a fighters association the sport has seen to date.
Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson is expected to sign with Bellator MMA after the UFC declined to give him a new contract.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the UFC declined to offer Thomson a new contract once his most recent one expired following his loss to Tony Ferguson last month. As a result, Thomson is close to finalizing a new deal with Bellator MMA, which would reunite him with his long-time promoter Scott Coker. That new contract is expected to be announced in the coming days.
At the annual Convention of the Association of Boxing Commissions in San Diego, Wanderlei Silva and a host of ex-UFC fighters made a push for a Muhammad Ali act in the sport of MMA.
The last few years have really brought the idea of a possible union of MMA fighters into the forefront. While a union is unlikely at this point, one thing that fighters have been doing is looking at the idea of introducing something similar to the Muhammad Ali act for the sport of MMA.
After a lengthy career with the UFC and WSOF, Melvin Guillard will make his Bellator debut next month. Officials today announced Guillard (32-14-2 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will fight fellow lightweight Brandon Girtz (11-4 MMA, 4-2 BMMA) in the headliner of Bellator 141.
(Courtesy of on Twitter)
Bellator has its first major change in the broadcast booth since the fight promotion introduced Sean Wheelock and Jimmy Smith in 2010.
Wheelock, the company’s longtime play-by-play announcer, is out, and veteran sports broadcaster Sean Grande is in and will share the booth with Smith.
Josh Koscheck has jumped ship.
The former UFC pay-per-view headliner and The Ultimate Fighter 1 alum has signed with Bellator MMA, it was announced Friday night at Bellator 139.
(Courtesy of on Twitter)