Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

No Holds Barred: Rob Maysey of Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association on Zuffa-Strikeforce Deal 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with Rob Maysey of the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association (MMAFA).
The announcement Saturday, March 12, that Zuffa, the parent company of UFC, had purchased their strongest rival promotion, Strikeforce, has highlighted the absence of any type of fighter association in mixed martial arts. The MMAFA seeks to fill that role, and models itself on the Major League Baseball Players' Association and the Screen Actors Guild, in order to maximize the influence and earning capacity of its members in the sport of mixed martial arts.
We spoke late Sunday night with Rob Maysey about these major developments in mixed martial arts. We discussed what had actually happened with this purchase of Strikeforce by Zuffa, and how the previous co-owner of Strikeforce, Silicon Valley Sports & Entertainment, had decided to dump it. We discussed the role of Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker in these negotiations, what we expect Zuffa to do with Strikeforce, and what is next for other mixed martial arts organizations, including M-1 Global and Bellator. We also commented on what might happen with the American cable TV network Showtime, which still has a contract to telecast Strikeforce events, and the potential for another powerful rival mixed martial arts company to emerge under these conditions.
This new situation gives one promotional company, Zuffa, control of a very high percentage of top-ranked fighters in the world. We discussed the implications of the creation of this virtual monopoly both in terms of potential antitrust issues as well as the rights and compensation of fighters.
And we discussed the immediate need for fighters to utilize this present situation to organize themselves into their own association.
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