Many people fans and athletes were excited to hear the news about the formation of the “industry re-defining” Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association (MMAAA).
With members including Georges St-Pierre, Donald Cerrone, Cain Velasquez, TJ Dillashaw and Tim Kennedy, the news of the newly announced association was buzzing.
However, one member representing the association that has been heavily criticized is former Bellator MMA promoter Bjorn Rebney.
Malki Kawa, who manages many fighters including big names such as Jon Jones and Tyron Woodley has been very vocal and opposed to the association with Rebney being involved.
Kawa tweeted, “Lol if Bjorn rebney is in, I’m out. He was the most anti-fighter promoter I ever met. Contract worse than ufc, and he was a nightmare compared to ufc to deal with.”
Lol if Bjorn rebney is in, I'm out. He was the most anti-fighter promoter I ever met. Contract worse than … https://t.co/LnfCPdjqQN
— malki kawa (@malkikawa) November 29, 2016
Rebney founded Bellator MMA, which was bought by Viacom in 2011. In the buyout, Viacom placed Scott Coker as the President of Bellator and parted ways with Rebney. The former Bellator promoter was a guest on Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour and spoke up about his involvement with the MMAAA.
“I didn’t expect people to go, ‘Oh that’s awesome, what a great dude,’” Rebney said (transcribed in a report from Marc Raimondi of MMA Fighting). “I expected people to go ‘Ahh, why is he doing this? That guy was part of the problem. Why is he now part of the solution?’ Yeah, I expected that. The good news is the negative vibe has been focused on me, which is exactly where it should be. But the better news is that the reaction has been big.”
Raimondi reports that the MMAAA has three goals in mind all battling the UFC which first includes a settlement for current and former UFC fighters. Second, is getting closer to a 50% revenue share between the UFC and the athletes. Third, the MMAAA also wants to negotiate a collective-bargaining agreement with the UFC.
Another subject that was talked about during the media conference call from the MMAAA was regarding health care, a pension, and retirement plan.
“There’s nothing in place and this is the most violent sport on the face of the Earth,” Rebney said. “The repercussions for a mixed martial artist far surpass those from hockey or football or, for god sakes, even boxing. Even boxing. And boxing has got a real ugly progressive step for its athletes. And you’ve got nothing in place? No.”
Interestingly on the opposite end, UFC President Dana White recently commented that “the biggest scumbag in the history of combat sports” is involved with the MMAAA and stated that the association is “a business where guys are going to make money.”
What are your thoughts about the Mixed Martial Arts Athletes Association and Bjorn Rebney’s involvement? Share your thoughts in the comment section!