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UFC reportedly makes massive changes to contracts including more restrictions and waiver to prevent class action lawsuits

The UFC has made massive changes to their contracts, just one month after Francis Ngannou left the promotion.

‘The Predator’ famously left the promotion as heavyweight champion late last month. Ngannou negotiated with Dana White and the UFC for the majority of 2022, however, the two sides were unable to come to a new deal. At the time, the heavyweight stated that while the money was good, there were other issues with the contract.

Those issues are a lack of health insurance, as well as a fighter advocate being present in negotiations with management. Ngannou also stated that the contracts were too restrictive, which is something fighters in the past have also noted. But, the heavyweight champion was still able to leave the UFC, with a massive boxing payday awaiting him.

Other fighters might not be as lucky as Francis Ngannou. As first reported by BloodyElbow, there have been massive sweeping changes made to UFC’s contracts. The majority of these changes likely aren’t going to be helping fighters anytime soon.

One of the major changes in the contracts is that if fighters have any issue with the UFC, instead of taking them to court, they must go to arbitration. Unlike courts, arbitration is private. There would be no public record discussing what is being disputed, with media and other fighters being kept in the dark.

In addition to this, the UFC has instituted a waiver in their contracts to help prevent a class action lawsuit. Any fighter that signs the new contract will not be allowed to be a class member in any class action lawsuit.

This clause is monumental, as any fighter that signs would be unable to join the current Johnson v Zuffa lawsuit that is underway. Even if damages are awarded, fighters who signed this agreement would not be eligible for them.

One of the biggest controversial clauses in the UFC’s contract previously was the use of tolling provisions by the company. Meaning, if a fighter turns down a fight for any reason, the promotion has the ability to extend the contract for an additional six months, or until they found a different opponent. They also had the ability to do as many extensions as they wanted.

In 2017, this clause was changed, and the longest amount of time they could extend a contract was 18 months. In the new contracts obtained by BloodyElbow, the clause has been removed. The promotion can now extend a contract as long as they want if a fighter declines to compete.

Lastly, the biggest change will help likely prevent another Francis Ngannou. The former heavyweight champion was able to leave the UFC thanks to a sunset provision. His contract was terminated after five years thanks to the clause.

Now, that clause has been tweaked. Firstly, the provision only kicks in after the fighter’s first bout, not the date they signed the contract. Furthermore, they added a clause stating that days when a fighter is under suspension, don’t count toward the duration.

With that being the case, fighter contracts can be extended due to athletic commission suspensions. The clause would also apply to USADA suspensions as well.

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This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM