MMA veteran Leslie ‘the Peacemaker’ Smith was 3-1 in her last four battles with the UFC. With one completion, one battle of the night reward and eagerness to venture up and battle the most overwhelming fighter in the historical backdrop of women’s MMA in Cris Cyborg, Smith’s future with the association looked reasonably verified. However, a tragic turn around prompted Smith losing her spot on the organization’s list. Smith, in any case, believes what happened to her is illegal and hence plans legal action against UFC.
Smith, 35, told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s edition of the MMA hour, that she is intending to sue the organization. Smith is a leader of the fighter unionization effort and between the president of project Spearhead, which wants the U.S. government to decide if UFC fighters are employees or independent contractors. Smith unquestionably thinks this as an essential factor in her getting cut.
At Fight Night 128, Smith’s opponent Aspen Ladd missed weight by 1.8 pounds. This was the last battle on Smith’s contract. She agreed to the UFC to take the fight if the UFC extended her deal. The UFC rather paid her the show cash and win bonus reward and didn’t demonstrate interest for renewing her contract.
“It’s my opinion that what the UFC did was illegal,” Smith said. “Because they have created a situation where it encourages a climate of fear where the other people in the UFC on the roster are going to be fearful of publicly organizing and standing up for their rights. By creating a climate of fear, that violates federal law. That’s the whole point of the National Labor Relations Board and the laws that are in there.”
“I am surprised,” Smith said of the UFC parting ways with her. “I think that it opens up an examination of how they feel about my activities in organizing the fighters recently. I think by doing unusual behavior, it’s going to ask what are the unusual circumstances leading to this?”
“I feel like if I didn’t do that at this point, it wouldn’t be living up to everything I’ve been talking about,” Smith said. “That’s why I couldn’t take the fight once they offered me the $62,000, because then I would be fighting for free. And that’s been my whole point this whole time. We shouldn’t be manipulated by pride. We need to look at ourselves as a business and fight for the large sums of money that we deserve.”