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Volume 25 No. 88
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Jeff Borris Wants Debate To Determine Who Leads MMA Fighters' Rights Efforts

MLB agent Jeff Borris said he wants to continue his fight to unionize MMA fighters, but he wants to debate the other two leaders of fighters' rights campaigns first. "The fighters are getting different messages from each group and I think a live debate would benefit the fighters so they can make an informed selection of who they want leading this movement," Borris said. He first started his effort to unionize MMA fighters last summer, launching the Professional Fighters Association. In December, Borris said that he would send out solicitation cards to fighters and if he did not receive the required number of signed cards to start a union by early April, he would give up his effort to unionize the group. However, last week, Borris said, "I never sent out the cards." Now he is calling on former Bellator Chair & CEO Bjorn Rebney, who is the chief strategist of the MMA Athletes Association, and MMA Fighters Association Founder Rob Maysey to a debate, that he hopes will be televised and moderated by a credible journalist.

NON STARTER: Asked for comment, neither Rebney nor Maysey indicated much interest in debating Borris, whose unionization efforts have drawn some public criticism and skepticism. "At this point, the person you reference has no members in his group and for whatever reason chose to pursue a structure that is a non-starter and won’t work legally (unionization as the initial step)," Rebney wrote, in an email to THE DAILY. "I don’t know him or have anything against him and I would assume he too sees the terrible disparity in the sport and means well. But, given his total lack of connection to this sport, business or anything to do with MMA, I would never cloud the real issues here by engaging with him in this or any forum." Maysey declined to respond specifically to Borris' challenge at all. But Maysey said his organization, which is not trying to unionize MMA fighters, but is pursuing antitrust litigation against the UFC, is engaged in other efforts. Those efforts include working to get Congress to pass the Muhammad Ali Expansion Act legislation which would extend federal protections that boxers enjoy to MMA fighters.