Leslie Smith has led the charge for a fighters union for a while now, and it actually ended up costing her spot on the UFC’s roster.
UFC President Dana White seems pretty unfazed by her efforts, however, and dismissed Smith outright while on a recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast (Bloody Elbow):
“Apparently she did (file a complaint). I don’t know that much about this to talk about it. I literally don’t know anything about it. I know that she’s upset and she filed something. She’s suing us or filed something with somebody. I don’t know.”
“I’m at a point in my life where I don’t focus on that sh-t anymore. That’s not my problem. That’s somebody else’s problem. I get to do all the fun sh-t.“
Smith’s troubles began when her opponent Ashley Ladd missed weight last month, and Smith opted not to accept a catchweight bout after accepting her show and win money from the UFC. She quickly found herself out of a job almost immediately after and has been campaigning against the UFC ever since.
Smith has been working hard on organizing a fighters union to protect fighters from that very kind of abuse. Clearly, White could care less based off of his response, yet the former UFC fighter has indeed filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the UFC has created a “climate of fear” which violates federal law.
The Ladd fight was the last fight on Smith’s contract, so from her perspective, the UFC essentially tried to bully her into accepting the fight even though she would essentially be “fighting for free”, and promptly punished her for not accepting the catchweight bout by letting her contract run out.