The UFC are taking steps to avoid any more surprise news stories about a fighter's past by asking all their fighters for medical, criminal and education checks.
It's been reported by MMAJunkie.com that the organisation sent out questionnaires to all their fighters asking for their personal information and permission for checks to be carried out.
The most notable find is requesting that fighters waive their right to doctor-patient confidentiality, which would let them discuss a fighter's potential for injury and whether or not the fighter is cleared to fight and isn't ducking a fight.
MMAJunkie said it had spoken to multiple managers but wouldn't name any due to not legally being allowed to talk about the UFC's internal policies, but they had a copy of the e-mail with the questionnaire forwarded to them.
“Zuffa LLC requires its contracted fighters to act in a legal and responsible manner and avoid conduct detrimental to the integrity of the UFC organization. As the UFC’s highest profile independent contractors and as ambassadors of the sport of mixed martial arts, UFC fighters are held to a high standard by Zuffa, the media and the public.
“It is important for Zuffa to be fully informed of your background in order to evaluate and potentially assist on matter that may be detrimental to the integrity of the UFC organization."
The importance of having such information has become more apparent in recent history, with the UFC being caught out several times as having a fighter with a controversial history on their books.
The most recent example was Will Chope, who was released when it was uncovered that he was discharged from the Air Force for a domestic violence incident. He was cut just before his second fight in their featherweight division.
It was also revealed that light heavyweight number one contender, Alexander Gustafsson, who is due to fight a big money fight with champion Jon Jones in the fall, had spent 15 months in jail back in Sweden for assault charges.
There's also the cases of Brandon Saling and Benjamin Brinsa, both fighters were alleged to have links with neo-Nazi. Both were separate incidents that had the same result as Chope, they were cut.
According to Sport Law professor, Warren Zola of Boston College, the request for this information is the norm for independent contractors.
“Companies ask independent contractors to sign all sorts of documents regarding their backgrounds, waivers of liability, (and) background checks, which is certainly very common for many firms.”
He also suggested that a fighter's union might be in fighter's best interests in order to combat the near monopoly factor that the UFC has over fighters, and as such is why they can do this.
"I think a union would be helpful, because a union could advocate on behalf of everybody to ensure that everyone has the same rights and they negotiate the items they think are reasonable versus those that aren’t. But since there is no union, the UFC can do this on an individual basis."
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