UFC fighter Leslie Smith claims that she has been kicked out of the Mixed Martial Arts Fighters Association (MMAFA).
The fighter claims that she was kicked out of the association after asking a union related question to retired NBA player Kobe Bryant at the UFC fighters retreat.
“They kicked me out of their discussion group and said that what I’m thinking and looking at is no longer in line,” she said on The MMA Circus. “Somebody from that group, Carlos Newton, heard what I was saying about Kobe Bryant and wanting a union and started talking in the group about how I’m manipulative and said some other highly critical things.”
Smith is in the midst of preparing for a fight against Amanda Oliveira De Lemos at UFC Fight Night: Glasgow later this month.
Even though the fighter has been kicked out of the association, it is unlikely she is going to be a part of another one for the time being.
“For the time being, I’m not pledging my allegiance to anyone. The only other people out there that would be an option anyway is the MMAAA,” she said. “And I talked to Bjorn (Rebney) awhile ago. First off, fighters don’t trust Bjorn. I don’t know him personally, but everybody who has had personal interactions with him say no good. That’s a pretty big stop in the first place. And he’s not a fighter; so why is he trying to get involved in the fighters’ rights? ‘Because he cares about fighters’ rights,’ someone might say? Then why didn’t he step up and get health insurance and any of the things he’s saying are so important for fighters when he was actually in a position to do so (as Bellator MMA president). So I’m not too sold on Bjorn being part of anything.”
UFC Fight Night: Glasgow takes place on Sunday, July 16 from the SSE Hydro Arena in Glasgow, Scotland with Gunnar Nelson and Santiago Ponzinibbio headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on Fox Sports 1.