Leslie Smith has kicked started a new initiative with which she aims to unite the UFC athletes. Named ‘Project Spearhead’, the project was revealed initially on Twitter by Leslie herself.
Later in an interview with MMA Fighting, Leslie confirmed that the ultimate aim is to unite the fighters. You can see her initial tweet below:
UFC fighters – please go to https://t.co/2ge9mLExJX and sign an authorization card. It is confidential and the first step to improving athlete conditions in the UFC. If you're a fan and you want to help your favorite fighters retweet this so they know about it #projectspearhead
— Leslie Smith (@LeslieSmith_GF) February 12, 2018
According to the website mentioned in the tweet, the project aims to highlight the fighter needs.
“Project Spearhead is here to force the issue – the UFC can choose to either pay into our needs and respect us as employees with a say in all decisions affecting us or treat us like the independent contractors that we are being called and lighten up with the USADA supervision, uniforms and restrictions,” the site notes.
In her interview, Leslie addressed the previous unionization efforts and said that all of it failed as the motives weren’t right. The new project will see the association of Lawyer Lucas Middlebrook who is known for representing Nick Diaz in the marijuana case.
“He has educated me on all of this from Day One. So he has been invaluable to this whole effort. And when we actually have a fighters union, it’s gonna be Lucas Middlebrook that we’re all gonna have a lot of appreciation for.” Leslie said about Middlebrook’s involvement.
The UFC star also revealed that most fighters are scared to get on board with the program.
“I talk to people and they tell me that they are worried about their jobs. They say they want to get on board with this, but they’re worried about their jobs. I’ve been talking to some people who are really, really high up — like basically champions. And they’re still saying that they’re worried about their jobs.” She added.
The 35-year-old is currently on a two-fight winning streak in the UFC with her last win coming up against Amanda Lemos in July 2017.