There was heartening news for the aproximately 350 fighters under contract with Zuffa, the organization that owns both the UFC and Strikeforce, today as it emerged that they are set to introduce fighter injury insurance as standard.
The move will mean that from June 1st, all the fighters under Zuffa contract will be covered for injuries sustained out-of-competition, instead of just inside the Octagon as it is currently.
“We looked at this as a necessity for the sport and something that needed to happen,” Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told Yahoo! Sports.
Fertitta adds that it’s been a long road to making such a deal possible due to insurance companies reluctance to insure mixed martial arts fighters, but it appears their perseverence has paid off.
“It has been a 24-to-36-month process we have been going through to do it. We were adamant we were going to find a way to put this together,” Fertitta said as he confirmed they have now struck a deal with the Houston Casualty Insurance Company.
Fertitta then went into the specifics of how the insurance deal would work for the fighters.
“It’s not a policy you would typically see in an employer-employee relationship. It’s more akin to an auto insurance scenario, where any acute injury is going to be covered. Training injuries, a guy falls down the stairs, an automobile accident, those would be covered, but it wouldn’t be something like the flu or some disease or illness. It would only cover accident-related injuries.”
Overall this is very welcome news for the fighters, many of whom still face a challenging time paying their bills despite competing for the sport’s largest organization.