Leslie Smith planning to take legal action against the UFC

Leslie Smith is set to take legal action against the UFC after they cut her last week when her opponent, Aspen Ladd, failed to make weight.

Smith is no longer a UFC fighter.

After Ladd failed to make weight, Smith (10-7-0) was paid her entire fight purse of $62,000 but also informed that she is now a free agent. Smith had tried to extend her deal, but she believes that the UFC wanted to part ways because of her involvement with Project Spearhead, an organization attempting to unionize fighters.

There’s a lot of litigation in the future with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB),” Smith told ESPN during a recent chat. “I never even agreed to what happened. We weren’t like, ‘Here’s the deal. You sign here, I sign here.’ I kept trying to make adjustments on how it was going to be resolved, and they never even acknowledged them.

I was struggling with whether to still accept the fight, but they weren’t struggling at all. That’s the impression I got. They found a way to end the issue.

Unlike most fighters who the UFC chooses to cut, Smith was a top-ten ranked fighter and had won her last three fights contested at bantamweight.

There are people all over the internet saying, ‘She’s 35, who cares about her fights? She’s not exciting. She’s not pretty,‘” Smith said. “The fact is, I’m ranked inside the top 10. I got a stoppage in my last fight, and the fight before that I won a fight-of-the-night bonus.

All the evidence shows I’m doing everything I need to do to be an exciting, winning fighter.”

WMMA Bantamweight World Rankings

Fight fans, how do you feel about the situation? Let us know in the comments section below.

Noah

4 comments

  1. Win or lose, I enjoy Leslie’s fights. However, no employer likes to be backed into a corner. If I understand it correctly, she refused to fight Ladd unless her contract was extended. When put in that situation, they simply let her go and paid her well for it. I would hazard to guess that this had a lot more bearing on the release than her involvement with Project Spearhead.

    Best of luck to her in the future. Despite the UFC’s obvious shortcomings, it was probably the sweetest deal she could get, far better than anything Invicta could offer her, even as a champ. A move to Bellator could give her the option to move up a weight and work to challenge Julia Budd for the 145 title or drop a weight and potentially challenge Ilima-Lei for the 125 title. She’d probably do well in either division and has fought in both in the past.

    1. We know Ladd missed weight she was still offered the fight plus 20% of ladds purse would’ve went to her win or lose plus Ladd offered an extra $5000 she didn’t fight because she thought she could leverage her contract extension into the negotiations… it backfired on her she got paid the 62000$ and then was released from her current contract

      1. Smith says Ladd and her team did not offer $5k and were not able to provide any proof of actually making the offer to Smith or her team!

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