Leslie Smith Says She Was Cut By UFC For Heading Up Fighter Unionization Efforts

Mixed martial artist Leslie Smith is no longer on the roster of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Now a former women’s UFC bantamweight, it would appear that the fighter believes that her position as the founding member of Project Spearhead may have had something to do with her UFC release.

Leslie Smith has one fight left on her contract when UFC Fight Night 128 approached. The fighter was set to face off against Aspen Ladd. However, Ladd failed to make weight for the event.

Smith elected to not accept a catchweight bout against the fighter, leading to the match’s cancellation from the night’s fight card. The promotion then elected to provide Smith her show and win money from the cancelled fight, an extremely rare occurrence from the UFC, and used the payment to claim the cancelled fight as the end of the competitor’s contract.

The UFC then decided to not renew a contract with Smith, leaving the fighter as a free agent. Smith is, of course, the president and founding member of Project Spearhead.

The project is dedicated to unionizing mixed martial artists, as inspired by unions already existing in other sports. In a recent Twitter post on the project’s official page, Smith’s cut from the UFC roster was claimed to be caused by her association with the project.

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