When Zuffa meets with UFC/Strikeforce employees this week as part of the company’s annual summit in Las Vegas one of the recurring themes throughout will undoubtedly involve the discussion of organizational policies. However, the policy drawing the most attention from fighters this go-round may very well be one completely unrelated to anything occurring inside of the cage – an insurance policy.
“Our athletes are some of the very best in the world and we’ve committed significant financial resources to provide them with insurance that complements the gold standard we have set for event-related coverage,” explained CEO Lorenzo Fertitta of the move. “We’re pleased to provide coverage that enables our athletes to seek and receive treatment for injuries sustained while preparing for bouts.”
According to an official press release, all 350+ fighters competing for the UFC and Strikeforce will now be eligible for “customized accident insurance” to address injuries sustained in training or even outside of the gym. Fighters will now receive “24-hour worldwide medical life insurance and dental coverage, as well as emergency medical evacuation,” with their employer handling the premiums and handling/filing all claims
“As this sport continues to grow, we have been working hard to secure additional insurance coverage so that our athletes can perform at the highest levels,” Dana White continued. “We’re proud to give our athletes access to this type of insurance.”
The news is not only an important step forward given the physical toll taken on Mixed Martial Artists while preparing for fights but also timely considering Strikeforce heavyweight Shane Del Rosario’s injuries relating to a recent car accident, not to mention non-MMA athletes like David Beckham and Manny Pacquaio getting in fender benders over the weekend.