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UFC president, Dana White has urged critics of fighter pay regarding his organization to attempt to make their own promotion, claiming the current model is the way the UFC is run, and by all accounts, will continue to run.
Over the last 18-months, some high-profile issues regarding fighter pay have risen to the forefront, with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones claiming that he wants to be paid sufficiently for his long-awaited move to the heavyweight division, in an attempt to challenge Francis Ngannou for the championship.
One-time middleweight title challenger, Paulo Costa also voiced his dismay regarding fighter pay, questioning how the likes of both Jake and Logan Paul can earn considerably more than UFC fighters for both professional and exhibition boxing matches, despite no background in combat sports. Another middleweight title hopeful, Jared Cannonier reacted to Costa’s displeasure as well, claiming that somebody needs to help fighters unionise in a bid to receive a higher percentage of revenue from promoters and promotions.
Former UFC lightweight champion, Sean Sherk also gave his thoughts on fighter pay — encouraging fighters to unionize as well as claiming that the UFC should be “extremely embarrassed” regarding the ever-growing issue.
Last week, UFC flyweight prospect, Sarah Alpar exceeded a GoFundMe goal of $30,000 to fund her fight camp for her upcoming UFC 266 fight with promotional newcomer, Erin Blanchfield — with the above-mentioned, Jake Paul pledging $5,000 to Alpar, before questioning if an NBA rookie would have to start a GoFundMe campaign in order to compete. Triller Fight Club also claimed responsibility for a $25,000 donation in a press release late last week.
According to White, however, beyond the fighters who have voiced their pleasure, nobody knows what they are talking about when it comes to the issue of fighter pay.
“The reality is anybody who’s being critical outside of the fighters themselves don’t know anything anyway,” White said during an interview with, Manouk Akopyan. “They don’t actually know what these guys are making. And the fighters don’t ever come out and tell you. There’s no gag order on any of these guys. These guys can come out at any time and tell you what they’re making. I have no problem with that. But they don’t, do they? No, they do not. So, it’s sort of a Catch-22.“
“Fighter pay has continuously gone up every year since we owned the business,” White continued. “Obviously, there’s been tons more opportunities with the outfitting policy, some of the sponsors that we’ve brought in that spend tons of money with the fighters too. There’s a lot of opportunities here for the fighters. And listen, there’s never gonna be a guy that’s coming out and saying, ‘Yeah, they’re (the UFC) paying me too much. They’re overpaying me.’ And all of these guys that are champions share in the pay-per-view revenue (PPV points).“
White continued, explaining how if critics of fighter pay were not happy with the situation — they should create their own promotions.
“Listen, if you don’t like it, go start your own MMA league and pay ’em whatever you want to pay ’em,” White said. “This is mine (league) and this is the way we’re doing it.” (H/T MMA Fighting)
Promotional leader, White also explained recently that he had made a mistake by replying to a user on Instagram if the promotion had plans to implement a long-term health benefit scheme for fighters in the future. White had initially responded, “soon” to the user, before claiming he had actually responded to the wrong question.
“Yeah, uhm, that actually wasn’t a Q&A, that was on Instagram,” White said. “I responded to the wrong guy when I said ‘soon’ (laughs). That was wrong actually, I responded — I noticed that later, that I had said, ‘soon’, but it was on the wrong post. I wasn’t talking to that guy. It was somebody else.“
Reports emerged this week detailing how the UFC had penned a 10-year deal worth $175 million with Crypto.com to serve as their first global outfitting kit partner to go along with their recently implemented Venum outfitting deal.
In further developments reported by ESPN; “Fighters will not get a direct cut of the UFC’s deal with Crypto.com, a source said. However, they will be able to broker individual deals with the cryptocurrency company and be used as paid brand ambassadors.“
Senior writer for FightBook MMA. An aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Producer of news articles, interviews, opinion features, and exclusive features such as, ‘The Fallout’, ‘The Breakdown, and, ‘This Week In MMA’.
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