Here is the gift and the curse of the UFC.
They are essentially a monopoly, so they are about to dictate the salaries of their fighters as well as put on the best fights because they aren’t competing with any other network or promoter. This is great for fans, not so much for the fighters who have been underpaid for years.
While you might have to haggle a lot in boxing to get the best fights, the fighters themselves are paid far better for their work than UFC fighters.
Dana White believes that his way of doing things in regard to keeping salaries low is the right way of doing things.
UFC president Dana White says fighter pay in the organization won’t change dramatically while he is in his current position, telling GQ in a video published Thursday that he believes fighters “get paid what they’re supposed to get paid.”
The topic of fighter pay has been a hot-button issue in MMA for years and was thrust further into the spotlight by YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul in recent months. White has said that he believes high-profile boxers are overpaid and reiterated in the GQ interview that he believes UFC fighters are paid more reasonably.
“Boxing has absolutely been destroyed, because of money and all the things that go on,” White said. “It’s never gonna happen while I’m here. Believe me, these guys get paid what they’re supposed to get paid. They eat what they kill. They get a percentage of the pay-per-view buys. And the money is spread out amongst all the fighters.”
UFC pays fighters around 20% of its revenue, according to data unearthed during the ongoing antitrust lawsuit brought by some former fighters against the promotion. Other major sports leagues, such as the NFL, NBA and MLB, share around half of their revenue with players, but those leagues are unionized and athletes are able to collectively bargain via players’ associations. MMA fighters, and UFC fighters specifically, don’t have anything similar at this time.
“No major sports organization pays its athletes as poorly as Dana White & UFC,” Paul tweeted in response to White’s GQ comments. “If u don’t see that then you are one of Dana’s sheeps. They keep talking about selling out 21 events in a row but never talking about raising fighter pay, giving them healthcare & fair revenue split.”
“The UFC has established a pay structure that pays fighters less than 20% of revenue,” MMAFA founder Rob Maysey told ESPN. “The only way to determine what fighters are ‘supposed to get paid’ is to remove the contractual restraints the UFC imposes and bring true competition for fighter services to the market.”
Only 20% of the revenue is a sad state of affairs for a BILLION dollar industry.
Flip the pages for more from Dana White speaking on not paying fighters.