One of the big discussions around the UFC has always been with fighter pay, as throughout the history of the sport there has been a long-fought discussion around fighter worth and where considerations should be made – the big fighters like Conor McGregor have brought much more attention to this with public statements in the octagon like his now famous “60 G’s baby!” line and being much more willing to discuss options for pay in regard to PPV payments and title fights. It is something that has become a bit more apparent recently with the number of high-profile money fights that have been taking place, but is there a discussion needed for fighter pay now that it has become much more public?
How Much Do UFC Fighter Get Paid?
It’s not exactly a new issue, discussions around pay have went back almost a decade and talks on whether or not the UFC loses big stars for being a little tight fisted are common – some of the bigger stars like Jon Jones have recently come out and stated they’ll only fight for their worth asking for more than the proposed 8-10 million for the super fight against now champ Francis Ngannou as well as other stories for fighters who after paying for their training camp and all of the prep for the fight have only come out with a few thousand dollars for the effort.
It’s not a good look for the biggest organization in MMA, particularly not when the big talent starts to look elsewhere for their payday, and particularly not when UFC boss Dana White has a habit of stoking the fires when it comes to the subject, for many the Reebok deal had been a bit of a nail in the coffin once sponsorship opportunities were gone. There have been some arguments that there could be a similar model to boxing that works out where some pay is more tied to PPV or betting performance with the growth of sites like Max offering casinos and betting not attached to initiatives like Gamstop, but with so many fighters on the roster and a card throughout the night it’s not a very practical approach.
Are Changes Coming?
It’s unlikely that any changes will be made soon particularly with so many willing to step in at a moments notice to accept just a little bit more, and with other deals constantly changing to be more in favor of the UFC rather than the fighters the only option may be to unionize – but given that requires the collective of every fighter to sign up and with so much division between many, it seems like a much less likely scenario, what’s more likely is that pay will continue to be an issue, and the organization will continue to bleed some of the biggest fighters instead looking further afield where they find a better quality of pay, probably under better leadership to boot.
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