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How Much Do UFC Fighters Make? (VIDEOS)

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November 6, 2012


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How Much Do UFC Fighters Make? (VIDEOS)

When Quinton “Rampage” Jackson had one fight left on his UFC contract, he started talking like a man with nothing to lose. According to Rampage, UFC fighters aren’t happy with the salaries being given out by the UFC.

“Yes, I’m not happy with the UFC…and a LOT of fighters aren’t happy with the UFC. I’m just the one that keeps it real and talks about it,” Jackson said.

Jackson says if he was making more money, he might be more comfortable with the fact that he’s lost all his privacy.

“Leaving the UFC would make me happy. I don’t think there’s anything they can do to fix it. I don’t think they’re even willing to fix it. I’m not upset with them. The UFC is a great organization, they’ve done a lot of great, positive things for the sport. It’s mainstream now. I can’t walk anywhere without people wanting a picture or attention or talking or anything. That’s good, that’s what people like. I just feel like…honestly, I just wish I could be compensated a little bit more for the privacy that I gave up. People don’t understand that. I traded my privacy and my kids’ privacy for…the living that I’m making now which is…Football players and basketball players these days, they’re making MILLIONS!” he said.

Jackson doesn’t always make sense, in fact he once humped a tiger, but he definitely has a fair argument with regards to UFC fighter pay.

UFC President Dana White often talks about how Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, and Jon Jones are mufti-millionaires. In fact, GSP has previously stated that he makes four to five million per fight. But what about the mid-card fighters that make under ten thousand to fight?

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson has spoken in the past about the need to increase UFC fighter pay, and I tend to agree. The UFC has grown into a massive global business that makes hundreds of millions of dollars. Why should a fighter put his life on the line for six thousand?

The only reasonable explanation is that the UFC has developed into somewhat of a monopoly. They bought out their main rival, Strikeforce, and Bellator doesn’t have the financial resources to keep up. As it stands, UFC President Dana White has full authority to pay fighters whatever he wants, and if they don’t like it they can move on. The UFC has an unwritten rule that if you lose three straight fights you get cut, and the list of casualties is long.

Once a fighter is cut by the UFC, they have to fight on regional promotions for hundreds of dollars in hopes that the UFC will eventually come calling. It’s a tough way to make a living, and that’s why the concept of a fighter’s union is being thrown around.

MMA legend, and former UFC champion, Kevin Randleman is in favor of fighters forming a union.

“I’ve always given accolades to (the UFC) for everything they’ve done for the sport and keeping it around, but the bottom line is, they’re not the f—— sport. Every guy that fights, we’re the sport, and without us, there ain’t, there won’t, there is no fights.

“Until we get together and unionize ourselves, there’s not going to be a bigger payday… It’s going to take another company with a guy with some big money that can take fighters away with big money and big promises, and you know what, it’s coming.”

“We as fighters, we’re entitled to half of the pot. Without the fighters, the UFC would fold. Without the fighters, Bellator would fold. Without fighters willing to bang every day, it would fold.

“There should be insurance for every fighter that’s on the company’s f—— payroll. You should have insurance just like any other company should have. So if you’re training and you’re under contract with the UFC, you should have health insurance and life insurance.

“(MMA) is not a rich man’s sport. It’s just rich men that own the sport. It’s a blue collar man’s sport, and blue collar men should have more say in what goes on…You ain’t Michael Vick, and we ain’t f—— dogs.”

One of the greatest things about the UFC is that you never have to worry about a lockout, but as a fan of the UFC, I want to know that the fighters are taken care of.

Dana White has repeatedly stated that the UFC pays their fighters far more than boxing, but Randleman and Rampage are repeating a familiar tune. Roger Huerta has complained about UFC fighter pay, “Ultimate Fighter” winner Roy Nelson has also complained about fighter pay. You also have to wonder how many fighters are scared to talk about the issue due to fear of being cut or blackballed.

No matter what your opinion is on the topic, there is no doubt that this is a conversation worth having.

Below you will find Rampage Jackson talking about UFC fighter pay, UFC President Dana White talking about fighter pay, as well as a report by ESPN “Outside the Lines” on UFC fighter pay…

Here’s UFC President Dana White giving his opinion on the topic of UFC fighter pay…

Here is the report done by ESPN “Outside the Lines” about UFC fighter pay…



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