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Dana White tells critics of UFC fighter pay to back up: ‘This is mine, and this is how we do it’



UFC President Dana White gets tired of the constant criticism surrounding how he compensates his fighters.

In the last few months, the recent headlines regarding fighter pay have mostly revolved around the negotiations for a super match for Francis Ngannou vs. Jon Jones, who has stalled as the feud between both fighters and the UFC is spilled in the public eye. YouTube star became pro boxer Jake Paul has also pushed for UFC fighters to be paid more.

Whether UFC athletes – and MMA fighters in general – are paid fairly has long been a topic in the media. But if it was up to White, there would be much less talk from those he perceives as uninformed outsiders.

“The reality is that anyone who is critical outside of the warriors themselves does not know anything, anyway,”

; White said in an interview with journalist Manouk Akopyan. “They actually do not know what these guys are doing. And the warriors never come out and tell you that. There is no gag order on any of these guys. These guys can come out anytime and tell you what they’re doing. I have no problem with that. But they do not, do they? No they do not. So it’s a kind of Catch-22.

“Fighter salaries have risen steadily every year since we owned the company. There are obviously many more options with the equipment policy, some of the sponsors we have brought in also spend lots of money with the warriors. There are a lot of opportunities here for the warriors. And listen, there never comes a guy who comes out and says, ‘Yeah, they pay me too much. They pay too much for me. And all these guys who are masters share in the pay-per-view revenue.

“Listen, if you do not like it, start your own MMA league and pay them what you want to pay them. This is mine, and this is how we do it. ”

Following the rise of MMA in the 2000s, several campaigns emerged in North America to provide an alternative to the UFC, including Strikeforce, Bellator, and the World Series of Fighting (now the Professional Fighters League), each providing their own incentives to entice. warriors to sign. Still, the UFC has continued to have the majority of the MMA market.

The campaign features a lucrative broadcast deal with ESPN as well as multi-million dollar sponsorship deals with companies such as Venum, the official clothing brand of the UFC, Monster and most recently Crypto.com. In 2019, as part of an ongoing antitrust lawsuit against the UFC, it was reported that the promotion was expected to earn $ 980 million in revenue by 2020, with fighters receiving 20 percent of that revenue (approximately $ 196 million).

Strikeforce was revealed to have paid warriors 63 percent of revenue, and Bellator 44.7 percent of revenue.

The UFC’s financial success has caused some fighters to talk about what they consider to be an odd share of profits. Three-time UFC lightweight champion Jones is one of them, and his career threatens to be halted until next year unless he and the UFC can work out a substantial pay raise. According to White, his relationship with Jones is in good shape.

“I do not think it’s about repairing the relationship with him,” White said. “Jon and I have been walking around for several years. It’s not like – listen, we’ve had our good times, and we’ve had our bad times, Jon and I. I say it all the time: We fight every Saturday night. When Jon is ready to fight again, I have a Saturday night ready for him.

“Jon owes me nothing or apologies, otherwise we have to sit down and kiss and compensate or something. We’re cool. We are both very meaningful, we are both very hard-haired with things. I do not like not liking Jon Jones, I do not think Jon Jones does not like me. When he is ready, we are ready and we will find out. ”

When it was suggested that discussions about hunter-gatherer pay have become more and more widespread lately, White laughed at the idea.

“It has not been recently, it has been 20 years,” White said. “And guess what? It will do so for the next 20 years.”


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