Will The UFC See A Mass Departure Of Fighters?
Some of UFC’s top stars might not be part of the promotion much longer.
That’s what MMA journalist Ariel Helwani is thinking about. Fighter pay has become a popular topic within the sport of MMA, especially now because of celebrity boxing, which pays typically pays a huge purse.
Helwani said in a recent episode of The MMA Hour the big names who might be choosing free agency instead of re-signing with the UFC.
“That’s another interesting story to follow in 2022, Israel Adesanya’s contract. Not quite at the point of Nathan (Diaz’s), I think there’s a couple (fights) left, but that’s an interesting one to follow. Could you imagine in 2022, we are facing a potential scenario where Izzy might reach the end of his contract, Diaz reaches the end of his contract, Conor McGregor reaches the end of his contract, Francis Ngannou reaches the end of his contract. Think about that for a second. Think about how big those names are. Think about the power that they have,” he said.
UFC President Dana White has downplayed the criticism and says there’s no issues because wealthy and successful fighters extend within the promotion. His comments have suggested that as long as you fight good and are entertaining, you will be paid good.
White and UFC parent company, Endeavor, has also recently touted the “best nine months” financial report in the promotion’s history. ESPN hiked their prices for a UFC pay-per-view for the third time, now costing $74.99.
However, aside from the flourishing revenue and hiked prices, the lesser-known fighters in the UFC continue to make as low as $12,000 per fight.
Jones, a former light heavyweight champion, expressed his problems with fighter pay.
“The last I spoke with @UFC about my salary there was no negotiating. If that ever changes, i’d love to come back and compete again as a heavyweight. Until then, I’ll be enjoying Ufc has a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community http://careproject.org,” he tweeted.
The last I spoke with @UFC about my salary there was no negotiating. If that ever changes, i’d love to come back and compete again as a heavyweight. Until then, I’ll be enjoying Ufc has a fan and doing my best to take care of my family and community https://t.co/NoTTpRTMH0
— BONY (@JonnyBones) August 17, 2020
“The brilliance of the UFC is they don’t let the fighters get to the end because they know they wanna lock them up before they get to the end, before they’re able to test those waters, those free-agent waters. But what if they want to? What if they play their cards right and they get to the point where they can? Fascinating times,” Helwani added.