UFC president Dana White not planning fighter raises

UFC president Dana White says fighter pay within the group will not change dramatically whereas he’s in his present place, telling GQ in a video printed Thursday that he believes fighters “get paid what they’re supposed to get paid.”

The subject of fighter pay has been a hot-button problem in MMA for years and was thrust additional into the highlight by YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul in latest months. White has mentioned he believes high-profile boxers are overpaid and reiterated within the GQ interview that he thinks UFC fighters are paid extra moderately.

“Boxing has absolutely been destroyed because of money and all the things that go on,” White mentioned. “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 round 20% of its income, in response to information unearthed through the ongoing antitrust lawsuit introduced by some former fighters in opposition to the promotion. Different main sports activities leagues, such because the NFL, NBA and MLB, share round half of their income with gamers, however these leagues are unionized and athletes are capable of collectively cut price through gamers’ associations. MMA fighters, and people within the UFC particularly, haven’t got something comparable at the moment.

“Boxing has absolutely been destroyed, because of money and all the things that go on. 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.”

Dana White, on pay raises in UFC

UFC fighters are labeled as unbiased contractors, which might make collective bargaining troublesome legally. A number of makes an attempt at unionizing UFC fighters have failed previously 10 years, together with one by former baseball agent Jeff Borris.

“There aren’t too many things you can talk s— about the UFC about,” White instructed GQ. “If you look at what we’ve done with the business the last 22 years, it’s incredible. Never been done, ever, the things we’ve done in the fight business. You always have to have something to bitch about, I guess. And fighters always want to make more money.”

White and executives from UFC mother or father firm Endeavor have argued that fighter pay has gone up exponentially over the previous decade, although UFC’s income has additionally grown steeply since then.

“No major sports organization pays its athletes as poorly as Dana White & UFC,” Paul tweeted in response to White’s GQ feedback. “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 antitrust lawsuit filed in opposition to UFC in 2014 by former fighters, together with Cung Le, claims the promotion is a monopoly or a monopsony, controlling the overwhelming majority of the game’s market share, locking fighters intro restrictive contracts that do not enable them to check their worth on the open market and suppressing wages.

The lawsuit is led by fighters from the MMA Fighters Affiliation, which doesn’t need unionization. As a substitute, the MMAFA would love boxing’s Muhammad Ali Act, which supplies contractual safety to boxers, to be prolonged to MMA. That extension to MMA was introduced up as a invoice to the Home of Representatives by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., in 2017 however has since been caught in legislative limbo. The UFC has spent lots of of 1000’s lobbying in opposition to the potential regulation.

In 2020, a federal decide mentioned he would grant class certification within the antitrust case, making it a category motion that will enable a higher variety of fighters to be paid a share of what might be billions in damages. The decide, Richard Boulware, has not made class certification official, and the case appears poised to proceed for a lot of extra years.

“The UFC has established a pay structure that pays fighters less than 20% of revenue,” MMAFA founder Rob Maysey instructed 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.”