‘Paid what they’re supposed to get paid’: Dana White’s UFC fighter pay comments under fire, including from Jake Paul

·3 min read

It seems any time UFC fighter pay is brought up, Jake Paul is going to be right there to bee a thorn in Dana White’s side.

UFC president White was asked bout how much the promotion pays its fighters in a recent Q&A with GQ. By now, it should come as no surprise that YouTuber-turned-boxer Paul didn’t need long to offer up a response.

Paul has become almost as well-known for his critiques of White and his crusade to have the UFC pay fighters more money as he is for what he’s done in the boxing ring so far, which includes two knockouts of former UFC champion Tyron Woodley and one of former Bellator and ONE Championship champ Ben Askren.

White told GQ that fighters always want more money, but that the UFC’s fighters “get paid what they’re supposed to get paid.”

White’s contention is that boxing overpaid its fighters, and that led to a major decline in the sport’s popularity – right around the time the UFC started its rise.

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The UFC’s elite fighters do well for themselves, and champions and likely a select few others get a percentage of pay-per-view buys. The UFC also has a post-fight bonus structure, and fighters get paid each bout from the UFC’s apparel deal with Venum based on a sliding scale. And the company long has been known to hand out discretionary bonuses outside fighters’ contracted pay.

But at the bottom tier of the UFC’s pay scale, new fighters start out making, typically, $10,000 to show and $10,000 if they win. The rate goes up from there, but builds fairly slowly, some have argued.

The pay question, not surprisingly, had White on the defensive.

“If you don’t like it, there’s a simple solution to this problem,” he told GQ. “Go start your own MMA organization – no barrier to entry. Knock yourself out. Pay (fighters) whatever you want to pay them. It’s been done before. How’s it worked out for other guys? Not well. Mind your business.”

Paul’s talking points in a tweet he posted Friday were the same ones he’s been making when criticizing White and the UFC’s pay structure.

“No major sports organization pays its athletes as poorly as Dana White & UFC,” Paul posted. “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 UFC hasn’t been immune to criticism about fighter pay, even from within its own ranks. Former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold, who returns to action next week, took issue with the $50,000 that gets paid out for post-fight bonuses.

“What the f*ck are we doing here? F*cking $50,000 bonuses that are getting paid out for like two decades? What the f*ck?” Rockhold told MMA Fighting in a video interview. “The valuation of the company’s going up f*cking billions of dollars, and we’re still stuck on $50,000 bonus checks? What the f*ck is this?”

UFC fighters are considered independent contractors. Paul’s reported net worth is north of $300 million.

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie