Dana White on Fighter Pay: “When you look at the lives we’ve changed, I’m (expletive) proud of it”

MMAPlayground.com » Community » MMA News Share Forum » Dana White on Fighter Pay: “When you look at the lives we’ve changed, I’m (expletive) proud of it”
grappler0000
7/5/13 8:55:51AM
In the 13 years that Zuffa has owned the Ultimate Fighting Championship, it has taken the promotion from the brink of extinction to one of the hottest sports properties on the planet.

Over the course of that time, they’ve also provided the opportunity for numerous fighters to not only make a living in their chosen sport, but to thrive. Several have gone on to become millionaires, and many have cemented legacies.

But along with any success story come the critics who believe that things can always be better...

Full Story
SmileR
7/5/13 10:05:40AM
So Dana's response to low fighter pay is basically either be like GSP, SIlva or Jones or go out an throw caution to the wind and fight like Garcia, Lauzon and Stout. Fuck you if you don't fit into one of those categories.

But don't be like Cruz because he is a champion an earns $40,000 ($20,000 to show, $20,000 to win).
Or like another champ Demetrious Johnson because he earns $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus).
Or like Uncle Creepy because even though he fights like Lauzon an Stout he picks up $9,000 show $9000 win.

That two of the promotions champions earning roughly $120,000 for fighting 3 times in one year.
Look those guys in the face and tell them even though they are champions of the world they are earning the money they deserve when one weight class up the champions are earning more for one fight than they do for a years worth of work.
scoozna
7/5/13 11:22:24AM
I've got to side more with Dana on this one. Someone or some process or policy has to keep the cards interesting. They can only do so much with matchups. So the policy they've instituted for now (OTN bonuses and/or vague locker room bonuses) is their best idea for keeping cards exciting.

Another avenue they could go down would be to simply not contract fighters they believe will be boring. While they may already engage in some of this, i think this is more risky. You want the top talent, and it becomes a bit of a chess match when you have top talent that you assume will be boring ( who may also be dominating in another promotion).

I'd like to hear what other ideas are out there for maintaining the balance of keeping fights exciting and at the same time trying to keep fighter pay where it should be.
BillsNewAccount
7/5/13 11:28:46AM
I don't want to dismiss your concerns and deflect your questioning but allow me to dismiss your concerns and deflect your questions by saying the UFC has treated a couple fighters reasonably well.

-the Bald Father himself DW
SmileR
7/5/13 11:57:32AM

Posted by scoozna

I've got to side more with Dana on this one. Someone or some process or policy has to keep the cards interesting. They can only do so much with matchups. So the policy they've instituted for now (OTN bonuses and/or vague locker room bonuses) is their best idea for keeping cards exciting.

Another avenue they could go down would be to simply not contract fighters they believe will be boring. While they may already engage in some of this, i think this is more risky. You want the top talent, and it becomes a bit of a chess match when you have top talent that you assume will be boring ( who may also be dominating in another promotion).

I'd like to hear what other ideas are out there for maintaining the balance of keeping fights exciting and at the same time trying to keep fighter pay where it should be.



I got to disagree, amigo. Losing money or drawing even for a fighter, fighting on a PPV or FOX card is embarrassing.
I don't see why they can't bump up fighter pay to say $10,000 show $7,500 or even $10,000 win as a base entry pay and keep the bonus sceme. Then the fighters would still be hugely motivated by the FOTN, SOTN and KOOTN as it would more than double their income and a top wage of roughly 35k a year after tax with the possibility of 150k bonus money on the line will motivate almost any fighter to keep it entertaining.
The UFC is on ESPN, FOX and in Europe its on every major sports package. Not to mention if they are to believed they are pulling in huge amounts from PPV and gate attendance. Why not pay the fighters who have fought through the regional circuits to the feeder promotions and finally the UFC money they can live off?
Its a tough, tough job and a modest living wage isn't much to ask from your employer.
Manak
7/5/13 1:20:36PM
wanna get paid more, then become a better draw; it is that simple. this isn't like other sports where come show time its an entire team.. even than the star always gets paid a shit ton more. Yes, in MMA you need a team to train with but they aren't in the cage, it is just the fighter by himself. it is prize fighting and people are coming to see the top guys.
imanidiot777
7/5/13 1:32:33PM

Posted by Manak

wanna get paid more, then become a better draw; it is that simple. this isn't like other sports where come show time its an entire team.. even than the star always gets paid a shit ton more. Yes, in MMA you need a team to train with but they aren't in the cage, it is just the fighter by himself. it is prize fighting and people are coming to see the top guys.



Thank you.

I don't understand why people don't get this. Take any random unknown undercard fighter, and if they were headlining a card and they were the most known guy, that card would not even sell out my basement. They'd make a few hundred bucks.

I don't care if you think it is fair or not. It is about what is feasible, not what is fair. The hardest working people don't always do the best. It is about learning how to make yourself valuable, whether it be through exciting fighting style, out of the cage antics, etc.
postman
7/5/13 1:40:37PM
Its funny to me that people have a problem with the pay scale. Here is my reason why. Brock made 400,000 for his fight with Overeem. Compared to Jimmy Hettes who made 8000 to show 8000 to win. The gate was 3.1 million and the ppv buys were 750,000. Now you tell me how much higher or lower that number would have been had Brock not been on the card. Then tell me how much higher or lower it would have been with out Hettes. Its as simple as that. You might want to say Hettes P4P is a better fighter then Brock so he should be paid accordingly fact is Sports revenue has everything to do with total eyeballs watching. If you don't find a way to draw eyes your going to make middle of the road money oin the backs of the superstars.
airkerma
7/5/13 1:43:35PM

Posted by imanidiot777


Posted by Manak

wanna get paid more, then become a better draw; it is that simple. this isn't like other sports where come show time its an entire team.. even than the star always gets paid a shit ton more. Yes, in MMA you need a team to train with but they aren't in the cage, it is just the fighter by himself. it is prize fighting and people are coming to see the top guys.



Thank you.

I don't understand why people don't get this. Take any random unknown undercard fighter, and if they were headlining a card and they were the most known guy, that card would not even sell out my basement. They'd make a few hundred bucks.

I don't care if you think it is fair or not. It is about what is feasible, not what is fair. The hardest working people don't always do the best. It is about learning how to make yourself valuable, whether it be through exciting fighting style, out of the cage antics, etc.


So then your advice to these fighters becoming successful is to be loud outside of the cage and shoot your mouth off whenever possible? Sorry, call me old fashioned by I like my fighters to fight and people specifically paid to shoot their mouths off to talk. We don't need additional outside the cage antics and drama, that turns the whole thing into a freak show.
postman
7/5/13 1:44:51PM

Posted by airkerma


Posted by imanidiot777


Posted by Manak

wanna get paid more, then become a better draw; it is that simple. this isn't like other sports where come show time its an entire team.. even than the star always gets paid a shit ton more. Yes, in MMA you need a team to train with but they aren't in the cage, it is just the fighter by himself. it is prize fighting and people are coming to see the top guys.



Thank you.

I don't understand why people don't get this. Take any random unknown undercard fighter, and if they were headlining a card and they were the most known guy, that card would not even sell out my basement. They'd make a few hundred bucks.

I don't care if you think it is fair or not. It is about what is feasible, not what is fair. The hardest working people don't always do the best. It is about learning how to make yourself valuable, whether it be through exciting fighting style, out of the cage antics, etc.


So then your advice to these fighters becoming successful is to be loud outside of the cage and shoot your mouth off whenever possible? Sorry, call me old fashioned by I like my fighters to fight and people specifically paid to shoot their mouths off to talk. We don't need additional outside the cage antics and drama, that turns the whole thing into a freak show.



Or be elite, or both. Works for Mayweather
ry_dawg63
7/5/13 1:51:01PM
I'm going to say what I've said before in response to Dana W and the UFC fighter pay. Dana White needs to get his head out of his ass and start pain his Fighters what they deserve.he supposedly bought the UFC for 2 million and turn it into a 500 million or even some say a billion dollar business.believe me with the money he's raking in he is more than able to increase the fighters base wages. and some argument is these lower tier fighters in the UFC don't deserve to make 30 grand a flight but my opinion and supposedly from what is Dana White says is once you made it into the UFC you are no longer a low tier fighter. So why not pay them what a professional MMA fighter deserves.I've trained and fought so I know just how much hard work goes into those training camps.hard work dedication huge sacrifices.and then you get in the cage and put it all on the line these guys deserve to get paid better than garbage truck driversI'm sorry if you can't see that
postman
7/5/13 1:56:43PM

Posted by ry_dawg63

I'm going to say what I've said before in response to Dana W and the UFC fighter pay. Dana White needs to get his head out of his ass and start pain his Fighters what they deserve.he supposedly bought the UFC for 2 million and turn it into a 500 million or even some say a billion dollar business.believe me with the money he's raking in he is more than able to increase the fighters base wages. and some argument is these lower tier fighters in the UFC don't deserve to make 30 grand a flight but my opinion and supposedly from what is Dana White says is once you made it into the UFC you are no longer a low tier fighter. So why not pay them what a professional MMA fighter deserves.I've trained and fought so I know just how much hard work goes into those training camps.hard work dedication huge sacrifices.and then you get in the cage and put it all on the line these guys deserve to get paid better than garbage truck driversI'm sorry if you can't see that



You do realize before a fighter ever steps foot in a cage he has the choice to go drive said dump truck. You get paid what your worth not some fantasy price that you or fans think your worth. Being a fighter yourself you should know what they make on the local level, its far less then they do in the UFC.
ry_dawg63
7/5/13 2:29:23PM
you're right I do you know what the local lvl pay is and in my opinion it needs to be increased as well.and if you want to know what the truth is I don't base what I think Fighters should be paid on some fantasy price thier fans should come up with. but I do believe that when a fighter Who works his way up through the rankings should get paid accordingly for his hard work and not for his shit talking skills or out of the cage antics! like Jon Fitch for example I know he wasn't the most exciting fighter and didn't bring in the biggest draw but fact is he was arguably number 2 or 3 in the division for years he should be paid better than some low tier fighter in some b level organization. and on your comment about choosing to be a cage fighter I do understand that bro I'm not retarded.it's a choice but if you look at the wages these other professional combat sports pay why are MMA fighters
In biggest show on the planet the UFC being paid chump change? it's simple Dana White and the zufa are just greedy and intill these fighters start making noise there not going to shit to change with way it all works. And you dont even want me to get into what i think the rule changes should be for more exciting fights
airkerma
7/5/13 2:44:28PM

Posted by postman


Or be elite, or both. Works for Mayweather


Obviously this isn't an issue for the elites, so no, that isn't really a viable option.
prozacnation1978
7/5/13 3:57:16PM
Two way street Dana

Made lives better. Fighters made Ufc more popular and more exposure.
hotrodttt
7/5/13 6:19:19PM
It's not Dana's fault regarding the champs being payed rather low. They signed a contract and are obligated to finish it and after they can negotiate a better contract for them.
postman
7/5/13 6:45:35PM

Posted by ry_dawg63

you're right I do you know what the local lvl pay is and in my opinion it needs to be increased as well.and if you want to know what the truth is I don't base what I think Fighters should be paid on some fantasy price thier fans should come up with. but I do believe that when a fighter Who works his way up through the rankings should get paid accordingly for his hard work and not for his shit talking skills or out of the cage antics! like Jon Fitch for example I know he wasn't the most exciting fighter and didn't bring in the biggest draw but fact is he was arguably number 2 or 3 in the division for years he should be paid better than some low tier fighter in some b level organization. and on your comment about choosing to be a cage fighter I do understand that bro I'm not retarded.it's a choice but if you look at the wages these other professional combat sports pay why are MMA fighters
In biggest show on the planet the UFC being paid chump change? it's simple Dana White and the zufa are just greedy and intill these fighters start making noise there not going to shit to change with way it all works. And you dont even want me to get into what i think the rule changes should be for more exciting fights


I'm not sure locals can get payed more. I can't imagine what it would cost to have a fight. Hey I wish everyone could make bank. Its just not how it goes. I agree with rule changes. What does an undercard boxer make on a normal ppv fight? I bet its not all that much. I may be wrong though.
postman
7/5/13 6:49:28PM

Posted by airkerma


Posted by postman


Or be elite, or both. Works for Mayweather


Obviously this isn't an issue for the elites, so no, that isn't really a viable option.



Well then I guess they should evaluate their chances at being elite and if they can cut it pick a new job. They more these dudes agree to fight for chump change the more the ufc will filter them through the system. It might not sit well with everyone but it is what it is. They could form a union then take it in the ass from them if they would like.
imanidiot777
7/5/13 7:21:24PM

Posted by postman


Posted by ry_dawg63

you're right I do you know what the local lvl pay is and in my opinion it needs to be increased as well.and if you want to know what the truth is I don't base what I think Fighters should be paid on some fantasy price thier fans should come up with. but I do believe that when a fighter Who works his way up through the rankings should get paid accordingly for his hard work and not for his shit talking skills or out of the cage antics! like Jon Fitch for example I know he wasn't the most exciting fighter and didn't bring in the biggest draw but fact is he was arguably number 2 or 3 in the division for years he should be paid better than some low tier fighter in some b level organization. and on your comment about choosing to be a cage fighter I do understand that bro I'm not retarded.it's a choice but if you look at the wages these other professional combat sports pay why are MMA fighters
In biggest show on the planet the UFC being paid chump change? it's simple Dana White and the zufa are just greedy and intill these fighters start making noise there not going to shit to change with way it all works. And you dont even want me to get into what i think the rule changes should be for more exciting fights


I'm not sure locals can get payed more. I can't imagine what it would cost to have a fight. Hey I wish everyone could make bank. Its just not how it goes. I agree with rule changes. What does an undercard boxer make on a normal ppv fight? I bet its not all that much. I may be wrong though.



Undercard boxers make even less. But what you said is right. Everyone needs to stop saying "it should be this way". It isn't that way. I should have all the money I ever need to live on right now. It isn't going to happen, though. Your value is not based on how hard you work. It is based on skill / selling yourself. You make a market of yourself.