UFC President Dana White Doesn’t Think a Fighters Union Will Ever Happen

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prophecy033
11/24/12 5:08:44PM
In any industry that employs a vast number of people – particularly industries where there are wide differences in compensation – there is always talk of whether or not the workers should form a union to protect the interests of the masses when it seems a small group reaps the highest benefits.

Talk of a fighters union has long been on the tongues of many, especially with the exploding success of mixed martial arts across the globe.

It seems little effort has been made over the years to actually form a union for mixed martial arts athletes.

Link
kingsmasher
11/24/12 7:28:19PM
well I suspect it will happen one day...give the sport time to build up more fighters..
prozacnation1978
11/24/12 7:35:31PM
I have been in a union for 15 years
Without it I would have been fired for sure

There is no loyalty with business
U make more they make shitty excuses to get rid of u
Union won't allow shitty excuses to fire u cause u get paid more. U put in the time.
george112
11/24/12 7:45:31PM
This coming from the guy that said women would never be in the UFC
airkerma
11/24/12 8:01:13PM
I'm sure he hopes it won't happen. I think the ball is in Dana's court, and depending on how he proceeds in the future will dictate if it will happen or not.
george112
11/24/12 8:12:31PM
To become a legitimate major sport it is going to have to happen. Dana is living in a fantasy land if he actually thinks he can control every aspect of the UFC.


All its going to take is a few fighters, who fight being cut and were gonna see legal battles popping up .

Copenhagen
11/24/12 8:43:17PM
“It’s going to be tough to see a day when (Anderson) Silva or GSP is giving up big chunks of their money to guys who won’t make two fights in the UFC.”

The truth. None of the top paid (UFC loyal) fighters would want any part of this. Which is Dana's obvious reason for stating this.

Plus, these people are on contract. Three losses and your out is the usual, and it should be.

Of course there won't be a UFC Fighters Union.

Dana is not living in fantasy land.
george112
11/24/12 8:50:28PM
There is a big difference in the number of top paid fighters and lesser paid fighters.


There are guys in the UFC who win making CHUMP change but because their names aren't big enough. That's messed up in my book.


Silva and the like make plenty of money.


Change the pay and contract structure then. Keep it fair stop playing favorites
Copenhagen
11/24/12 8:52:29PM
And the most valuable employees (ones you can't risk firing) will be on board with this?
george112
11/24/12 9:02:38PM
Who cares if their on board.

Just because you make the most money that means you get to control someone else's fate? That doesn't make any sense at all.

Of course Silva wouldn't want any part of it he is already making the big bucks. He would want to keep it that way. Same with everyone else like that. My point is to keep it fair. The current system is far from that but Dana doesn't care he's all about the benjamins and always will be. That's a damn shame
Copenhagen
11/24/12 9:06:09PM
Your argument seems to be more if it should happen.
Where mine is only would it happen.
Yeah, it probably should happen.
george112
11/24/12 9:12:14PM
Touche my friend
Bustamante-Aoki
11/24/12 10:34:15PM
The UFC makes a tonne of money. The extra money shouldn't and wouldn't be coming from fighters like GSP and Anderson. It would come from Zuffa.

It's pretty ridiculous for him to imply there isn't enough money being made for ALL the fighters to be paid decently. Remember Dana use to trash boxing promoters for not paying the undercard guys enough, and now he's doing the same thing.

The Fertita's own Station Casino's and UFC. That's where they make their money. Station Casion's filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and a year later Lorenzo was announced as the 385th richest man in the USA, and Frank who (has less involvement with the UFC, and probably less shares didn't make the list.

So how did Lorenzo go from president of a bankrupt casino to a billionaire? That came from the UFC. Forbes even said that themselves in the article declaring him #385. And all this while the UFC is spending boatloads on marketing themselves globally. They even hired top Washington DC thinktanks to work for them to spread the name UFC and Ultimate fighting instead of MMA. They love to spend profits but not to share them with the fighters. Why should Anderson or GSP care if the UFC grows if they don't share enough of that growth profit with them?

Floyd Mayweather fought twice in 2010, and earned himself $60 million in salary and winnings. He averages 1 million PPV sells.

Brock Lesnar also sold a couple of 1 million buy PPV's. Brock made about $500k a fight plus $2 million in PPV bonus.

HBO sold 1.4 million PPV's for Mayweather vs Mosley at $50 a pop, and earned $78.3 million in revenus from the fight.

The average UFC sells half to a third of that but thats still 20-30 million per PPV of which they give out 2-4 million to the fighters. Yeah, GSP and Anderson and all the rest of them can afford to be paid well at the same time. Dana just doesn't want to share or take the blame, so he's changing the conversation to be about who makes the most for the UFC. Certainly not Frank and Dana yet they feel they deserve way way way way more than the fighters. Zuffa can't beleive in their argument or they would be giving more to Anderson and GSP and less to themselves, if they feel those fighters deserve all the credit for UFC PPV sales.

Anderson and GSP could benefit a lot from an MMA union. After seeing how Zuffa demonized WAMMA and everybody went along with it, I don't see how a union would become possible. If Dana says a union is bad then most people will believe him.
george112
11/24/12 10:54:37PM

Posted by Bustamante-Aoki

The UFC makes a tonne of money. The extra money shouldn't and wouldn't be coming from fighters like GSP and Anderson. It would come from Zuffa.

It's pretty ridiculous for him to imply there isn't enough money being made for ALL the fighters to be paid decently. Remember Dana use to trash boxing promoters for not paying the undercard guys enough, and now he's doing the same thing.

The Fertita's own Station Casino's and UFC. That's where they make their money. Station Casion's filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and a year later Lorenzo was announced as the 385th richest man in the USA, and Frank who (has less involvement with the UFC, and probably less shares didn't make the list.

So how did Lorenzo go from president of a bankrupt casino to a billionaire? That came from the UFC. Forbes even said that themselves in the article declaring him #385. And all this while the UFC is spending boatloads on marketing themselves globally. They even hired top Washington DC thinktanks to work for them to spread the name UFC and Ultimate fighting instead of MMA. They love to spend profits but not to share them with the fighters. Why should Anderson or GSP care if the UFC grows if they don't share enough of that growth profit with them?

Floyd Mayweather fought twice in 2010, and earned himself $60 million in salary and winnings. He averages 1 million PPV sells.

Brock Lesnar also sold a couple of 1 million buy PPV's. Brock made about $500k a fight plus $2 million in PPV bonus.

HBO sold 1.4 million PPV's for Mayweather vs Mosley at $50 a pop, and earned $78.3 million in revenus from the fight.

The average UFC sells half to a third of that but thats still 20-30 million per PPV of which they give out 2-4 million to the fighters. Yeah, GSP and Anderson and all the rest of them can afford to be paid well at the same time. Dana just doesn't want to share or take the blame, so he's changing the conversation to be about who makes the most for the UFC. Certainly not Frank and Dana yet they feel they deserve way way way way more than the fighters. Zuffa can't beleive in their argument or they would be giving more to Anderson and GSP and less to themselves, if they feel those fighters deserve all the credit for UFC PPV sales.

Anderson and GSP could benefit a lot from an MMA union. After seeing how Zuffa demonized WAMMA and everybody went along with it, I don't see how a union would become possible. If Dana says a union is bad then most people will believe him.


Very well said
I commend you
kingsmasher
11/24/12 11:11:57PM

Posted by Copenhagen

Your argument seems to be more if it should happen.
Where mine is only would it happen.
Yeah, it probably should happen.




When you talk about if Silva would be on board with this he would not have a choice...

The way a union works is by numbers....

Say GSP Jon Jones and Silva do Not want a union......Who will they fight if everyone else does? Strength in numbers...

Basically there are so many paid so little....On any particular card basically one maybe 2 guys off the top of my head are probably making 60 to 70 percent of total payout....Take out the top two paid guys on any card and you have a bunch of other guys risking their life for a small percentage...

I think its sad these guys have not already formed a union...It would benefit all the fighters in the long run...


Of course you dont split everything even...There are wage scales for number of years served and such...
jae_1833
11/25/12 12:08:13AM
Unions go against capitalism and heads towards socialism......if Anderson is going to fight (ensuring the ppv buys etc) then he should get paid more.....sorry but if other fighters are priveledged enough to be on a card with GSP then they should simply attempt to make the most of it so that they can use their performances to influence the brass into paying them more. If I have the ability to make more money than you then tough shit! This is America, the land of opportunity and it's not always fair. You got to earn your keep.
jay98107
11/25/12 1:11:33AM

Posted by george112

There is a big difference in the number of top paid fighters and lesser paid fighters.


There are guys in the UFC who win making CHUMP change but because their names aren't big enough. That's messed up in my book.


Silva and the like make plenty of money.


Change the pay and contract structure then. Keep it fair stop playing favorites



Keep it fair and stop playing favorites? Sorry man, that's the nature of sports. Brandon Weeden's salary should not be the same as Aaron Rodgers just because they're both starting NFL quarterbacks. People don't buy PPV's to watch Cody McKenzie. I agree that the basement pay should be raised a bit for undercard fighters, but there's always going to be a huge gap between the top and the bottom.
george112
11/25/12 6:21:37AM

Posted by jay98107


Posted by george112

There is a big difference in the number of top paid fighters and lesser paid fighters.


There are guys in the UFC who win making CHUMP change but because their names aren't big enough. That's messed up in my book.


Silva and the like make plenty of money.


Change the pay and contract structure then. Keep it fair stop playing favorites



Keep it fair and stop playing favorites? Sorry man, that's the nature of sports. Brandon Weeden's salary should not be the same as Aaron Rodgers just because they're both starting NFL quarterbacks. People don't buy PPV's to watch Cody McKenzie. I agree that the basement pay should be raised a bit for undercard fighters, but there's always going to be a huge gap between the top and the bottom.



When I said keep it fair i didn't mean everyone get paid the same. But someone getting paid 8 grand while a big name makes 200 grand plus is bullshit. It just is. The NFL atleast you can have higher stats then other people. In MMA there's very few statistics to go off of. Mostly its just win streak. Anderson wouldn't be making the money he does now without winning all of his fights in a row. And then there is the way you finish fights . KOs subs.

There has been plenty of times where an undercard fighter had a badass sub but then a big name pulls a sub and gets the SOTN bonus. Lame
jay98107
11/25/12 6:46:42AM

Posted by george112


Posted by jay98107


Posted by george112

There is a big difference in the number of top paid fighters and lesser paid fighters.


There are guys in the UFC who win making CHUMP change but because their names aren't big enough. That's messed up in my book.


Silva and the like make plenty of money.


Change the pay and contract structure then. Keep it fair stop playing favorites



Keep it fair and stop playing favorites? Sorry man, that's the nature of sports. Brandon Weeden's salary should not be the same as Aaron Rodgers just because they're both starting NFL quarterbacks. People don't buy PPV's to watch Cody McKenzie. I agree that the basement pay should be raised a bit for undercard fighters, but there's always going to be a huge gap between the top and the bottom.



When I said keep it fair i didn't mean everyone get paid the same. But someone getting paid 8 grand while a big name makes 200 grand plus is bullshit. It just is. The NFL atleast you can have higher stats then other people. In MMA there's very few statistics to go off of. Mostly its just win streak. Anderson wouldn't be making the money he does now without winning all of his fights in a row. And then there is the way you finish fights . KOs subs.

There has been plenty of times where an undercard fighter had a badass sub but then a big name pulls a sub and gets the SOTN bonus. Lame



I admit it's bullshit when a big name undeservedly gets the fight bonus, but I feel like the UFC has been doing a good job with that lately (for the most part). Because there's no stats in MMA, I suppose I should have compared it to boxing instead of a team sport like football. The discrepancy in pay for boxers is much more sickening. 2 wrongs don't make a right though, I admit.
george112
11/25/12 7:53:03AM

Posted by jay98107


Posted by george112


Posted by jay98107


Posted by george112

There is a big difference in the number of top paid fighters and lesser paid fighters.


There are guys in the UFC who win making CHUMP change but because their names aren't big enough. That's messed up in my book.


Silva and the like make plenty of money.


Change the pay and contract structure then. Keep it fair stop playing favorites



Keep it fair and stop playing favorites? Sorry man, that's the nature of sports. Brandon Weeden's salary should not be the same as Aaron Rodgers just because they're both starting NFL quarterbacks. People don't buy PPV's to watch Cody McKenzie. I agree that the basement pay should be raised a bit for undercard fighters, but there's always going to be a huge gap between the top and the bottom.



When I said keep it fair i didn't mean everyone get paid the same. But someone getting paid 8 grand while a big name makes 200 grand plus is bullshit. It just is. The NFL atleast you can have higher stats then other people. In MMA there's very few statistics to go off of. Mostly its just win streak. Anderson wouldn't be making the money he does now without winning all of his fights in a row. And then there is the way you finish fights . KOs subs.

There has been plenty of times where an undercard fighter had a badass sub but then a big name pulls a sub and gets the SOTN bonus. Lame



I admit it's bullshit when a big name undeservedly gets the fight bonus, but I feel like the UFC has been doing a good job with that lately (for the most part). Because there's no stats in MMA, I suppose I should have compared it to boxing instead of a team sport like football. The discrepancy in pay for boxers is much more sickening. 2 wrongs don't make a right though, I admit.



Agreed man
OnyxShadow
11/25/12 9:21:18AM
MMA is one of the few businesses where I don't really want to see a union. Generally, when a fighter is let go its for a good reason. Sure, I can think of some examples of times when the UFC dropped someone too soon, but its because there are only a handful of those instances that they are so easy to recall. I don't want guys who are boring or low-skilled to have much of any job security. It would be like how region-based fighters are clung to for far too long on a huge scale. That's the sort of thing that could kill my interest in this sport.

As far as pay goes, few guys make less than $5,000 for what amounts to a very short time spent "working". I know these guys have expenses and all, but that's what I make in about two months...for the least skilled, least well-known fighters THAT LOSE. Sorry, its hard for me to be sympathetic.
postman
11/25/12 9:37:49AM

Posted by jae_1833

Unions go against capitalism and heads towards socialism......if Anderson is going to fight (ensuring the ppv buys etc) then he should get paid more.....sorry but if other fighters are priveledged enough to be on a card with GSP then they should simply attempt to make the most of it so that they can use their performances to influence the brass into paying them more. If I have the ability to make more money than you then tough shit! This is America, the land of opportunity and it's not always fair. You got to earn your keep.



I agree 100%! Its not dumb luck that of the 7 times Brock Lesner fought for the UFC 5 of those shows are top 20 in UFC buy rates. Even more impressive 4 are in the top 10. 100 and 116 being the top 2. That guy was the reason more ppl bought be should get paid for that.
grappler0000
11/25/12 9:44:19AM

Posted by Bustamante-Aoki

The UFC makes a tonne of money. The extra money shouldn't and wouldn't be coming from fighters like GSP and Anderson. It would come from Zuffa.

It's pretty ridiculous for him to imply there isn't enough money being made for ALL the fighters to be paid decently. Remember Dana use to trash boxing promoters for not paying the undercard guys enough, and now he's doing the same thing.

The Fertita's own Station Casino's and UFC. That's where they make their money. Station Casion's filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and a year later Lorenzo was announced as the 385th richest man in the USA, and Frank who (has less involvement with the UFC, and probably less shares didn't make the list.

So how did Lorenzo go from president of a bankrupt casino to a billionaire? That came from the UFC. Forbes even said that themselves in the article declaring him #385. And all this while the UFC is spending boatloads on marketing themselves globally. They even hired top Washington DC thinktanks to work for them to spread the name UFC and Ultimate fighting instead of MMA. They love to spend profits but not to share them with the fighters. Why should Anderson or GSP care if the UFC grows if they don't share enough of that growth profit with them?

Floyd Mayweather fought twice in 2010, and earned himself $60 million in salary and winnings. He averages 1 million PPV sells.

Brock Lesnar also sold a couple of 1 million buy PPV's. Brock made about $500k a fight plus $2 million in PPV bonus.

HBO sold 1.4 million PPV's for Mayweather vs Mosley at $50 a pop, and earned $78.3 million in revenus from the fight.

The average UFC sells half to a third of that but thats still 20-30 million per PPV of which they give out 2-4 million to the fighters. Yeah, GSP and Anderson and all the rest of them can afford to be paid well at the same time. Dana just doesn't want to share or take the blame, so he's changing the conversation to be about who makes the most for the UFC. Certainly not Frank and Dana yet they feel they deserve way way way way more than the fighters. Zuffa can't beleive in their argument or they would be giving more to Anderson and GSP and less to themselves, if they feel those fighters deserve all the credit for UFC PPV sales.

Anderson and GSP could benefit a lot from an MMA union. After seeing how Zuffa demonized WAMMA and everybody went along with it, I don't see how a union would become possible. If Dana says a union is bad then most people will believe him.



This isn't directed at the post as a whole, but I feel the need to point out some misinformation that may support your position, but doesn't necessarily reflect reality.

1. Both Lorenzo and Frank are both on the Forbes 400 list. In fact, as of 2011, Frank is actually 355 to Lorenzo's 359.

2. Lorenzo and Frank have an equal stake in Zuffa. I wouldn't doubt if Lorenzo has a larger salary though, as it would be deserved considering their respective roles.

3. Lorenzo didn't become a billionaire via the UFC. He was already a billionaire. He did dip a little below the billion dollar mark temporarily, but has since regained the spot. It seems like there was some possible confusion in this area on your part. The UFC didn't make this bankrupt-to-riches story as you painted it. It is a riches-to-richer story.

4. Although Stations did file for bankruptcy, it should be noted that it was only Chapter 11. It should also be noted that, while still having debt, they have since exited bankruptcy.

5. Source for Brock's PPV bonus? Without knowing his deal, one can only speculate to the amount of his bonus. In fact, to even speculate, one would have to use the Couture Formula from '07, since his is the only one that we've ever been privy to. So even then it's an assumption.

6. But, lets assume it was the same deal, for the sake of argument. An even 1 million buys would put it at roughly $2.3 million in PPV bonuses, if my math is correct. His UFC 100 appearance would've put him over the $4 million mark in PPV bonuses.

7. The UFC doesn't receive $20-30 million from each PPV. Unless they have managed to anchor a better deal in the last couple of years, they are only getting about 40% of that figure, with the other 60% going to the cable companies and on-demand provider...which explains why they are slowing creeping toward putting everything online.

Again, I'm not weighing in on your argument, but I did feel the need to point this out, so other don't take the claims as fact.
Copenhagen
11/25/12 11:52:04AM
I'd also like to add that IMO you can't compare a UFC Union with other Unions in other major sports since most other sports are divided into teams. The NFL or NBA do not hire the athletes and give them contracts, but the individual teams do. This is completely different in the UFC, since the UFC itself hires its athletes and gives out the contracts.
Just another reason why I don't see a UFC Union in the future.
george112
11/25/12 12:00:28PM
Copenhagen makes a good point . And I would also like to add that in order for the UFC to be accepted as a real legitimate major sport big changes need to happen as far as how the UFC operates.


The UFC is monopolizing the industry at the moment. No one is even close to competing with it in terms of MMA.

The UFC needs to make some sort of "league" like structure. A minor and major maybe?

There are just too many fighters who aren't fighting enough. The boxing like structure where one event is held at a time just makes everything progress so slowly.

Just my thoughts
warglory
11/25/12 12:21:47PM

Posted by jae_1833

Unions go against capitalism and heads towards socialism......if Anderson is going to fight (ensuring the ppv buys etc) then he should get paid more.....sorry but if other fighters are priveledged enough to be on a card with GSP then they should simply attempt to make the most of it so that they can use their performances to influence the brass into paying them more. If I have the ability to make more money than you then tough shit! This is America, the land of opportunity and it's not always fair. You got to earn your keep.



I'd suggest you read up on the impact of organized labor in the United States, and how it has shaped worker's rights that we ALL enjoy before making a statement like that. I don't want to get into a debate and derail this very relevant conversation, but that statement is hard for me to swallow.
Poor_Franklin
11/25/12 12:22:56PM
great points made guys. im learning over here!!!!

warglory
11/25/12 12:34:57PM
Okay, everyone needs to understand that fighters are not employees in the traditional sense, they are independent contractors. The UFC "employs" people who are engineers, publicists, roadies, internet specialists, etc, who are all more than qualified to strike.

However, if fighters want to unionize, it would have to take into account their status as independent contractors, which means they are not beholden to one employer. Fighters have contracts, which they may independently negotiate and renew as they see fit, and then sign a dotted line.

That doesn't mean they cannot unionize, but it's more difficult, given that they have the option of going to another organization for better pay (which is absolutely possible, despite the UFC being the biggest opportunity for exposure for fighters), unlike other sports where monopolies are firmly in place and no viable alternative exists.

Basically the UFC has no obligation to form a union, in fact, it would be against their interests and shouldn't be a responsibility of theirs. If fighters feel like their benefits are in such dire shape, it's their responsibility to organize. The problem is, how do you negotiate as a group, when you literally have to beat those whom you are unionizing with, to get a better pay opportunity? The only way I see a union working, is by negotiating working conditions, travel expenses, health care coverage, and other aspects of fighter costs that everyone incurs equally. I don't think you can negotiate actual pay, when MMA is built upon merit and marketability. There is no sustained aspect of pay, because it's all based on a fighter's individual abilities to benefit the company, hence their status as independent contractors.

This is a very complex idea guys, and I have to side with Dana on this one. I don't think there will ever be a union of fighters in the traditional sense, that can negotiate salary.
warglory
11/25/12 12:45:30PM

Posted by jay98107


Posted by george112

There is a big difference in the number of top paid fighters and lesser paid fighters.


There are guys in the UFC who win making CHUMP change but because their names aren't big enough. That's messed up in my book.


Silva and the like make plenty of money.


Change the pay and contract structure then. Keep it fair stop playing favorites



Keep it fair and stop playing favorites? Sorry man, that's the nature of sports. Brandon Weeden's salary should not be the same as Aaron Rodgers just because they're both starting NFL quarterbacks. People don't buy PPV's to watch Cody McKenzie. I agree that the basement pay should be raised a bit for undercard fighters, but there's always going to be a huge gap between the top and the bottom.



I agree here. I am all for laborers negotiating, but the nature of sport is about how well you perform, and how well you sell yourself as an athlete and performer. It's very difficult to settle that to a standardized pay scenario.
jay98107
11/25/12 2:10:41PM

Posted by warglory


Posted by jae_1833

Unions go against capitalism and heads towards socialism......if Anderson is going to fight (ensuring the ppv buys etc) then he should get paid more.....sorry but if other fighters are priveledged enough to be on a card with GSP then they should simply attempt to make the most of it so that they can use their performances to influence the brass into paying them more. If I have the ability to make more money than you then tough shit! This is America, the land of opportunity and it's not always fair. You got to earn your keep.



I'd suggest you read up on the impact of organized labor in the United States, and how it has shaped worker's rights that we ALL enjoy before making a statement like that. I don't want to get into a debate and derail this very relevant conversation, but that statement is hard for me to swallow.





I enjoy having weekends, a 40 hour work week and not living in the world Upton Sinclair wrote about in The Jungle. It's nice to know that, if I ever have kids, they won't be sweating in the meat factory by the time they learn long division (assuming they have time to learn math while pumping out sausage links).
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