Legendary boxing promoter Bob Arum says that the UFC is using its status as the world's premier mixed martial arts organization to underpay the athletes who have made the sport what it is.
"They have a complete monopoly," he told Boxing Scene, "and have choked off all the competition, and their fighters have to take what they give them. In boxing, we have a totally different model, different pay scale. We give 90 percent of the money from a promotion to the fighters."
He admits that the UFC's presentation and promotions blows away boxing, but says part of that is due to so few dollars going to fighters.
"The guys who promote this stuff are able to spend so much money on advertising because they don't pay their fighters anything. Here they had a big pay-per-view show last week in which they had more than a million buys and took in around 20 million dollars. And I doubt they spent more than a million dollars on all the participants on the program." (The actual number reported to the athletic commission was $920,500).
As the UFC receives an increasing amount of mainstream attention, its pay structure has come under some scrutiny as fans marvel that some athletes in the most prestigious MMA promotion in the world are making as little as $3,000 per fight