UFC president Dana White has no plans to increase the pay for fighters under his leadership.
White has spoken extensively about his belief that top-notch boxers are overpaid, and that UFC fighters are paid appropriately. In a video with GQ magazine on Thursday, White doubled down, saying that the sport of boxing has been “absolutely destroyed,” and large raises for his fighters are not happening soon.
“It's never gonna happen while I'm here,” White said, per ESPN. “… 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.”
As UFC continues to navigate its antitrust lawsuit that was orchestrated by MMA Fighters Association in 2014, current fighters earn 20% of its revenue. That percentage is lower in comparison to other sports leagues, partly because of the lack of the ability to bargain with a players’ union.
However, the former fighters filed the antitrust lawsuit, declaring that the sport was a “monopsony”, that it controls a huge portion of MMA’s market share as well as “locks fighters in restrictive contracts” that prevent them from knowing their value in an open market, per ESPN.
Fighter pay within the UFC has been a hot topic in recent months. Following Jake Paul’s boxing win against Tyron Woodley in December, he told White that he would retire from boxing and fight Jorge Masvidal if he increased the minimum pay for fighters to $50,000 per fight, guarantee fighters 50% of UFC’s annual revenue and provide long-term health care to all fighters.
White has not agreed to Paul’s demands.
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