A topic that has never left the airwaves or thought of fight fans is fighter pay and despite some people being happy with it, there are still plenty more who aren’t.
The Debate of Fighter Pay
When looking back at the history of mixed martial arts it’s crazy to see how far the sport has come. From the days of “human cock fighting” as the late Senator John McCain had put it, we have seen growth from a freak sideshow to a legitimate sport that is now on a world stage and has a tv home with the worldwide leader in sports.
A leader for all of this has been the UFC with its public face Dana White.
White implemented weight classes, gloves, and even a fighter pay scale with bonus’ that made everyone give the sport a second look. While White deserves a lot of praise for helping the sport get to where it is, it’s also important to look at the changes that need to continue to happen with fighter pay.
Boxing has long set the example when it comes to fighter pay where guys are able to earn way more at the top levels of the sport as well as earning more as part of the pay-per-view revenue. The UFC being the promotion pays more than almost any other promotion with a few exceptions here and there. When they got rid of the “NASCAR” look and went to fighter kits they distributed some of the money they received to the fighters that went with their normal pay for bouts.
They recently signed a nine figure deal with crypto.com and it was reported that they won’t see any of that money despite the fighters having to advertise it on their fight kits.
It’s important to keep this in mind because UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman recently talked to UFC betting site Betway about several topics one of which was fighter pay, he had this to say:
“Of course, everybody wants to be paid more…but right now everybody is paid pretty good”
Coleman even went on to defend Dana White from criticism he has received on several topics including fighter pay by saying:
“Compared to what we got back when I was fighting. They’re paid pretty good.”
But is that good enough?
All of us today make more per hour than our parents did working similar jobs but pay increases because expenses and basic cost of living go up. These fighters have this as a full time job when they make it to the UFC, injuries happen and fight camps get extended and suddenly you go further and further between paychecks.
If the fighters were to get a cut of that Crypto money that could make or break a lot for these fighters under Dana White. Not calling for them to get a giant increase in pay but more so for the sport and the UFC as a whole to recognize this.
If Mark Coleman had someone fighting for him to get paid more when he was fighting would he have accepted it? As the Godfather of Ground and Pound and a UFC Hall of Famer Coleman should be using his platform to campaign for the current fighters to get more like he would have liked when he was in his prime.