Dana White says he can solve UFC fighter pay gripes – by eliminating bonuses


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

dana-white-92.jpgLAS VEGAS – The UFC is contemplating the elimination of fight-night and discretionary bonuses to fighters, the promotion’s president told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). 

“You don’t like the structure? All right, we’ll pay the lower-level guys more money – no more f–king bonuses,” Dana White said. “You guys come in, you negotiate your contracts, and we do away with all bonuses. That’s what I’m thinking about doing.”

White today said he and UFC co-owner and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta came up with the idea to redistribute wealth after several former and current UFC fighters publicly criticized the way the promotion pays its fighters. And if they follow through with it, they could find out very quickly if those currently under contract believe the current system is as bad as its often made to be. 

White said that for every UFC event that “kicks ass,” the promotion “makes sure that everybody gets a piece of the extra.” 

Now, the promotion could boost fighters’ base salaries across the board and take away rewards for those that perform. 

“The bonuses are something we’ve been doing out of the kindness of our f–king heart,” White said. “It was something we liked to do. Apparently, people don’t like it. They want the lower-level guys to get paid more money.”

For several years, the UFC has paid out discretionary bonuses, which include disclosed bumps for “Fight of the Night,” Submission of the Night,” and “Knockout of the Night,” as well as undisclosed checks that are sometimes distributed backstage or mailed after an event. 

Disclosed bonuses have gone as high as $129,000 at UFC 129, but recently leveled out to $50,000. The amount of discretionary bonuses ranges widely. 

The extras have pushed some fighters’ take-home earnings past the six-figure range for a single night’s work. At this past month’s UFC 161, first-time UFC fighter James Krause earned an additional $100,000 for “Submission of the Night” and “Fight of the Night,” pending the results of a drug test. 

However, several recent UFC castoffs, and one fighter set to make his octagon debut in Tim Kennedy, say that their disclosed pay shrinks considerably after deductions for training expenses and taxes. For preliminary-card fighters, who often take home $6,000 to show and $6,000 to win at an event, the financial hit can be particularly devastating if they are unable to fight more than twice a year. 

Add to that a sponsorship market that’s sunk since the sport’s boom in the late 2000s, and many up-and-comers are forced to look for secondary income. 

Onetime UFC title challenger Jon Fitch took aim at the promotion’s profit margins and said it should share more of its profits

“There are an overwhelming majority who do share that view,” said Fitch. “But they’re scared. They’re absolutely terrified because the fighters to them are just meat to be replaced easily.”

That replaceability is one reason White uses to justify the pay scale at the lower ranges. Because few preliminary-card fighters sell tickets, they aren’t entitled to big purses until they develop a winning record and a fan base that adds to the UFC’s bottom line.

White railed at fighters with “unrealistic expectations” and said the UFC’s pay scale often is compared unfairly to sports franchises such as the NFL. 

“We’re more like Major League Soccer, as far as financials go,” he said. “You fight three times a year, you make [$50,000 to show and $50,000 to win], you’re making $300,000 a year fighting three times a year. I know you have to take jiu-jitsu and do all these other things, but we have the same thing. We don’t just put on fights; we have overhead, too.

“All these f–king morons have no idea what goes into this and what it takes to build a sport and a company at the same time. And we’ve been very fair to guys.”

(Pictured: Dana White)

view original article >>

Related News

  • 26 days ago
  • 36 views

Forget what you think you know, business has never been better for UFC, according to promotion president Dana White. While its last two pay-per-view (PPV) events didn't exactly break the bank, business for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is alive and well.
That's according to promotion president Dana White, who says that despite the fact that some PPV events, like UFC 174, didn't bring in huge numbers at the box office -- not that he expected it to -- the promotion is still thriving and mak more

  • 24 days ago
  • 133 views

LAS VEGAS - UFC president Dana White held his annual Fan Expo question-and-answer session with the fans on Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. As usual, the event was a mix of the serious, the less serious, and the absurd, ranging from detailed questions about the company's business to painful-to-watch attempts at business pitches.
One thing the UFC boss did indicate, however, is that he could very well by on the same wavelength as the fans who want the much-discussed potential Ander more

  • 24 days ago
  • 113 views

LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White discusses job opportunities in the UFC, Anderson Silva vs. Nick Diaz, Joe Rogan's fighting future, Gina Carano, Georges St-Pierre, and much more Friday evening at the UFC Fan Expo. more

  • 24 days ago
  • 94 views

LAS VEGAS -- UFC president Dana White discusses UFC 175, Stefan Struve, Chael Sonnen, Ronda Rousey's impact, Ronda Rousey at UFC 176, TUF 19, Cris Cyborg, and much more after the UFC 175 post-fight press conference. more

  • 24 days ago
  • 101 views

LAS VEGAS – Check out the full hourlong post-UFC 175 media scrum with UFC President Dana White.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos more

  • 23 days ago
  • 61 views

LAS VEGAS – UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo’s injury won’t keep him from a rematch with No. 1 contender Chad Mendes.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 23 days ago
  • 48 views

LAS VEGAS – UFC President Dana White said he and fellow fight fans will always have a special place in their heart for MMA legends like B.J. Penn.Filed under: Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC, Videos more

  • 18 days ago
  • 40 views

UFC president Dana White revealed plans, already in progress, to build a massive UFC complex in Las Vegas following the UFC 175 post-fight press conference on Saturday. more

  • 11 days ago
  • 25 views

UFC President Dana White says he and Lorenzo Fertitta are willing to do whatever it takes to get Gina Carano into the UFC and straight into a title shot against women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey. more