Recently, the hot topic where the UFC is concerned is fighter bonuses and pay rates. When John Cholish retired from MMA, he stated that he was fortunate to have a full time job on Wall Street to support himself as his UFC pay wasn’t enough. Since then, fighters such as Jacob Volkmann and even Tim Kennedy who is making his UFC debut on this Saturday’s card, have spoken out about how little they make after paying for training, managers, travel and more.
Earlier this week when UFC President Dana White was assembled with media, he said that the UFC may take away bonuses. When MMA Fight Corner’s Heidi Fang asked what his intention was behind taking away the bonuses during Thursday’s scrum following the pre-fight press conference, White went on a rant to explain exactly why he feels it’s time to do away with not just fight night bonuses, but other discretionary bonuses as well.
“It wasn’t just the fight of the night bonuses, it’s all bonuses,” said White. “There’s a lot of bonuses that fly around this company – a lot of bonuses. And the reality is, the bonuses that are given, are bonuses that are deserved. So the ones that you hear crying about not making money, now I’m going to get crazy on you here.”
“We work in a business where we are as good as our last fight – not just them, me too. The UFC, every time we do a fight, whether it’s a pay-per-view or it’s on TV, people make the decision to stay home on a Saturday night and not do anything else when there’s movies, dinners, spending time with the family, there’s a lot of s*** to do on a Saturday night. These people make a decision to stay home on a Saturday night and watch our show. We get a show with a bunch of guys who want to push up against the f****** fence and stand there for 15 f****** minutes to try to squeak out a win, how many people do you think are going to tune in next Saturday? And if this keeps continuing, you becoming f****** boxing where guys are running around in circles, nobody fights, and you walk away going ‘this fight sucked’.”
“The guys who are complaining about this are the guys that don’t matter,” White continued. “Now that might sound f****** mean, and harsh, and ‘Why would nobody matter? Everybody matters.’ We’re in this f****** society now where everybody should win a trophy. No, everybody doesn’t win a f***** trophy.”
“The guys who stand out and the guys who deserve bonuses, the guys who make it exciting, the guys who rise to the top are the guys who deserve the money.”
“If you’re the guy who stands out, you’re the guy who people want to see again. You’re the guy who people want to spend money for. You’re the guy who people want to buy tickets, pay-per-views, and stay home on Saturday night [to see],” White said.
White stated that what it comes down to is everyone wanting more money. He further explained that when it comes down to it, everyone should be after the American dream, adding how he built the UFC to what it is today – the fastest growing sport in the world. But, White added it seems these days not everybody is willing to do what it takes to get there.
“You should want to be f****** Anderson Silva. You should want to be Jon Jones. You should aspire to be the best. But what happens is, especially in sports, in any professional sport where you’re an athlete, that day of reckoning comes where you either are that guy, or you’re not.”
White further credited Sam Stout and Joe Lauzon for always putting on amazing fights, even if they’re not the champion of their division, they always give their best effort.
To sum it all up, White again reiterated: “This is life. Everyday you wake up life is standing right there to kick you in the f****** face and you better be ready to do something about it – John Cholish or anybody else. Everybody doesn’t win a f****** trophy.”