There's been a lot of hullabaloo lately over the contract details for mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters competing for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which operates under the ZUFFA umbrella -- owned by the Fertitta brothers -- in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sure, fighter payouts are no secret (see them here), but the finer details are usually kept under wraps, which can only lead fans to speculate about the hangups in cases involving freelance fighters like Josh Barnett, who is still waiting for what he calls "the right deal."
A euphemism for "more money?"
Maybe, maybe not. According to this report from Bleacher Report, which shines a spotlight on the "top secret UFC contract," promotion CEO Lorenzo Fertitta has turned water into wine for a select number of MMA fighters under his employ.
"We've created, literally, nearly 70 millionaires since we took this thing over. And some of them multimillionaires."
That means UFC has created nearly 30 new millionaires since 2011, according to UFC President Dana White, who went on record in November of that year to announce that ZUFFA was the proud father of "40-something millionaires" and "20-something multi, multimillionaires."
See his comments here.
There is no question that UFC has made a few people filthy rich, but it's hardly an indication of fair labor practices or a barometer for the equality of compensation. Over the years, Fertitta and Co. have been dogged with accusations of running a combat sports monopoly.
A charge they vehemently deny.
Aside from Josh Koscheck's private plane, this is still the fight business, and you will always have the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to UFC contracts.