Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has come under fire in recent weeks for what some perceive as poor compensation for its fighters.
Former UFC lightweight Jacob Volkmann claimed he was "barely above poverty" after cashing his ZUFFA checks, while fellow ex-155 pounder John Cholish insists the promotion could "do a better job of compensating its lower-level fighters."
There are, however, fighters still actively employed that don't think life as a UFC fighter is all wine and roses. That includes Strikeforce import Tim Kennedy, who makes his Octagon debut against Roger Gracie at the UFC 162 pay-per-view (PPV) event on July 6, 2013 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
His comments to GrappleTalk podcast:
"It's pathetic that so many fighters [have to have other jobs]... I'm one of the three percent of guys in the whole entire sport and it would be slim pickings to survive off what I make in fighting. It's a good thing I have another job because the UFC doesn't pay very well. Anybody who accepts [fighters being overpaid] as a reality of the sport is sad and pathetic. I hope this isn't the reality of the sport. If it is, I should probably go do something else, like empty trash cans. I'd make more money than I do now."
He should apply as a sanitation worker in New York City, where you can make over $100,000 (assuming you don't accept gratuities).
Kennedy is fortunate enough to have the U.S. Army to fall back on, splitting his time between battle fatigues and fight shorts. But there are a number of fighters who are unable to commit to being a fighter full time, simply because they can't afford to.
While others are
laughing flying all the way to the bank.
Even former boxing champ (and UFC broski) Mike Tyson believes MMA fighters are underpaid. It should come as no surprise then, to hear frequent cries about forming a fighter's union. That, however, would require a certain Brazilian champion -- among others -- to say goodbye to "Anderson Silva money."