Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta answer Nate Quarry's criticism of fighter pay: You fought when UFC was $44 million in debt

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

When you're $44 million in debt, the UFC brass argues, $10,000 is a lot of money.

Earlier this week, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) title contender and cast member of the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Nate Quarry, voiced his concerns about fighter compensation, especially in light of news that UFC may soon be requiring fighters to wear a "uniform," sporting the logo of an as of yet unnamed athletic apparel company.

While UFC is spinning this as a means to spread the wealth up and down the card and fighters from the hassle of dealing with sponsors, many fighters have voiced concerns that a mandatory uniform would drastically cut into their bottom line.

Perhaps the most shocking thing Quarry mentioned was that he was paid a mere $10,000 for his UFC 56 middleweight title fight against then-champ Rich Franklin.

UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta spoke out in regards to Quarry's comments, and attempted to put the low payday in context (via Yahoo Sports).

"I'm not going to argue or counter every specific claim made by Nate Quarry on some website. I'm super proud of what we have done for our athletes, this sport and this company. Our track record is darn good as a whole and we have nothing to be embarrassed about.

This fight Nate is talking about was so long ago and clearly the business wasn't where it is today. It was in its infancy and we were coming out of a period where we suffered millions upon millions in losses. It wasn't an insignificant amount of money. And I'll tell you this, Nate is a smart guy. Absolutely he is. He knew when he signed his contract exactly what he'd be paid."

Never one to be outdone, UFC President Dana White also offered his two cents at yesterday's pre-UFC 170 media scrum (watch video here).

"I like Nate Quarry. Let me tell you what, you're never going to hear me say anything negative about any of the guys from season one of The Ultimate Fighter. I fuckin' love all those guys. I respect 'em. I've always had a great relationship with Nate Quarry.

Lorenzo said it the best. It's unfortunate that Nate fought at a time when we were still 44 million dollars in the hole.

The sport has evolved so much since then.There's been a lot of negative things the past couple of weeks, which, y'know, we've done a lot of positive things over the last 13 years.

Now it's easy to look back and go 'they invested 44 million and now this thing's worth a few billion.' Easy to say that now, but back then? This thing was...so close to being shut down and going away. There was a time when I was like, 'We're never, fucking ever getting our 44 million dollars back. It's never going to happen.' There was a time when I actually believed that.

There you have it.

So what do you think, Maniacs? Is Quarry's story simply a case of "right place, wrong time," or does he make some valid points about how fighters are compensated in the world's leading mixed martial arts (MMA) organization?

Sound off in the comments sections below, or just "shut the f--k up."

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