Soft-spoken Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight Champion, Renan Barao, revealed last week that he was unhappy with his current contract primarily because he felt like he was going above and beyond the call of duty.
Indeed, "The Baron" stepped up to help save UFC 173 when Middleweight contemporary Chris Weidman was forced to bow out with an injury. But, what seemingly really stung was that two-time bantamweight title challenger, Urijah Faber -- who was his UFC 169 main event opponent -- earned more money than he did.
The Brazilian has decided to backtrack on those comments, releasing a statement to Combate that declared it was all a misunderstanding and it's none of his business what "The California Kid" earns inside the Octagon.
His words (via Bloody Elbow):
"After reading news of my quotes in media, I would like to say that I have never said that I was saving the UFC in this card in the sense that was published and much less that I would think that the UFC is in debt with me. This is my job. I haven't spoke with that context, I haven't tried to say that I was unhappy about how much I earn and that I want to renegotiate my contract. I just signed a new contract then I had no need to ask for another. When I was asked about my purse, I said what I always say: There is always how to improve it. If Faber earns more money or less than me, this isn't my problem. He has his bills to pay and I have my bills. He also has a problem with his ugliness and I with my beauty (laughs)."
It's always nice to ease the tension with a little joke afterward.
When UFC President Dana White got word of the comments ahead of UFC 172 last week, he confirmed that as much as he beats Barao's drum, the 135-pound kingpin was simply not near star level ...yet. He, by the same token, White called him perhaps best pound-for-pound fighter, saying he was the closest thing UFC had to boxing megastar Floyd Mayweather.
That's quite the compliment.
Nevertheless, the champion insists he will keep his mouth shut in the future when it comes to his bankroll:
"I want to say to Dana that I won't look for the press again if I have a problem with the numbers of my purse. I will leave it for my manager Andre Pederneiras to contact the UFC to discuss this subject."
Meanwhile, Barao defends his belt against Team Alpha Male's T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 24, 2014.
To check out the latest UFC 173: "Barao vs. Dillashaw" fight card and rumors click here.