It's a very well circulated rumor that the UFC does not pay its fighters as much as it should, considering the most popular mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world is making money hand-over-fist.
Many fighters have admitted to fleeing the UFC because of the money issue, and other high profile free agents have signed on with other organizations because the money is supposedly better.
Truth or sour grapes?
An article today from Slam! Sports breaks it down pretty good, and gets a lot of super defensive quotes from Dana White.
Here's a snip:
"Believe me when I tell you, brother, people aren't leaving me. We're a private company and our fighters make a lot of money, a lot of money. None of us are arguing, none of us are bitching and none of us are fighting. We get along with all of our fighters very well. They feel like they're part of a very happy family. Let me tell you what, I can sleep at night. I'm not in this for the money and I never was."
Consider this for a moment: For UFC 62: "Liddell vs. Sobral" the UFC paid the 18 fighters on the card a total of $407,000, according to the Nevada State Athletic Commission. However, $250,000 of that went to light-heavyweight champion Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell for TKOing Renato "Babalu" Sobral in 95 seconds in the main event.
Sobral only earned $21,000, which he probably deserved considering his performance.
Anywho, White later went on to say:
"I've made more millionaires in this business than anybody else has."
That may be true, but it's too bad the UFC isn't paying its fighters millions, rather the sponsors are throwing crazy cash their way. And with paid gates hovering around $3 million a pop – and pay-per-view buys raking in potentially 9-10 times more in addition – it's not like the UFC can't afford to pay these guys
But if that's the way it works – and the fighters really are happy – who cares?