The pay scale in mixed martial arts (MMA) is always a hot topic of conversation.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has had its fair share of controversies as of late, involving fighters expressing their outrage at the salary structure.
UFC Bantamweight champion Renan Barao -- who hasn't lost in 32 straight fights -- is looking to improve the terms of his contract when he's up for a renewal. "The Baron" feels he's worth more, looking to bring in a heavier cash flow once his fight against T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 173 is in the books.
The Brazilian is coming off a win against Urijah Faber at UFC 169 earlier this year, in a fight that could have been stopped too soon, according to several observers. Nevertheless, Barao is a little unhappy that "The California Kid" -- who banks about $200,000 in disclosed salary on a good night -- is bringing in more dough (via Yahoo Sports):
"I'm very happy being an UFC champion. But, I would like to improve my contract... Actually, an example: I know that Faber is a much older guy on the UFC, but he's not even the champion and has a much better purse than mine... It is what it is, we're working for it to improve. I hope that after this fight I can have a much better contract. I hope it improves everyday. This depends on the contract, but I hope they remember that I saved an event."
For the sake of comparison, Barao banked $22,000 for his win over Scott Jorgensen back in 2012, which would be about ten times less than Faber, a mind-numbing financial chasm. That, of course, was two years ago -- well before he became the undisputed 135-pound champion -- but it's pretty clear based on his statements that he's still falling short of Faber.
In regard to his event-saving effort, Barao was inserted as the UFC 169 headliner against Faber -- who he already defeated at UFC 149 back in 2012 -- when Chris Weidman's injury forced the promotion to move his anticipated Middleweight championship clash against Lyoto Machida,
Faber has always been a marketable star and it's been apparent since his days under the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) banner. However, the Team Alpha Male captain has never claimed UFC gold in his entire career.
It remains to be seen how this one plays out, but it would be impossible to deny Barao a nice hunk of the pie if he continues his unprecedented run.
Meantime, Barao will look for his fourth consecutive title defense against Dillashaw at UFC 173, which you can learn more about right here.