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Ronda Rousey: UFC fighters need to get paid more than Octagon girls

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fighter pay isn't as big an issue as it has been in the past, thanks in large part to repeatedly failed drug tests taking over the mixed martial arts (MMA) scene.

Still, all of the positive tests in the world won't hide the fact that there are still some Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighters who feel they don't get paid enough for doing what they do inside the eight-walled cage.

Ronda Rousey isn't one of those fighters, as the women's bantamweight champion says she is more than happy with her UFC salary, and then some. Still, "Rowdy" won't deny that some of her colleagues aren't as fortunate as her when pay day rolls around.

In fact, Ronda says the UFC Octagon girls bank more than some fighters. And if she has one gripe about fighter pay, that would be it.

From her recent UFC 184 media scrum (via MMA Fighting):

"I think that they should get paid more than the ring girls. And I don't know if the ring girls get paid too much or the fighters don't get paid enough. But yeah. There's definitely a lot more in what the fighters do than what they do. So, I think that's one thing that's unfair."

Sounds like something a role model would say ... or is it?

While it's unclear exactly how much Brittney Palmer and Arianny Celeste -- the top two ring girls employed by UFC -- are banking per event, it should be noted that Jared Connonier and Matts Nilsson both walked away with an $8,000 paycheck after losing at UFC 182 last month.

Then again, Jared was making his UFC debut while the loss for Nilsson was his second straight since making his UFC debut last year. And as we've seen in the past, more wins usually equals more pay.

Fighter compensation, or lack thereof, was one of the reasons why former UFC employees Cung Le, Nate Quarry, and Jon Fitch filed a lawsuit against UFC, as they felt the company has a monopoly over the sport of MMA, which enables them to pay out little sums whenever they see fit.

"Rowdy," though, doesn't see UFC as a monopoly and makes it perfectly clear that she is very content with her pay and the way she is treated by her current employer. And she recalls a time when she too, was coming up as an Olympian, when it cost her money to get to where she is now.

"I don't think the UFC is a monopoly at all. Viacom owns Bellator and they have way more money than the UFC does. I have a comparison with how I was treated as an Olympian to how I'm treated as a UFC fighter and I always feel like I'm just so lucky to work with a company that I feel like actually cares. There's times where they give me more than they're contractually obligated to or more than I even expect. That's why I always trust them so much. Even if they didn't ever give me anything extra, I would still be happy, because you know what I made an as Olympian? Nothing. It cost me money."

She continues:

"I got my first house, I got a car, what else do I need? I don't need a private island. My house is paid off. My car is paid off. I just need to buy dog food and pay my taxes and that's pretty much it. I have no need to want. The only thing I want to do now is fight and they made that possible for me and I'm eternally grateful. I've always been very well taken care of. I'm always extremely happy with how I've been treated."

Rousey looks to score another big payday when she takes on Cat Zingano in the main event of next weekend's (Sat. Feb. 28, 2015) UFC 184 main event in Los Angeles, California.

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