Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brass unveiled its compensation tiers earlier this week for the company's Reebok uniform sponsorship deal (see them here), and most of the fighters' reactions have been sour, to put it lightly.
Tim Kennedy, Matt Mitrione, Myles Jury, and Brendan Schaub were among the major detractors, and now we can add UFC's color commentator Joe Rogan to that list as well.
During the latest "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast, the comedian and martial arts celebrity gave his thoughts on the Reebok deal.
His words, via MMA Junkie:
"I'm not a business man. I'd be the sh-ttiest businessman in the world; if I owned the UFC I would probably file for bankruptcy right now. I would have never gotten it to where it is. I would have never done any of the smart moves these guys have done. I'm an idiot when it comes to business, but I don't like when I see fighters suffering financially. I don't like it. At all."
"Whenever you see these guys complaining and talking about the difference in the amount of pay that they’re getting, that’s not good – just not good. All that stuff had to be worked out. It should have been worked out, I think, before. Even the champs get 40 grand. The best guys in the world get 40 grand? That just doesn’t seem like enough to me. It just doesn’t."
When you realize "the best guys in the world" in other sports are making upwards of $50 million and not having to take punches and kicks to the face, Rogan's sentiments echo quite loudly.
As for the head honchos over at UFC, ZUFFA CEO Lorenzo Fertitta expected the backlash, noting the company "can't make everybody happy."
I guess only the special ones like Paige VanZant and Conor McGregor will continue to rake in the major dollars, while middling UFC fighters are forced to work a second job.