Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight phenom Sage Northcutt, still just 19 years of age, is already making $40,000 to show and $40,000 to win for each of his mixed martial arts (MMA) fights. Not bad for a "pretty boy" who is just two fights into his Octagon career.
Some longtime veterans, however, are not impressed.
But you know what they say about hating the game instead of the player, and the "Super" athlete insists there is a perfectly good explanation for why his starting salary is so high, while other fighters (like this one) fail to make any headway at the bargaining table.
Northcutt (7-0) talks to MMA Junkie:
"I want everyone in the UFC to make as much money as they can. I want the best and the most money everyone can make in the UFC. I think and I believe that I bring something different to the table -- something that makes people want to tune in and watch. (Fighters need to bring) something that's of value to the UFC. I think that's really important with the UFC, and people can see that with me."
Fighter pay has long been an issue in combat sports, drawing the ire of current and former combatants, as well as critics from competing industries. In fact, some former employees believe the salary distribution is so grossly mishandled that it violates federal laws.
As for Northcutt? He's got more pressing concerns at the moment...