As the man in charge of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), president Dana White must make difficult decisions all the time. This includes cutting fighters, granting title shots, negotiating contracts, and sparking deals with sponsorship that cripple the wallets of the promotion's best, and worst, fighters.
While this seems like a whole lot to handle, White is well aware that it comes with the territory of being the commissioner of the biggest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the universe. He has caught much flack over the years for playing favoritism and not offering the same opportunities to every fighter.
In a recent interview with Colin Cowherd on "The Herd," the UFC frontman briefly explained why fighters might not be making the money they want to.
"The problem with professional fighting is the guys who are really good and stand out make millions of dollars," said White. " But, these other guys feel like, ‘Well, why didn’t I make millions of dollars?’ The answer is you weren’t good enough. You weren’t good enough and not enough people cared while you were fighting. So you’re going to hear guys who didn’t necessarily make it."
White may have a point about fighters assuming they should make a certain amount, but the promotion has backed specific fighters more in the past based on popularity, market appeal, and their ability to spark interest on the microphone. For the UFC president, those monetary decisions are never crowd pleasing.
"When you’re the boss . . . you’re never going to be the most popular guy," added White. "You’re going to make decisions. When the decision isn’t YES, people aren’t happy."
It doesn't help when UFC Featherweight champion Conor McGregor is blowing every other fighter out of the water and seemingly going rogue whenever he deems it necessary. Some fighters are simply held to a higher regard within the company.