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Defiant Dana White defends UFC fighter pay: 'In this sport, you eat what you kill'

Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Do UFC fighters get paid enough?

That depends on who you ask. I don't think I've ever met anyone who was 100-percent satisfied with how much they were getting paid, regardless of career choice, but the glaring disparity in salaries between the top fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) and the bottom fighters?

Well ... let's just say it forced some folks to pack their bags and move on.

But that's just the nature of the beast, according to UFC President Dana White, who puts the onus on his fighters when it comes to making Anderson Silva Conor McGregor money, based on what's happened in recent years. Probably why there will never be a fighters' union.

Sometimes you just have to look elsewhere.

"There's different level fights," White told CNBC (via FOX Sports). "When you fight on pay-per-view and you're a star — basically in this sport you eat what you kill. So the guys that bring in the majority of the revenue, make the majority of the revenue. If you look at where the UFC came from and where we are today, the one number that's gone [up] is fighter purses."

See the median UFC salary here.

To White's point, a fighter can very easily go from being conned with an eight-fight contract to one of the richest athletes in the entire sport, all with one big fight. It also helps to be in the right place at the right time, or have a certain "it" factor that promoters (like White) find marketable.

And let's face it, Uncle Dana knows a thing or two about eating what he kills.

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