In the past, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been rather charitable with fighters when it comes to handing out discretionary post-fight performance bonuses, paying a fighter even if his or her opponent didn’t make it fight night and other various occasions out of the promotion’s and the combatants control.
UFC 232, however, will not be one of those occasions.
After the pay-per-view (PPV) event — which will feature a Light Heavyweight title fight between Jon Jones and Alexander Gustafsson — was relocated from Las Vegas, Nevada to Ingelwood, California on short notice due to this, not only did it mean more travel for all of the fighters, but a lighter paycheck. That’s because “Sin City” doesn’t tax, while the state of California has an extremely high tax requirement.
So when asked during recent pre-fight press conference (video replay here) about the possibility of compensating fighters to make up for the increased tax, UFC president Dana White didn’t give the answer many were hoping for.
“Who’s going to pay my income tax in California,” responded White, which was met by plenty of boos from the crowd (from the fans, not the media, obviously). When asked about an increase cost in medicals, White gave another unpopular answer.
“It is what it is. It’s either that and not fight and nobody gets paid. Nobody does anything. It is what it is. We had to move it and it’s costing everyone more money. It is what it is,” he added, while revealing the move will cost UFC $6 million in losses.
At the end of the day, it seems whatever the promotion decided to do, there would be happy and unhappy parties all the way around. Had the event been canceled altogether, you can bet the lynch mob would’ve come out in full force. Had just the Jones vs Gustaffson title fight been axed, you know there would be plenty of people griping about the decision, too.
While not the most-ideal situation for fighters, fans who bought tickets to Las Vegas and various other people involved, you would’ve figured moving the event — an unprecedented move — just to keep everything intact across state would’ve satisfied the majority of the people.
“Listen, this was the right thing to do. At the end of the day, USADA is not going to put its reputation and business on the line for one fight, for one guy. We would never put everything on the line for one fight and for one guy. We could have canceled this fight, moved it to March until he (Jones) had time to go through the Nevada commission stuff, done it in March in Vegas,” added White.
“California was already very intimately involved in his (Jon’s) situation. They knew everything, it was easy to get done and venue was available. We moved it, we’re here and this is how we work. This is what we do. So, that’s it,” he concluded.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 232 fight card on Saturday, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on FOX Sports 1 at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET.
For the complete UFC 232 fight card and line up click here.