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Midnight Mania! Dana White: UFC roster purge has ‘nothing to do with fighter pay’

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UFC 253: Adesanya v Costa Press Conference Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Fight pay remains a common and controversial topic in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA), as there’s plenty of debate whether or not an appropriate percentage of revenue is paid to the athletes, specifically in UFC. Though the biggest show in town, UFC is looking to cut roughly 60 fighters from the current roster, in part because there are many new athletes from “Contender Series” joining the roster.

Those contracts are cheap, whereas more experienced UFC veterans are expensive. Paying Yoel Romero to compete once costs nearly as much as a dozen “Contender Series” debuts, so at some point, it would understandably appear to be a numbers game.

However, UFC President Dana White disagrees. Instead, he argues that it’s solely about trimming the roster and keeping the correct number of fighters on board.

“We’ve been making these same moves every weekend for 20 years.” White said (transcription via “We haven’t in the past few months. It has nothing to do with fighter pay or anything else. It just hasn’t been done in a few months during the pandemic. If I was trying to save money, I would be laying off employees like every other company in America right now. That’s how you save money during something like this. I have honored every fighter contract and have not laid off one employee during this pandemic.”

To add some additional context, fighters are not considered employees, and as such can be released from their contract at any time. There is little protection for the athletes on the roster, but like White explained, that has always been the case, and roster cuts are not pandemic-specific.


Anthony Pettis with the slickness:

Not surprising news given his recent results, but Mark de la Rosa joins the cut list.

Israel Adesanya has been promoted to purple belt! We’d know more about his MMA jiu-jitsu if anyone actually managed to take him down, but that’s a good problem to have.

Congratulations to wrestling legend Dan Gable!

Jake Paul (the one who is not boxing Floyd Mayweather) and Henry Cejudo trade some insults. Paul has like 40+ lbs. on Cejudo, but yeah, I guess I’d watch it.

It would appear that John Lineker is next in line for a shot at the One Championship Featherweight strap.

Confirmed by stats: Deiveson Figueiredo hits stupid hard.

Slips, rips, and KO clips

Super accurate power punches right out of the gate:

Can Junior dos Santos turn back the clock opposite Ciryl Gane at UFC 256?

Sergey Spivac also returns this weekend, so here’s a very nice head kick on a running opponent.

Random Land

A quick bit of surgery.

Midnight Music: I listened to another 2020 album tonight, Yves Tumor’s Heaven to a Tortured Soul. It’s a different sound, experimental rock mixed with soul, but I liked it overall!

Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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