After Henry Cejudo knocked out Dominick Cruz at UFC 249 more than one week ago in Jacksonville, Fla. (recap here), “Triple C” shocked the world by announcing his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA). It was surprising move to say the least, as Cejudo was on top of the game, owning two division titles simultaneously before being stripped of his Flyweight strap.
Many, however, attributed Cejudo’s early retirement to the promotion’s refusal to give him an increase in pay, something “The Messenger” has been lobbying for some time now. If that truly is the case, then Mark Hunt sees a problem with that, as he says proven champions such as Cejudo shouldn't even be in a position to have to ask for more money ... it should already be there.
“That’s exactly what I’m talking about and I know this stuff because I was in it,” Hunt said in an interview with Lowkick MMA (transcription via MMA News). “I never got the title, but if I did I would’ve been exactly like Henry Cejudo and the rest of them – speaking my mind and telling I want more. When you’re a top-end prize-fighter or world champion you don’t need to ask more.”
To hear Hunt tell it, other combat sports take care of their top fighters way before they have to resort to asking.
“If that was a boxing champion do you think they would be asking for more?” he said. “No! Like I said, they’re not sharing the entire revenue, they (fighters) are only getting a small percentage and that’s totally wrong.
“These fighters should be getting paid accordingly and they’re not and you can see that by guys like a world champion, Triple C, Henry Cejudo saying ‘I need more money,’” Hunt added. “Why is that Henry? Is there something wrong? ‘Yeah, because I’m not getting my worth. I’m not getting what I’m supposed to be getting.’”
For his efforts at UFC 249, Cejudo banked $350,000.
Hunt has been on a crusade against UFC for some time now, even filing multiple lawsuits against his former employer. As for “Triple C,” he explained that he retired because the process of competing was getting stagnant. According to his manager, however, Cejudo won’t retire and could return sometime this summer.
Whether or not it comes with a pay raise, remains to be seen.