I personally don’t know what a stripper gets paid (or the the tips they pull in), but Gray Maynard seems to think it’s on par with what some fighters on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) roster make. While Derrick Lewis thinks getting paid like a stripper is a good thing, Maynard has a much different take.
“People have no idea how ruthless this sport is business-wise. I mean, people have no idea. We’re kind of like strippers – we get tipped out and we get a shitty pay,” Maynard told The Body Lock. “That was kind of how it worked. We had a bad contract, but that we would get a little bit of money afterward and it was like what is this, a tip? You can’t guarantee us this cash? It happens all across the world its not just here.
“Promoters just get that power and all the guys just turn into numbers, they constantly think ‘how can we make the most off him,’” he continued. “It’s the wild, wild west man, the wild west. We don’t know the numbers and everybody’s just trying to get what they can get on a small portion and not looking at the big picture.”
Maynard used his own situation as an example, saying the promotion locked him into a lengthy contract, and since there was nowhere else to go, “The Bully” says there was really no other option but to sign.
“Dana [White], he locked me into an eight-fight contract back in 2014. There was no place to go at that time, no place to kind of bargain with. Bellator didn’t have [Scott] Coker as the president, he wasn’t in charge. [Former Bellator President] Bjorn Rebney was kind of iffy, I heard bad reviews, but there really wasn’t anywhere to go and that was pretty much my whole career,”
“The UFC bought out everybody, you know, so there was no real negotiating to be done with them,” Maynard concluded.”
In the end, Maynard only competed in six of the eight fights he was contracted for before he and the promotion mutually parted ways following his loss to Nik Lentz at UFC 229 in 2018.
“The Bully’s” revelation comes at a time where multiple high-profile stars such as Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal are speaking out against UFC and its refusal to budge on set pay. Jones claimed to have vacated his title after he didn’t get a raise to face Francis Ngannou, which was followed by a back-and-forth spat with Dana White.
Masvidal, meanwhile, lost out on a title fight against Kamaru Usman when the two sides couldn’t agree on financial terms. He also asked for his release.
As far as “The Bully” goes, he hasn’t retired from the fight game just yet, but says when he does return to action he wants to make sure he does with a company that is doing it the right way. All told, Maynard racked up a 11-7-1 record during his tenure with UFC.