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Dana White fires back at athlete pay critics, claims UFC 268 ‘Prelims’ fighter made $750,000

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, has been breaking from tradition as of late when it comes to revealing fighter pay in his attempt to defend the promotion from critics who say it doesn’t pay close to what some select boxers make.

Just a few months ago, White went on an epic rant against his bitter rival Oscar de la Hoya after “The Golden Boy” accused the outspoken promoter of not paying his Featherweight champion, Alex Volkanovski, his worth as one of his champions.

You can see White school De La Hoya here.

During a recent interview on “Pardon My Take” prior to UFC 268, White was once again broached on the topic of fighter pay. And while he wouldn’t give exact details such as names, he did drop a juicy nugget. According to his statement, a fighter on the UFC 268 “Prelims” undercard was set to make $750,000, while a former boxing champion, Badou Jack, is only set to bank $75,000 for his next fight.

“You know this guy, Bojack, the boxer a former world champion? He is fighting this weekend I guess in the Middle East and he is making $75,000,” before he says, “How do I do this?” away from the microphone. Upon gathering his thoughts, White decided to reveal how much one of his “Prelims” undercard fighters was getting paid to support the pay-per-view (PPV) main card.

“A guy who isn’t even, he is on the prelims, never been a world champion, and I won’t mention his name, is making $750,000. A prelim fighter, never been a world champion is making $750,000,” he concluded.

Afterward, long-time veteran mixed martial arts (MMA) reporter, Ariel Helwani, responded to the post by saying White misspoke by saying a “Prelims” fighter when he is “100 percent” certain he was referring to none other than Michael Chandler.

“He’s talking about Chandler,” wrote Helwani before he was met with a rebuttal saying it couldn’t be “Iron” because he was charged with kicking off the PPV main card opposite Justin Gaethje.

“Yeah, I know. That’s the rub. He probably meant undercard and knew they wouldn’t know the difference, And yes I know Chandler wasn’t on the undercard either. Don’t make me make sense of this. But that’s 100% who he’s talking about,” he concluded.

Of course, Chandler faced Gaethje on the PPV main card in what turned out to be one of the best fights in recent memory (see it again here). Though he ultimately came up short in the “Fight of the Night,” Chandler’s stock — as well has his bank account, apparently — went way up following his performance.

One can chalk it up to an honest mistake from White for saying “Prelims fighter” because in all honesty there wasn’t a fighter on UFC 268’s undercard who has been known to command such a hefty payday (at least to our knowledge).

White also stated that all one has to do is ask the fighter’s directly to find out what he or she made. That said, he also says you will have a tough time getting any of his top-paid fighters from revealing such private info because the less the public know what they make, the less people they have to worry about coming out of the woodwork asking for a piece of the pie.


To check out the latest and greatest UFC 268: “Usman vs. Covington 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.