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Midnight Mania! Aljamain Sterling argues for blanket UFC fighter pay raise, increased revenue share

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UFC fighter pay is an issue unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Jake Paul raises the topic at every occasion, but the loudmouth “Problem Child” is merely stating the obvious. When UFC is reporting record profits and has guaranteed money coming in from the ESPN broadcasting deal, it’s hard to believe that undercard fighters are still only making $10k to get their skulls pummeled on the world’s largest stage.

Of course, undercard athletes aren’t the only ones being underpaid. UFC offers its athletes a smaller percentage of its overall revenue than most other major sports leagues, which affects everyone, even champions. While talking with MMA Junkie, Bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling argued UFC could stand to share a bit more of the pie.

“It’s just the business aspect. They want to pay us less, we always want to get paid more. And we all rightfully think that there’s more money that could be divvied out to the fighters because of how much money they clear,” Sterling said (via BloodyElbow).

“It’s a public company, so we get to see those numbers,” he continued. “You mean to tell me if you gave us an extra 5% that’s gonna kill you guys? extra 5% of upwards of 900 million? I don’t know the exact number, upwards of over 800 million dollars? ...I think you guys will survive. I think that’s the best way I could put that. It’s not being greedy.”

Sterling also mentioned that increased pay results in fewer professional fighters with side jobs, meaning better performances. He also argues that increasing the performance bonuses would encourage more aggressive finish-chasing.

Ultimately, the march towards improved fighter pay remains an uphill battle, but there has been some progress. For example, the recent bonuses are a new source of revenue for athletes, though the fan voted nature of those prizes do complicate the matter.

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