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Luke Rockhold suggests slight increase in UFC bonus pay: ‘200g’s, motherf—er’

Relying on bonus pay is no way for professional athletes to make a living, but if that’s how it’s going to be, Luke Rockhold says those bonuses should be bigger.

UFC 239: Ultimate Media Day Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Luke Rockhold returns to action at UFC 278 on Aug. 20, 2022, after three years away from the sport; however, the former Strikeforce and UFC Middleweight champion is still spittin’ when it comes to UFC fighter pay.

Rockhold famously called UFC pay “bulls—” back in 2016 and declared his intention to concentrate on modeling, which was a much less painful way to earn a living. That split in attention led to a 1-2 run with two bad knockout losses to Yoel Romero and Jan Blachowicz. Now, Luke is back and set to face another dangerous striker in Paulo Costa, and he thinks “Borrachinha” should make more than $50,000 if he scores a “Knockout of the Night” performance bonus.

“F—ing $50,000 bonuses going on for two decades, like, what the f—?” Rockhold declared in an expletive-filled interview with MMA Fighting. “The valuation of the company’s going up f—ing billions of dollars and we’re still stuck on $50,000 bonus checks? What the f— is this? People need to wake up.

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“Remember when they were doing $100,000 bonuses when Jake Shields fought Georges St-Pierre?” he continued. “Now, we’re still stuck on $50,000 bonuses. I mean how many billions have we gone up in valuation since that fight — and we’re still tracking backwards and they’re still f—ing us on pay.

“People need to shut the f— up, ‘Oh, bonus $50,000!’” Rockhold added. “It’s becoming a thing. Let’s get $200,000 — $200G’s, motherf—er. That’s what you want to hear. The company needs to be reworked a little bit.”

“It should gradually grow. The company, everything should grow, we should grow together. That’s how a healthy business works. When you build an unhealthy business, it just takes enough time for the f—ing egg to crack and enough people to grow a f—ing sack. Too bad there’s not enough of us who have a sack.”

Rockhold has been banging the drum for higher fighter pay for years with little change. But, according to UFC President, Dana White, fighters are making exactly as much as they should be, and nothing with significantly change so long as he’s in power.

“[A change in fighter pay is] never gonna happen while I’m here,” White said in a fan Q&A with GQ Sports. “Believe me, these guys get paid what they’re supposed to get paid.”

Remember that will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 278 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.

To check out the latest and greatest UFC 278: “Usman vs. Edwards 2” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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