Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has been overflowing with big news lately.
In a recent announcement on Saturday afternoon, UFC President, Dana White, announced Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 coaches and eventual 170-pound opponents in the Octagon.
Also announced: “Suga” Sean O’Malley signing a new eight-fight contract with the promotion.
O’Malley is a big UFC star and a key figure as the promotion continues to try and attract the next generation of fight fans (O’Malley speaks Gen Z fluently). Indeed, he YouTubes, he streams, he Twitches, he CODs, and as a bonus, he wins fights, too.
In fact, he even “wins” the fights he loses.
So, when he sat down with UFC Executive Vice President, Hunter Campbell, he was able to hammer out a pretty good financial deal, even if he didn’t get everything he might have wanted. In a new video on his YouTube channel, “Suga” laid out some of the positives (and negatives) of his new contract.
“Even if I do fight [Aljamain Sterling] next, I don’t get pay-per-view points,” O’Malley said. “And that was something I talked about in the negotiations, I tried to get it. You know, pay-per-view points, not being the champ. Didn’t fly.
“But, I will say I did re-sign with the UFC,” he continued. “Thank you, thank you, thank you. I got a very gracious contract that I’m proud of. Me and Imran [Jawaid of Sanabul] walked in there and we negotiated. They said this, I offered that. I asked this, they said, ‘No,’ they said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘Well,’ they said ‘Huh,’ and I got a number that I’m very happy with. And I truly don’t think any manager that I had could have went in there and got me what I got.
“That also helps with the relationship I’ve built with the UFC,” he continued. “I have a ... I feel like I have earned this contract. I deserve this. I feel like I’ve earned the amount that I’m getting paid. And I think the UFC, they’re fine with paying people what they earn. And I feel like I’m in a good position with the UFC and I’m getting paid what I earn. I’m very happy with how negotiations went.”
“With saying that ... I signed for eight fights, which is kind of a lot,” Sean said. “That’s typical, six to eight fight, five, eight, fights, they always do that to kind of lock you in. But they’re also fair. In my situation, I’ve never fought out a contract. I’ve always been able to re-negotiate before that time was over. So, kinda planning on being able to do that. But also if not, fight six or seven [fights in] I might be like, ‘F— I feel like I’m worth more.’ So it is tricky. I did get a higher number, but for more fights.
“It’s tricky because that’s what happened with Jon Jones, he was on his sixth fight or whatever and wanted a new contract,” O’Malley explained. “‘We still got you for two.’ So it is tricky. But with that being said ... hopefully, and I believe so, that in two fights, knock out boom, knock out boom, I’ll be able to re-negotiate. And if not, you know, I’m still happy with what that second, third fight will be. Very happy.”
The general gist we’re getting from a lot of top fighters signing new UFC contracts is that the promotion is offering more money than ever before to its needle-moving stars. But, it’s not budging on any of the boilerplate language in the contracts and standard business practices.
Want pay-per-view (PPV) points without being champion? Forget about it. Want a two- or three-fight contract? No dice.
It’s a bit of a gilded cage, but that’s just how the promotion works — take it or leave it. Hopefully, O’Malley is still in the good graces of UFC management after three or four fights and can get that re-negotiation.
Unlike “Bones,” who sat on the sidelines for three long years.