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Dana White rebukes PFL’s ‘absolutely positively not true’ claims of better fighter pay — ‘Delusion or uniformed’

Dana White was quick to shut down Professional Fighters League (PFL) Founder Donn Davis’ recent claims of paying fighters better than Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

Davis spoke yesterday (Tues., Sept. 5, 2023) about comparisons between the two promotions, highlighting that they’re both great companies but PFL has an edge when it comes to better fighter pay and the ability for fighters to control their future in the cage. One of PFL’s brightest selling points, if not its brightest, is its seasonal tournament format, which rewards each divisional winner with a $1 million prize and a world title. Win four fights, and you can financially change your life.

White was amused by his burgeoning rival promoter’s comments, pointing out what Davis got wrong when speaking to the media last night at the Contender Series post-fight press conference.

“There’s one of two things in that,” White said. “There’s either a lot of delusion or (laughs) he’s uninformed. Almost everything in that statement is incorrect except for what happens in the cage determines your future. I think that’s the only right thing that he said. Good for him. Get out there. F******, let’s fire it up. Whatever. It’s all good.”

White is frequently criticized for the state of fighter pay but insists it’s “none of your business.”

“Listen, I’ve said this before about the PFL,” White continued. “I have no beef with those guys. Those guys have always been stand-up guys and have always been classy when it comes to the business. These guys are in this to compete with us and I respect that.”

2023 has been a big business year for the PFL by making large free agent moves in the acquisitions of the former UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou and boxing sensation Jake Paul. The latter of which was also signed as an MMA fighter, and both are expected to compete in the cage in 2024.

Most recently, PFL signed an investment agreement with the Saudi Arabia-backed investment company SRJ Sports Investments, which will reportedly shell out $100 million in support of the company. Despite the boost, White still isn’t concerned with the PFL ever overtaking the UFC as the No. 1 MMA entity on earth.

“There’s been plenty of people that have opened the checkbook to be a competitor,” White said. “It’s not about money. There’s so many different — as I sit back, being in this for 23 years, and I watch everything that is done wrong. One of the big things he said in there, which is absolutely false, is that they pay more than the UFC, which is absolutely positively not true. But I do see them waste unbelievable amounts of money. You can only waste unbelievable amounts of money for so long no matter how much money somebody has.

“If you go in the dictionary and look up the word ‘business,’ there’s business and then there’s charity. I’m involved in both. I run a business and I do lots of things for charity. Most of these other guys are all running charities. Not businesses. Like I said, you can only do that for so long before it runs out, it ends. So, we will see. It’s about a lot more than money.”

That may depend on which side of the pillow you’re on.

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