Dana White went on the offensive over fighter pay during a recent interview, shooting down the rumor and widely assumed view that boxers are making more than most UFC fighters.
There have been stories about fighters having to work a second job to get by, while many top fighters have expressed interest in getting into boxing, looking at guys like Jake Paul, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, who are cashing in huge for their big bouts.
“Listen, when you talk about the elite – I’m putting on 44 fights in a year, right? And people are buying these pay-per-views, you know, 13 or 14 a year, watching all the other ones building, whatever. Then you look at what most of these guys make. Most UFC fighters make more than boxers. OK?” White told Yahoo Sports.
“Most UFC fighters make more than boxers, especially at a lower level. Then, the guys, you know, the Khabibs, the Conors, the Rondas, you know, even the Jon Joneses, these guys make more than most of these (boxers) that are fighting for big title fights. Don’t believe the bulls–t. Don’t believe all the stuff you hear. These guys make a lot of money.”
Top Stars Have Earned Big Bucks in UFC
Conor McGregor earned the top spot in the Forbes top-10 athlete rich list after earning an estimated $180 million from May 1, 2020 to May 1, 2021. A significant chunk of that came from his out-of-the-octagon endeavors.
Ronda Rousey earned more than $3 million for her final fight in the UFC in 2016, while it was reported Khabib Nurmagomedov made more than $6 million for one of his scraps.So yet, it pays to be a big na.e But nove everyone is raking in that kind of dough for a fight.
Dana White Blames Media for Misconceptions
White blamed the video for the misconception that his fighters are not going paid enough and did not hold back with his response.
“You have these scumbags out there that know nothing about the business telling all the fighters, ‘Oh you are all being underpaid. You are not being paid enough money. You are not this.’ It goes on every f–king day. They literally know nothing about the business or the pay, or how any of this s–t works. It’s all part of the game.”
The UFC has become less transparent on disclosing fighter purses for fights, although it occasionally comes out anyway. Fighter pay has recently been dubbed a “trade secret” in some states, making it hard to pin down exactly what the figures are.
That being said, White assured the UFC is doing just fine and is crushing its previous highs in terms of sales and popularity.
“We’re breaking tons of records this year,” White said. “Ever since we went back to fans coming, we’ve sold out every event. We’re gonna break the pay-per-view record this year – most PPV’s (sold) ever in a year and a lot more. We charged right through COVID, we figured out how to do it, we did it, and I believe that the fanbase grew in 2020. Obviously our social media grew, and lots of other numbers showed that we did.”