UFC President, Dana White certainly has his share of detractors; but this should be expected of someone in a high-profile leadership position, especially one as visible as he is to the public.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson has been one of the most vocal critics of the UFC brand recently. He said that his pay was receding during a time when the UFC’s revenue was increasing. The disbursement of funds has become an issue since the UFC has thrust itself amongst the big boys. The UFC has been taking shots from different directions.
Today, former UFC fighter, Don Frye said that Dana White has dismantled the sport by creating immense income inequality between, not only the promoters and fighters, but also between the top-level and basement fighters.
In an interview with Sherdog’s Savage Dog Show he said,
“The fans are fantastic. Fantastic fans. But the thing is, Dana White’s just ruined the sport, he said.”
“I got to thinking about it today and you know, he ruined it for me… It’s a crime. You see some of these guys only getting two or three or six thousand dollars and you’ve got Dana bragging about having 30 Ferraris,” he continued.
“Come on. You have a sponsor and he charges a sponsor what, a hundred and fifty grand to have your stuff on the fighter? That’s money he’s stealing from the fighter. Then he goes and he pays them two or three thousand dollars. That’s crazy.”
Frye is not alone in this opinion. Legendary Boxing Promoter, Bob Arum believes that the UFC has crafted a monopoly by underpaying its fighters and because of the power that White wields within the sport.
Arum and White had a verbal sparring last year surrounding these issues.
“But Dana has to realize, because of the monopoly the UFC has, they pay their fighters maybe 20-percent of the proceeds that come in on a UFC fight and we pay fighters over 80-percent,” Arum said.
So that’s the difference, so talk about giving back to the sport, when you pay your talent 20-percent and boxing promoter’s like myself and others pay over 80-percent, who’s giving back to whom? It’s very easy (to make network deals) when his athletes get paid nothing,” he said.
White recently put this power on display by cutting popular Strike force fighter, Mohammed ‘King Mo’ Lawal. Lawal went on a twitter rant, calling the line of questioning that he received in a Nevada State Commission hearing belittling and demeaning.
Many, like Arum and Frye, agree that fighter pay is an issue and that income disparity amongst the fighters leads to a huge gap between the top and bottom.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines highlighted the issue and brought up the question. Typical UFC entry-level fighters garner around eight-thousand per match.
It’s tough to paint a picture of sobriety and fiscal sanity when you juxtapose eight thousand with jokes about 30 Ferraris.