Dana White's Baseless Fighter Pay Comments Reveal Complete Lack of Professionalism

By Rich Bergeron
UFC President Dana White
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

UFC President Dana White‘s recent brash comments about fighter pay show he is more incensed than ever about the issue. It’s a subject the f-bombing executive just continues to refuse to recognize as a genuine concern.

White’s latest responses to media inquiries about mediocre paychecks for low-level fighters in the UFC are simply deplorable. He’s displaying a complete lack of responsibility and leadership ability by blatantly dodging most of the questions. Instead, he keeps redirecting the blame to those who choose to publicly address the problem.

“The guys who are complaining about money are the guys who don’t matter,” White said at a UFC 162 media scrum on Thursday. “We’re in this f—ing society now where everybody should win a trophy. No, everyone doesn’t win a f—ing trophy. The guys who stand out and the guys who deserve bonuses, the guys who make it exciting, the guys who rise to the top are the guys who deserve the money.”

White’s ignorance and insolence shine through in the baseless insults he directed at the various fighters who voiced their opinions on the issue in recent weeks.

Former UFC prospect John Cholish received some of the worst criticism for voluntarily retiring from the league and the sport in the wake of a fight where most of his money went to pay for getting his training team to Brazil and to pay the country’s steep tax rate.

“You know why you didn’t get paid enough? Cause you didn’t f—ing deserve it,” White said about Cholish Thursday.

White additionally called both Cholish and former UFC Fighter Jacob Volkman “washouts” in a May 21 Twitter post. He also called Cholish “the biggest moron I’ve ever seen in my life” in an earlier interview despite the fact that Cholish is a Wall Street commodities trader who graduated from Cornell. White also added that Cholish was “delusional” and “not too bright.” Since retiring, Cholish started a Twitter campaign using “#paythefighters” to generate more interest in the debate over fighter pay.

Jon Fitch, cut from the UFC for reportedly not being entertaining enough, also fired back at the league for fighter pay issues. White’s response was to label Fitch just as “f—ing delusional” as Cholish. “Everything that Jon Fitch said is complete and total bulls–t,” White added.

White even went as far as threatening to eliminate bonus payments for outstanding fight performances earlier this week. He did so without any valid explanation as to why the UFC could not afford to increase the amount paid to preliminary card fighters without taking such a drastic measure. The company’s private status means the profit margins aren’t released to the public, but it’s no secret that the UFC has multiple streams of income beyond event revenue that it could invest in providing more income for entry-level fighters.

Verbally attacking the people who are only looking to make things better for the next generation of UFC superstars does nothing to solve the problem. Denying there is a problem is even worse. If there is enough money to institute a major change in the pay structure, would it really hurt the organization to spend it and inspire more young fighters to pursue a career in the UFC? If there isn’t enough revenue to make it happen, then explain why using actual evidence and a thoughtful argument. If anyone is delusional about this whole situation, it’s White himself for thinking he can insult his way out of the corner he’s painted himself in here.

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