“You don’t like the structure? All right, we’ll pay the lower-level guys more money – no more (explicit) bonuses,” UFC President Dana White said in an interview with mmajunkie.com.
It’s no secret that the organization has come under fire in recent weeks with criticism from current fighters displeased with pay as well as former fighters. Most notably was the recently released and one time welterweight contender Jon Fitch going as far as to publicly call his time with the organization as “hostile”. Propelled by the backlash Dana White reluctantly conjured up a plan to ultimately eliminate performance bonuses given to fighters for “Knock Out of the Night”, “Submission of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” in an effort to further compensate its disgruntled lower tier fighters. Based on the live gate of a UFC event, bonuses have been known to skyrocket as high as $129,000 per from the standard $50,000.
“The bonuses are something we’ve been doing out of the kindness of our (explicit) heart, It was something we liked to do. Apparently, people don’t like it. They want the lower-level guys to get paid more money.” White added.
Taking exception to the attacks to the UFC, Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, having had a successful career inside the octagon and the former two-time Light-Heavyweight Champion, sent a clear message to those individuals looking to obtain a raise in pay:
“People got to understand, the fighters at the top are the fighters that are supposed to get paid because they’re the guys that are bringing people in,” Liddell told Sirius 92 XM’s Fight Club Radio when asked his opinion on the state of the UFC’s pay structure adding “You want to get that? Beat everybody. Be good enough. If you’re not good enough to get there — sorry. It’s not a welfare state.”
Another fighter that recently came to the aid of the fighting organization in light of the decision to keep its “Fight Night” bonuses in place, a recipient of a record 12 fight night bonuses (Tied with Anderson Silva), Joe Lauzon recently sat down with The Metro South Morning Show and touched on the issue as well:
“We’re paid fighters, so getting in to the UFC doesn’t mean you’re gonna have this cushy job. You get paid based on how your performance goes. I’ve been very fortunate where I have had some great fights and I’ve been rewarded with some bonuses. I couldn’t be happier with the pay structure. It all comes down to people wanting to see you fight.”
Of course the first thing to pop into one’s head would be “It’s easy for them to say money troubles are the furthest thing from their minds,” especially for a decorated fighter such as Liddell, who holds a position with the UFC as executive vice president of business development, and Lauzon, who has cemented himself as a staple of any main card both seem to have climbed the ranks from the bottom up with the full understanding..UFC cuts the check, but it’s your performance that gets you PAID!