Dan Hardy, former fighter and UFC analyst
The conversation about the salaries that the UFC pays to its fighters, so criticized and so defended, is not at all new, depending on who you ask. Not long ago Dana White said:
“I don’t care if these guys want to let you know what they earn. They asked (Kevin) Holland the other day, and what did he say? Said people were asking for money after I said so.
“Most of these guys want what’s called a LOA (letter of agreement), where you can’t see their money. Most fighters want a LOA. They don’t want people to know how much they earn and you can imagine why they don’t. People start leaving the carpentry and looking for money when they think you have it.
Dan Hardy talks about UFC payouts
Now who speaks is Dan Hardy, a former fighter and analyst for the company, in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. She thinks that it is not good for her that those who work in her are begging for more money.
It doesn’t make them look good. I also don’t think it’s a good thing for someone like Brian Kelleher to say he’s looking for a YouTuber to fight so he doesn’t have to get a job at WalMart after he’s done with his career. Then there is the other fighter [Sarah Alpar] who opened a GoFundMe account. It just doesn’t look good, especially when you have fighters on one side starting GoFundMe accounts and on the other side the UFC is signing $ 175 million contracts where fighters won’t see a penny.. It’s disappointing”.
Bonds are not the solution
“The environment that has been created by the UFC is that everyone fights for waste. It’s all about bonuses. Why can’t it be about pay? Make sure these fighters are covered before they go in there so they are not fighting with a deficit and waiting for a bonus to rescue them.. The reality is that we know that now money is being made.
The financial success of the UFC
“We know money is being made in the sport of MMA. It’s just not reaching the fighters. That has to change. It has to change. It has been the same in other sports in earlier times and there have been changes, so 50 percent or more of the profits are going to the fighters. This is how it should be. We all know that. I can say that as much as I want now.
Other options, other companies
“I don’t think there is better publicity for other organizations than when Corey Anderson walks up to Bellator and says: ‘I’m getting paid a lot more than what they pay me with the UFC’. Paige VanZant goes to boxing without gloves [BKFC] and make huge amounts more than what he was making with the UFC. It is to raise awareness about the fact that you are making money.
“I think the more fighters, obviously, MMA is also growing in general, and we need more space for these fighters to compete, but I think the fighters are realizing that the options are much greater. Before putting pencil on paper in an organization, they have options to consider. Cage Warriors just put on a show in America. In California obviously PFL is very strong right now, Invicta just changed hands and I’m interested to see where they go. It’s an exciting time to be a part of MMA and the options are starting to open up for fighters.«.
The hope that the UFC will change in the future
“Brian Kelleher is a good example, right? We want Brian Kelleher when he retires to be happy and proud to have been a part of the UFC, to love the UFC because he felt it was part of something great and to have enough money in his pocket to go back to his hometown and open a gym and train the next group of young fighters. But if these guys, like Ryan Benoit, I know he had a job with UPS for a while when he was considering retirement. We don’t want to lose Ryan Benoit to UPS. We want you to have your MMA gym.
“We don’t want Kelleher to be serving people at WalMart. We want him to have his MMA gym or to be a judge or referee or something like that. We need these guys in the sport. It is neglecting the bases paying badly to the fighters. You are cutting your options and then neglecting the next generation of fighters. That will generally affect the standard of MMA for years to come. If the UFC is smart, they will start spending a little more cash so fighters can reinvest more in the industry.. Ultimately, that’s where your money will go. ‘
Dan Hardy | Imagine: Dolly Clew Twitter: https://twitter.com/mmaunola