White responds to criticism on fighter pay
July 2, 2013
MMA Junkie reports that Dana White’s solution to the complaints about UFC fighter pay is to eliminate fight bonuses. The Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night and KO of the Night would be done away with in order to compensate the lower tiered fighters.
Via MMA Junkie:
“You don’t like the structure? All right, we’ll pay the lower-level guys more money – no more f–king bonuses,” Dana White said. “You guys come in, you negotiate your contracts, and we do away with all bonuses. That’s what I’m thinking about doing.”
White has been in discussions with Lorenzo Fertitta about redistributing the salaries for its fight nights. As a result, the reported bonuses, which were made standard at $50K this year would be put back into the salary pool to compensate the preliminary fighters. This would give Zuffa another $200K to bolster salaries.
White’s comments sound more like a threat than a response to the complaints. Its also a way to divide the fighters, a tactic that can be used whenever workers think about unionizing. For example, a guy like James Krause, who made $100K in bonuses at UFC 161 would never have a chance to make that much again. Instead he’d probably take home $20K flat. A substantial difference that would absolutely be pointed out by Zuffa. The move is geared toward fighters that look for the bonus or have received it in the past. It would make them much more against people complaining in public about fighter pay.
One solution not talked about is Zuffa extending its budget to pay fighters more. There are obvious budgetary issues and the fact it is putting on more events would mean more payouts. But, White’s solution would cause an upheaval among fighters, which is probably what was intended.