UFC president Dana White is not backing down in the ongoing argument about unequal fighter pay.
While the issue of pay has been around since UFC’s inception, the controversy has intensified as Zuffa sold the promotion to WME-IMG for $4 billion, and a fighter union has tried to get off the ground.
According to White, fighters are paid based on what they’re able to bring in, particularly in pay-per-view revenue, and the top stars will continue to take home most of the cash until further notice.
“When you fight on pay-per-view and you’re a star – basically in this sport you eat what you kill,” White said while appearing on CNBC. “So the guys that bring in the majority of the revenue, make the majority of the revenue.”
The UFC has always dispelled the notion they need to share profits equitably and openly with fighters, using two arguments to further that idea. The first being the pay-per-view percentages they offer, and the second being that fighter payouts have increased since 2001.
“If you look at where the UFC came from and where we are today,” White said, “… The one number that’s gone like this (pointing up) is fighter purses.”
Until fighters decide to unionize, an effort MLB agent Jeff Borris is trying to organize, the UFC – a privately held company – will have no legal reason to negotiate openly or fairly with its fighters.