For a long time the UFC has been the largest and most successful MMA promotion in the world. Some fighters would work their entire career just to have the opportunity to fight in the octagon. However, in the last couple of years other promotions like Bellator, WSOF and recently Rizin have started to sign some big names to their rosters.
Personally, I don’t see an issue with this, but some people see this as the UFC letting go of top talent and not offering fair salaries. I see this as growing competition between promotions which just benefits the fighters. You can’t complain about the UFC being a monopoly and then get mad when they let top talent go to other promotions.
Generally, the UFC is the promotion giving fighters the larger paychecks. Is that always the case? No. Enter free agency.
The grass is always greener on the other side. That’s just how the world works, I’ve worked with plenty of people who never appreciated what they had. They would get a new job for an extra two dollars an hour, while ignoring all the other benefits they were receiving. Fighters are no different, they can choose to go to any promotion they want and if money is the reason, good for them.
But I want to be objective about this because I know from my own experience that I’ve had co-workers who weren’t the best at their job. However, because they had seniority at the company they always wanted the promotion before those who were actually more qualified and deserved it more.
So when fighters are asking for more pay are they pulling the seniority card or do they really deserve a higher salary? There are fighters who have been around for 10+ years and want to be paid Conor McGregor money just because “they’ve been in this sport forever”.
What the fuck does that mean? Your record, marketability and recent performances should all be ignored because you’ve been getting knocked out since 2003? I disagree.
Then there are fighters who say that their families are starving, but they made over half a million in one fight just last year. I’ve had co-workers like this also. We make roughly the same salary, I can pay all my bills on time and have extra money to travel but it seems like they can never afford rent.
I understand every situation is different and there are many factors to your household expenses, but even when I made $7.25 working at Campy’s pizza. I was never late on rent. I just knew what I could afford and what I couldn’t.
Regardless of all of this, if fighters want to go to Bellator or ACB for more money. I say let them. As a fan you’re not being robbed of watching them fight, that just means you’re actually going to transition from being a UFC fan to an MMA fan who watches fights on random days of the week.
I see a bright future for the sport of MMA and maybe a rebirth of old careers. Elite fighters struggling in the UFC going on a rampage in the new promotion.