Exclusive: Stephen Thompson Remains Happy With UFC, Admits Lower-Ranked Fighters Should Be Paid More

Thompson talks UFC fighter pay and where he stands with the promotion.

Middle Easy Stephen Thompson

Stephen Thompson has discussed what the UFC can do to avoid further issues with fighters when it comes to pay.

Thompson was at the center of attention one night before UFC 291, although it wasn’t for the reason he had hoped. “Wonderboy” was expecting to share the Octagon with Michel Pereira in Salt Lake City back in late July. The fight went awry after Pereira failed to make weight. While Thompson did tip the scales at the contracted weight, he chose not to go through with the fight.

This led to the hot topic of show money, as Thompson has yet to receive any compensation for doing his part ahead of UFC 291. UFC CEO Dana White initially told media members that the promotion would work with Thompson on taking care of camp costs, but said he wouldn’t be getting his full show money.

Stephen Thompson On UFC Pay For Lower-End Fighters

While Stephen Thompson’s UFC 291 pay situation is ongoing, “Wonderboy” feels there are fighters in far worse positions than he is in. When asked by Middle Easy’s James Lynch about what can be done about fighter pay issues in the UFC, Thompson had a suggestion.

“Man, that’s a good question,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of guys out there who would agree that we should be getting paid more. Even lower ranked fighters, which I don’t agree with. I think you get to a point where you just start getting some numbers, you’re fighting for main events that I think that you should maybe get compensated more for those main cards. I’ve been on a ton of main event cards and I think those guys, co-main and main event, and of course title fights, they definitely should be getting paid more in my eyes.”

With that said, Thompson still has a good relationship with the UFC and doesn’t feel he’s ever been treated unfairly.

“To be honest with you, I’m happy where I’m at with the UFC and what I’m making with them,” Thompson said. “They’ve never done me wrong when it comes to that. So, I’m happy, but I could see where some people would be like, ‘You know, man, I’m headlining this card.’ I think it also depends on who’s tuning into it. So, how popular you are, and that’s kind of where it’s going right now.”

You can watch our full exclusive interview with Stephen Thompson below:

Published on September 29, 2023 at 2:45 pm
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