It’s Black History month and if it’s one thing I remember from Social Studies, it was the story of Rosa Parks. She ‘stood-up’ for equal rights by sitting-down in the front seats of a bus, and refusing to give up her seat for a white passenger. She took one for the team, and because of people like her, America has essentially embraced racial equality.
If you’re wondering where Heath Herring fits into this picture, well, in a recent interview with Fight Night Radio on ESPN 1080 in Orlando, Heath Herring is clearly unhappy about the working conditions in MMA, particularly in the UFC and he’s hoping to see a change.
“They’ve got their guys they want to push, guys they want to market,” Herring said of the UFC. “Randy Couture, Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir are the guys they want to push and market. The problem is if you’re one of the guys who’s not one of their favorites, they want to keep you out of the competition.”
Herring said he had some broadcasting opportunities with other MMA promotions, and that the UFC has tried to prevent him from taking part in that.
“I’m trying to make money for myself, feed my family, and these guys are trying to do everything they can to make it impossible for me,” Herring said.
According to Herring, training costs and taxes left him with a total paycheck of just $40,000 for his fight with Lesnar.
“With the way the UFC’s pay scale and as much as it costs me to get ready for a fight,” Herring said, “At the end of the day I made like 40 grand.”
That’s why Herring says he’s now trying to make his living in the film business instead of in the cage.
“If I was getting a little more money and it was worth my while I’d get back into fighting,” Herring said. “But right now I’m making more in movies. I’ve got to look out for number one as far as that goes.”
Ultimately, Herring said, he’d like to see the fighters get a bigger slice of the pie.
“These guys are literally making money off our blood, sweat and tears. We don’t get any health insurance. If you get hurt training for a fight, you’re screwed. It’s really kind of crazy,” Herring said. “Dana White’s got six Ferraris. Hell, I just want one.”
Clearly, Heath Herring is a freedom fighter. Instead of a seat in the front of the bus, he’d like to experience the comfort of a Ferrari. The similarity to Rosa Parks is obvious. This revelation comes the week after Dana White gets his car back from the body shop after a November accident. He’s standing up for something a lot of fighters should be striving for, but are too afraid to speak up out of fear and repercussion. Hollywood is a pretty dreadful place (especially with all those famous people and bikini models). If more fighters don’t speak up soon, they’re all going to have to get jobs acting, and that’s no fun. [Source]