When it comes to fighter pay, UFC commentator Joe Rogan understand’s everyone’s viewpoints.
Fighter pay has continually been a hot topic for the last few years and it was brought back into attention this past weekend thanks to Cheyanne Buys.
Buys earned a TKO win over Gloria De Paul in their women’s strawweight contest at UFC Vegas 33 this past weekend with her quick finish resulting in a Performance of the Night bonus.
But what went viral more than her finish was her reaction to the bonus and post-fight revelations where Buys stated that her bank account was in the negative and that she was broke because of mixed martial arts.
Cheyanne Buys reaction to getting a bonus last night 👏 #UFCVegas33 pic.twitter.com/fKkb668j2I
— Spinnin Backfist (@SpinninBackfist) August 1, 2021
“I’ve been so broke my whole life because of this sport but it’s so worth it to me because I love this sport, but to get a $50,000 paycheck, my husband’s gonna tell me to put it away, I’m definitely gonna want to buy some nice stuff, but I like to buy a little bit of things for the house and for my animals. I really like to spoil my family, but this week I’m definitely taking my team to go get a nice dinner. It’s life-changing for sure, but I’ve got to put the money away and just go out there and fight again.”
Rogan Responds To Fighter Pay Issue
All those events led to more attention on the UFC and fighter pay, with many calling for the promotion to split the revenue with fighters much more evenly like other sports leagues.
And while Rogan understands why people want higher pay for undercard fighters and in general, he also sees the UFC’s side.
“She was crying and all these people got online and started complaining about the UFC,” Rogan said in a recent podcast. “I see everybody’s point. I see their point and I also see the UFC’s point. A lot of people don’t know who she is yet. They know who she is more now. But the whole thing with the sport is how many people are going to watch you fight. How exciting are you? How entertaining are you? How engaging are you? Your personality and do you put asses in seats.
“It’s clear now who puts asses in the seats and those are the people that get the most money. It’s a complicated thing for people because they think the best fighter should make the most money. And you go, yeah, but the best fighter doesn’t put the most asses in the seats and that’s what this game is all about. It’s a weird sport. It’s prizefighting but it’s also entertainment.”
While the UFC should definitely pay the big names more, that doesn’t mean the the lower-card fighters can’t get an increase in fight purses. Especially when the UFC is only reportedly sharing 16-19% of all revenue with the fighters while in contrast, the NBA shares 50%.