Fighter pay in the UFC is currently a hot topic in the world of MMA, with more and more fighters asking for a pay increase. Now UFC commentator Joe Rogan gives his thoughts on who is in the right in these situations.
Over the last few weeks, several big name UFC fighters have vocalized their concerns about not being paid enough. These athletes have been threatening to not compete, and asking for their release because they can not reach agreements with the promotion. This even prompted Dana White to get into a fairly intense debate on First Take, regarding the issue.
Naturally someone as close to the sport as Joe Rogan would have an opinion regarding this situation. Speaking in a recent episode of his podcast, he addresses the concerns in the community. He feels that this is not the best time for fighters to ask for a raise.
“Right now, in particular, there’s probably less money because there’s no gate,” Rogan said. “There’s no live gate, and that’s an extreme amount of money. But there’s also fighters that agreed to certain deals. They agreed to, like, an eight-fight deal and ‘X’ amount per fight. And then they become more popular, and then they want to renegotiate their deal. And the UFC’s like, ‘Look, we’re just trying to stay open. We’re not going to renegotiate anything. You can take it or leave it, but this is what it is.’ I think it’s a matter of that.”
Joe Rogan feels the UFC should still pay fighters more.
Rogan went on to explain how much poor timing, and current events play into the idea that fighters are unable to get paid more. That being said, he still feels like they should be making more money.
“I think they should get paid more,” Rogan said. “I think everybody should get paid more. I think it’s a crazy way to make a living. I think you should get the most amount of money you can possibly get.
“But it’s also a business, and I think that if they are struggling as much as I think they are – I don’t talk finances with them, but I know that WME (Endeavor), the people who own it are hurting, bad. They’re laying people off. Most businesses are hurting. All the entertainment business is f—ed. So what do they do?
“When it comes to me as a human who likes fighting, I know how f—ing dangerous that s–t is,” Rogan said. “You should get paid an incredibly generous amount of money to step into a cage fight for millions of people to see.”
Rogan on Jon Jones’ Dispute With The UFC
One of the fighters who have been vocal lately is Jon Jones. The light heavyweight champ was looking to move up to heavyweight for a fight with Francis Ngannou. However the UFC refuses to pay him more for it, which caused a massive dispute between he and Dana White. Rogan understands how complicated of an issue that is.
“It gets to a situation where a guy like Jon Jones says, ‘Hey, I’ve got a contract for light heavyweight fights, but what do you want to give me to fight Francis Ngannou, because I want a lot of f—ing money because that guy’s terrifying?’ And they say, ‘You get what you’re paid in your contract.’ And he goes, ‘Well, I’m not fighting, then.’ And they go ‘Okay.’ See, that’s one of those situations where I don’t know who’s right or who’s wrong, because I don’t know how much money they would make from that, if there’s no audience.”
At the end of the day, Joe Rogan knows that fighting is incredibly dangerous, so athletes should be paid accordingly. On the other hand, he understands the perspective of the UFC. It is complicated, and he is unsure what the UFC should do.