Six months after criticizing the UFC over fighter pay, Paddy Pimblett has quickly switched sides, defending Dana White and the promotion.
Paddy Pimblett will make his highly-anticipated return to the Octagon this Saturday night in the co-main event of UFC 282. Emanating from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, ‘The Baddy’ will face his toughest test yet against Jared ‘Flash’ Gordon. Ahead of his return, Pimblett was joined by the UFC President on his Chattin’ Pony podcast to discuss a multitude of things.
During the conversation, it was revealed that Paddy Pimblett and Dana White have a common enemy. MMA journalist and host of ‘The MMA Hour’ Ariel Helwani. The pair ripped into Helwani with Pimblett saying:
“He tries to talk about the UFC saying, ‘They should pay the fighters more’ this and that,” Pimblett said while speaking to White. “No. We get paid what we’re worth, know what I mean. I get paid a nice wage. I can’t complain. I go and buy watches, know what I mean. That’s how I get down.”
“It annoys me when people talk about fighter pay. We get paid what we’re worth. It also annoys me when all the. fighters say about me, ‘Oh, he’s getting pushed more than anyone else.’ I’m not. I just create better content than all of you. Just because you couldn’t sell a bible to an orthodox Christian, know what I mean.”
Among other topics, the issue of fighter salaries and contractual conditions has received the most attention. In addition to Jake Paul, a YouTuber-turned-boxer who has repeatedly criticized UFC president Dana White, heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou has also publicly complained about promotional practices.
Fighters are ripped off with Sponsorship. It’s a huge source of revenue for us but the company keeps exploiting that for their own benefit.
— Francis Ngannou (@francis_ngannou) August 17, 2022
Paddy Pimblett Changes His Tune on Fighter Pay After Receiving Million Pound Sponsorship
Paddy Pimblett’s comments about fighter pay are especially surprising considering just six months ago, ‘The Baddy’ appeared on ‘Food Truck Diaries‘ with Brendan Schaub and claimed that he was making more money outside of the Octagon than he was in it.
“I make more money outside the Octagon. And it makes me laugh when people are commenting on my stuff and things saying, ‘He’s not active enough. He doesn’t fight enough,” Pimblett told Schaub in a May 2022 interview. “He only; he should be fighting four times a year.’ Why? Why should I fight four times a year? Give me a reason when I’m earning more outside the cage than I am in it.”
Pimblett even went as far as to correct a report that he earned over $100,000 for his fight at UFC London in March 2022. Suddenly, ‘The Baddy’ has changed his tune, essentially lobbying against his co-workers who aren’t fortunate enough to earn million-pound sponsorships. Continuing his conversation with Dana White, Pimblett disclosed details of the deal he signed with Barstool Sports that made him a millionaire.
“Even sponsorships, I had one fight in the UFC,” Pimblett said. “One and I got a million pounds from a sponsorship with Barstool Sports. That doesn’t happen with any other MMA organization. That’s what I like to tell people. Do you think I got and fight on PFL or Bellator or any of them and I get a million pounds sponsorship? Use your head. People have got a brain out there, but some of them don’t use it.”
While things have clearly changed for Paddy Pimblett financially in recent months, ‘The Baddy’ likely won’t make many friends in the locker room with his comments. Specifically, the fighters who are still stuck on ’12 x 12′ contracts and struggle to stay afloat despite being employed by a multi-billion dollar company.