As the debate regarding fighter pay in the UFC continues to spark interest in the MMA community, former champion Sean Sherk weighs in.
This week, former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk added his voice to the conversation. Sherk voiced his frustration in a post on his Facebook page. Sherk acknowledged the discrepancy that’s come to light as more MMA fighters step into the boxing ring.
I think the UFC should be extremely embarrassed by the fact that their former champions and top ranked fighters have to…
“I think the UFC should be extremely embarrassed by the fact that their former champions and top ranked fighters have to go fight YouTube stars with barely any fighting experience and make 10 times more money than they do in the UFC. I’ve been retired for 10 years and nothing has changed in that organization. UFC fighters are still the worst paid athletes on the biggest stage. Believe me I have my stories too,” Sherk wrote.
Sherk, the UFC lightweight champion from 2006 to 2008, fought in the UFC for five years before retiring in 2010. During his time with the promotion, Sherk became a fan favorite with his aggressive fighting style and exciting fight performances. He earned three performance bonuses and had a successful title defense before losing his belt to UFC legend BJ Penn. So when Sherk speaks on the experience of a UFC fighter, he has the ability to speak on the matter.
Sherk’s comments come after UFC president Dana White’s continuous dismissal of the issue, suggesting that fighters have inflated the disparity. White has gone as far in interviews to imply that fighters are not accurately disclosing their UFC earnings or the crossover fights they are producing.
Sean Sherk believes that something has to change and it starts with the fighters.
Of course, a post on the matter from a former UFC champion sparked a ton of responses from fans. Responding to one of those comments, Sherk elaborated on what he believes needs to happen for the situation to improve. He doesn’t believe it’s for fighters to keep complaining through social media. Instead, Sherk believes that fighters need to unionize if they hope they earn better pay.
“The fighters aren’t doing anything wrong. The fighters want to win world titles on the biggest stage, I’ve been there so I know. What’s wrong is that the fighters need to unionize, without the UFC there will still be fighters but without fighters there is no UFC. For some reason the fighters refuse to do that, it Has to be an all or nothing kind of a thing. The big name fighters need to jump on board but they’re the ones making big money so they have more to lose than gain.”