It appears UFC president Dana White and Paulo Costa are not on good terms.
Costa made headlines recently when he pulled out of his scheduled middleweight headliner against Jared Cannonier on August 21.
What was more bizarre was the fact that Costa claimed he never signed a contract to fight Cannonier while he also called to be compensated better, especially with YouTubers like the Paul brothers making bank.
As far as White is concerned, Costa did sign the contract. And as far as getting paid more? White was unsurprisingly uncooperative in that regard.
“I don’t think that’s true. I think he did sign because we extended him,” White told TSN. “We extended his contract for turning down the fight. But listen — don’t fight. I have to offer you three fights a year, this is my situation with all these guys — I offer you three fights a year. He doesn’t have to fight. No problem, don’t fight.
“Guess what? You should have started a YouTube channel when you were f*cking 13 years old and built your name up and everything else and you could have had the fight on Saturday night. But you didn’t. You’re not a f*cking YouTuber, you’re a fighter, and this is what you do for a living. Or you don’t! It’s up to you. And you’re in no position to be talking about crazy money after your last performance. Okay? So you either want to fight or you don’t want to fight. No problem. You don’t want to fight, you can hang out and do whatever you want. When you’re ready, you let me know.”
White: Fight Out Of Your Contract
If Costa is unhappy with his pay — having notably tweeted that he wanted at least $350,000 — he is more than welcome to get out of his contract and fight YouTubers according to White.
However, he would still have to complete the remaining fights on his deal in order to that.
“It’s not even a position of leverage,” White added. “Listen, you signed a contract, you’re under contract, if that’s the way you feel, let me tell you what, you know what I say all the time — we have fights every weekend and if you want to be busy, you can fight every weekend if you want to. Get out of your contract and go do whatever you want to do. You can go fight YouTubers, you can do whatever you want.
“… Sure, he can fight his way out of his contract. He has a contract. I’m gonna let people out of their contracts just because they want—they’re mad that YouTube kid is fighting and making money? You should be happy for the kid. Good for him. Kid put himself in a position to where he was able to fight Floyd Mayweather and make a bunch of money. You’re mad? You just came off a ridiculous, horrible performance. Come back and put yourself in a position to do something big.”
It looks like fighters having a pay dispute with the UFC will continue to be recurring theme.