We recently did a story about fighterís who have bad blood with the UFC and Dana White.
Nate Quarry wasnít on our list, but with his latest statement, thereís a chance he should have been.
The former UFC middleweight title challenger hasnít seen the inside of a cage since a 2012 TKO loss to Jorge Rivera. Nate fought on TUF season 1 and lived out the rest of his career as a UFC employed fighter. As a result, heís seen it all. The rise from nothing, to the post UFC 100 era.
Now Quarry has taken to the Underground Forums with a statement about his experience, both good and bad, with the UFC.
When I signed with the UFC this is what I was toldĒ
We canít pay you much but you can have any sponsors you want.
Then: We need to approve your sponsors.
Then: You canít have any conflicting sponsors.
Then: You canít thank your sponsors after fights.
Then: We are not approving any sponsors that we donít like their product.
Then: Your sponsors have to pay us a fee of $50,000 for the pleasure to sponsor you.
Then: Your sponsors have to pay us a fee of $100,000 for the pleasure to sponsor you.
If a sponsor has a budget of 10k to sponsor a fighter, they are then out. If there are 5 shorts companies in the UFC you can only go to them for a sponsorship. If they have spent their budget or donít want to support an up and coming fighter they give you shorts instead of money. If youíre fighting for $6,000 to show and fighting 3 times a year, even $500 makes a big difference. When there is no competition they donít have to pay you. I lost And1 as a sponsor when the UFC enacted the tax.
At the UFC summit a fighter asked if he could wear his own shirt. Dana laughed and said, ďUhÖ we can talk about it.Ē I turned around and asked the UFC lawyer if I could wear my OWN shirt and he said, ďSure, give me $50,000 and we can talk about it.Ē
People have no clue from the outside what itís like to fight for the UFC. After spending 10-15 years chasing your dream only to see that the company itís been your dream to fight for cares nothing about the fighters and only cares about the bottom line.
When I was fighting for the UFC we got X-Mas presents like an iPod. A very bottom of the line iPod but it was still cool. Now the guys get a gift certificate to the UFC store and can use it ONE day. Any money they donít spend on that day is forfeited.
A fighter gets to use the gym at the hotel heís fighting at for free. The cornermen and everyone with him have to pay. So Iím helping Leben make weight the day of weigh ins and have to pay to go sit in the sauna with him. The UFC couldnít say, ďThe fighter gets 3 people to go into the gym with him the week of the fight.Ē
Thatís just nickel and dime stuff.
With every little bit they try to squeeze out of the fighters, the more the other organizations will look more attractive.
Iím incredibly grateful for the opportunity to fight for the UFC and everything I have besides my daughter has come from fighting. But letís not fool ourselves. Itís not a charity. Itís a business. And they are doing everything they can to make money. The fighters are just a product to use and discard. Every up and coming fighter is the best ever. Every ex-fighter who then expresses an opinion is a coward, loser, etc, etc.
I fought for the world title for $10,000. Not a penny more. No bonus. No cut of the PPV. The gate alone was 3.5 million dollars. The third highest gate in UFC history at the time. And they must have loved the fight cuz they show the final punch at the start of EVERY UFC PPV. :-)
And thatís fine. Because itís a business. But sooner or later the allure of fighting in the UFC will not be as attractive as fighting for an organization that takes care of you, appreciates you, will let you have sponsors to help make up the income gap, doesnít trash you when you think for yourself, and on and on. Just like every business you work for. Itís funny to me to hear people cheer for Dana when he says things that if he was your boss and he said them about you, you would be looking for another job. But when youíre signed to a contract, you canít go anywhere. No matter how much you want to.
When I retired I received a form letter, EMAILED to me that said, ďShould you choose to fight again you are still under contract with the UFC.Ē I didnít even get a hard copy with a real signature that I could frame.
As I said, I love what the UFC has done for me and my family. And specifically what Dana has done for me.
But I also know itís a business. And thatís the best piece of advice I can give to wanna be fighters. Fight for the love of the game. But you better treat it like a business. Because the promoter handing you a contract sure will.