Monday, December 5, 2022

Paige VanZant Demands Raise From UFC: I Make More On Instagram

The topic of fighter pay is and always will be a hotly-discussed one in the UFC. MMA starlet Paige VanZant has quite the unique perspective on that.

Speaking up today on “Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show,” VanZant revealed she has one fight left on her current UFC contract. When her deal is up, she wants to re-sign with the world’s leading MMA promotion to prove just how valuable she is as a fighter. However, not all is well. VanZant revealed she makes way more money posting her pictures on Instagram than actually fighting.

She detailed her issues with the UFC and their style of contract negotiations. They apparently told her she wouldn’t be paid like a female champ. VanZant replied that she shouldn’t be compared just to women, however. She believes all fighters shoud be getting a raise, in fact (quotes via MMA Mania):

“I make way more money sitting at home, posting pictures on Instagram, than I do fighting. When I did my contract negotiation the last time, the talk was, “I can’t pay you more than a female champion.’ Okay, but why are comparing me to just women? All of us should be getting paid more in general.”

Demanding A ‘Significant’ Raise

VanZant then ramped up her stance. She asserted that she wants a solid pay raise and that her in-cage accomplishments warrant it. Based on her headlining status, she’s earned it in her eyes:

“I want a significant pay raise, to be completely honest,” VanZant said. “I’ve just been extremely accomplished outside of the UFC, as well as inside of the UFC. Five wins in the UFC, four finishes, I’ve been main event twice, and I think someone with those accolades should be paid more.”

That’s a sentiment that many UFC fighters are most likely on board with these days. There’s no denying that VanZant has become one of the UFC’s most prominent fighters in terms of media exposure outside the cage. She could certainly earn more because of what she’s done on television and in other mediums.

Until fighters are willing to put aside their self-centered ways and truly unionize, however, the UFC has no reason to pay them what they’re worth. In that sense, all of the UFC’s athletes will be stuck in that cycle until something happens. And based on all the talk without any action in recent years, that doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon.

Has Paige VanZant earned the right to demand a significant pay raise from the UFC?