Gray Maynard has a lot to say regarding the business side of MMA, particularly under the UFC banner.
Maynard competed in the UFC for over a decade. He even competed in two lightweight title bouts under the promotion. Maynard made just $26,000 in base pay for his first title bout against Frankie Edgar. “The Bully” claims he was given an additional $100,000 by the UFC as “hush money.”
Maynard Talks Harsh Reality Of Fight Business
With the UFC dealing with more top fighters being vocal about pay, Maynard has chimed in. The former UFC title challenger spoke to The Body Lock and compared fighters to strippers.
“People have no idea how ruthless this sport is business-wise,” Maynard told The Body Lock. “I mean people have no idea. We’re kind of like strippers – we get tipped out and we get a shitty pay.
“That was kind of how it worked,” Maynard added. “We had a bad contract, but that we would get a little bit of money afterwards and it was like what is this, a tip? You can’t guarantee us this cash? It happens all across the world its not just here. Promoters just get that power and all the guys just turn into numbers, they constantly think ‘how can we make the most off him.’”
Maynard went on to say that he felt like he could never get ahead in MMA due to low pay. He said that had the UFC not given him the “hush money,” he would’ve been paying to get a title fight. That’s because Maynard had to pay coaches and other training expenses.
Nowadays, making $26,000 for a UFC title bout is unfathomable. Even a less regarded title bout such as the 2017 clash between Nicco Montano and Roxanne Modafferi saw significantly higher base pay. Both Montano and Modafferi made $100,000 each for the women’s flyweight title bout.
Maynard ended up parting ways with the UFC after his TKO loss to Nik Lentz back in Oct. 2018. “The Bully” hasn’t competed in a pro MMA bout since. Maynard says he isn’t retired just yet.