Gray Maynard has been vocal about fighter pay in the UFC and he has explained why now is the right time to do so.
Maynard is a former longtime UFC fighter. He made his debut for the promotion in June 2007 and had his last fight with the organization in Oct. 2018. “The Bully” only made $26,000 in base pay for his first UFC title bout and claimed he received $100,000 as “hush money.” Maynard said had he only been given base pay, he would’ve been paying to get a title shot when you factor in the cost of his camp.
Gray Maynard Talks Decision To Speak Out On UFC Fighter Pay Now
Maynard spoke to MMAJunkie and revealed why he decided that now is the right time to air out his past issues with the UFC over pay.
“When I heard Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal speak up, I was really glad to hear that,” Maynard told MMA Junkie. “This really isn’t about me. I’m near the end of my career. I don’t resent others who are making money. I just want things to be more fair for everyone.
“My generation got this (sport) to the point where our efforts helped legitimize the UFC in the sports world as a real sport and a real league, but that’s just been for the promotion’s benefit. Now it’s time for the rest of this business to improve conditions and come around and treat the athletes like they belong in a big league.”
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been none too pleased with his promoter. The 205-pound king expected to be offered more money for a potential move up to the heavyweight division. He didn’t get a satisfactory offer and UFC president Dana White claimed Jones demanded money in the $30 million range. “Bones” ended up threatening to relinquish his title and sit on the sidelines until he was given a reasonable bump up in pay.
As for Masvidal, he became disgruntled with the UFC after the deal he was presented for a UFC welterweight title bout with champion Kamaru Usman. “Gamebred” claimed the promotion only offered him half of what he made fighting Nate Diaz back in Nov. 2019. Masvidal has also questioned the revenue split for fighters in the UFC when compared to other major sports organizations.