UFC color commentator Joe Rogan has weighed in on fighters being disgruntled over pay.
Fighters arguing about pay is nothing new within the UFC. This time, however, top stars have become more vocal about it. UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal have expressed frustration with the promotion over compensation. The UFC’s biggest moneymaker, Conor McGregor, has also been none too pleased with the promotion.
Joe Rogan Weighs In On Fighter Pay Issue In UFC
During an edition of his JRE podcast, Rogan gave his take on why fighters are expressing their dismay with the UFC at this time (h/t MMAFighting).
“It’s not a monopoly in that you do have choices, but there’s one clear, top of the food chain choice. But it’s because they do it the best,” Rogan said. “They’re also the only ones that are having fights during this quarantine. The only people that are putting on any live sporting events, but they’re also part of a company in WME that’s hurting, really, really bad. So there’s not a lot of money to throw around. To keep the doors open, to keep people employed, a lot of money is missing. All these shows got cancelled, there’s all these audience members that aren’t gonna be there, that aren’t buying tickets, so it’s tricky. So this is why I think they’re complaining about fighter pay.”
Jones showed interest in moving up to the heavyweight division for a bout with Francis Ngannou. The bout garnered interest so “Bones” spoke with the UFC about a possible bump in pay. Jones didn’t get a satisfactory answer and UFC president Dana White later claimed “Bones” demanded Deontay Wilder money, which is in the $30 million range. Jones denied this and suggested vacating his light heavyweight gold and staying home until the UFC gives him a decent offer.
As for Masvidal, he was looking to challenge Kamaru Usman for the UFC welterweight title. “Gamebred” claims he was offered just half of what he made for the Nate Diaz fight back in Nov. 2019. Masvidal has also questioned the revenue split for fighters in comparison to other major sports organizations. The title opportunity ended up going to Gilbert Burns.