Randy Couture gave his two cents on the state of fighter pay in the sport of MMA, believing there to be a lack of transparency.
In a recent interview with Morning Kombat, the former two-division UFC champion was asked about the negotiations between Jon Jones and the UFC. In response, Couture gave his opinion on how it was almost disheartening to see YouTubers getting paid more boxing than a lot of MMA fighters make throughout their whole career. He also was sure to weigh in on Jones’s stance on wanting to get rewarded plentifully for his potential move up to heavyweight.
“Obviously we see in Jake and Logan Paul kind of shine a light on the disparaging difference between what boxers are getting paid,” said Couture. “And these guys are YouTubers that are making more money than a lot of MMA fighters have ever made in their careers. Which is disparaging, it’s irritating, and I think that’s where Jon is coming from. It’s a big move up to heavyweight, I think he wants to solidify that and his legacy as a two-weight champ and really challenge himself, and I think that’s a smart move for him. And he’s right, we don’t get paid the same way that boxers do. The transparency in the sport just isn’t there.”
Couture, now a commentator for PFL, added that he hoped fighters would make some sort of union to band together and call for a minimum pay amount amongst other benefits that athletes in different sports enjoy whilst MMA fighters don’t.
“Hopefully, at some point, the fighters will unionize and demand some minimum criteria, some 401k’s, some different things that other professional athletes enjoy in our society, I think we’ll be a lot better off,” said Couture.
Former UFC lightweight champion, Sean Sherk shared similar views to Couture, believing that fighters should unionize and that it was embarrassing for the UFC that their fighters get paid so much less than YouTubers boxing.
What are your thoughts on fighter pay in MMA?