Saturday, December 4, 2021

Cannonier Takes Deep Dive Into Fighter Pay Issue After Viral Comment

Jared Cannonier shares his thoughts on whether he believes the UFC fighter pay is acceptable.

Fresh off his impressive decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Vegas 34, Jared Cannonier is generally expected to be close to a shot at middleweight king, Israel Adesanya. And depending on how the title picture unfolds in the coming months, he could be next in line.

Collecting four wins from his last five outings, Cannonier is quickly becoming a big problem in the division. However, despite his high ranking, the 37-year-old still has some problems he hopes to resolve with the company.

Jared Cannonier
Jared Cannonier, Image Courtesy of USA TODAY Sports

Spending some time speaking to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Jared Cannonier opened up on his thoughts about fighter pay and explained the difficulties for fighters in his situation.

“I mean, it’s not dire. It’s just a natural occurrence if you will. I’m not balling out of control or anything like that. A lot of people don’t understand that we owe people money after we have these fights. So after this win, 60% of my money is already gone: between the gym; between management; between taxes; on top of that, I got bills; credit cards; I got kids; I have a house up in Alaska; I got a house here; I got car payments. That money goes.” Cannonier emphasized.

“Money don’t last forever. And right now, fighting is our only revenue. I don’t have sponsors or anything like that. Fighting is my only focus. I’m not out here doing commercials or anything like that. Nobody’s asking me to be in the next Marvel movie. And not being able to fight for the last 10 months puts strain on our pockets.”

Cannonier then continued by comparing the promotion to other sports.

“I would like to get paid. I am an elite-level athlete; I would like to get paid like an elite-level athlete like the ones in the NFL, and the NBA, and the ones playing baseball, and soccer, and doing all that stuff. They get sponsors, but they don’t need sponsors. All they need is that check from (their) organization. So that’s what we need here in the UFC. That’s what we’d all like.” Cannonier said.

However, “The Killa Gorilla” did eventually note that he is incredibly happy with his job and feels blessed to be a part of the UFC and the history it is creating.

“I’ve never been happier. This is the best job I’ve ever had in my life. I think the UFC takes very good care of its athletes. They make sure we have everything we need, especially during fight week. It’s the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world.” Expressed Cannonier. “We’re being a part of history in that regard. Again, I’m grateful and I’m blessed to be a part of this organization. Yes, I do want more money. I want one fight to be able to hold me up for at least two years, not one, and then we build off that.”

There are a handful of athletes standing up for UFC fighter pay, and one that has been most vocal in recent times is the highly controversial, Jake Paul, who believes that the competitors putting their lives on the line deserve much more than their current earnings.

Do you believe UFC athletes deserve to earn more than their current salaries?

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