Luke Rockhold believes the UFC is not always the best option anymore when it comes to getting fair treatment as a fighter.
The UFC has long been the premier mixed martial arts organization, widely believed to have the best fighters from around the world. The promotion has been praised for putting on the best fights possible whilst building the brand of the organization through its incredible content on social media. The UFC has done a great job in marketing themselves and has grown into a globally popular multi-billion-dollar enterprise under the management of their president, Dana White.
However, it is no secret that over the years, some UFC fighters have become very vocal about the way in which the promotion treats their fighters, especially about the significantly lower pay compared to other major sporting leagues such as the NHL and the NFL, who pay around 48-50% from their revenue, whereas the UFC only distribute 16% towards fighter pay from the revenue. Recently, UFC fighter Sarah Alpar was even forced to To Start GoFundMe page to fund her training camp for her upcoming fight.
In a recent interview with MMA Junkie, former UFC middleweight champion Luke Rockhold did not mince his words about fighter treatment and claimed that the UFC may not be the best option as a promotion for an MMA fighter.
“The paychecks are great elsewhere,” said Rockhold. “The UFC is not always the best option anymore. I mean, there are a few guys at the top but you’re still entering a big battle with these guys…it’s not exactly (a) fair playing field.”
Rockhold went on to mention when the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou was forced to wait longer to defend his belt as the promotion created an interim championship belt instead. The 36-year-old did not agree with this, believing these are the type of issues that fighters have to deal with.
“You know, when guys like Ngannou are getting shelved for asking for his worth and they’re creating interim titles,”said Rockhold. “Which is all bulls**t. I mean, this is the type of sh*t you have to deal with.”
The former middleweight champion stated the reason for his outbursts was due to the simple fact that he isn’t afraid to speak whatever’s on his mind. As a fighter himself, Rockhold said that the fighters are what keeps the ball rolling at the end of the day for the organization and deserve to be valued properly for their worth.
“I’m gonna speak my mind, exactly how I say what I say, what I feel,” Rockhold said. “The common narrative that the UFC and Dana White has created is to shut down fighters, criticize champions…
“The narrative that they have created is for the fans to want to hate fighters and it’s just bulls**t… This is the f*****g fight game. We’re the fighters, we’re the entertainment, we deserve our worth.”
Rockhold is expected to face #8-ranked middleweight Sean Strickland for UFC 268 on November 6 by multiple sources. The former champion has not fought since losing to Jan Blachowicz back in July 2019 but is eager to return to make a triumphant comeback.
Do you agree with Luke Rockhold’s statements?