Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Stevie Ray On PFL: “$950k To Win, $50k To Lose Is Heartbreaking”

Stevie Ray feels that the PFL has done wonders for him in his career but feels that a big change should be made to the PFL Championships.

Ray will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the 2022 PFL Championships for the lightweight title on Nov. 25. He earned a spot in the finals following back-to-back wins over Anthony Pettis in the regular season and playoffs.

For those who may not familiar with Ray’s MMA journey, his experience in the sport may come as a surprise. He is a veteran of 35 professional fights on his record with stints in the UFC and Cage Warriors.

While the 32-year-old Ray understands the significance of winning the PFL’s $1 million prize for winning the season, he feels that losing to Aubin-Mercier would not only be a disappointment in his career but also in his pocketbooks.

Stevie Ray Wants A Fairer Payout Difference Between PFL Winner & Runner-Up

During an exclusive interview with MMA News, Ray explained what he wants to see the PFL change when it comes to how finalists are compensated for their performances at the end-of-season championships.

“The one thing I’m trying to get my manager to ask about now… as far as I’m aware, there’s a major difference in the loss vs. the win [payout],” Ray said. “I think it’s only $50k to show up and then if you win, it’s $950k. Because we already got the $50k for the last fight…I don’t know how a fight will go sometimes. Might lose in a split decision and lose $900k. I don’t know if there’s any way to renegotiate these terms. I’ll be training my butt off and going for the win it would be good to know there’s a better-guaranteed purse regardless. Especially to make it all the way to the Final.

“The way I see it, sometimes you can lose a fight that you didn’t even lose. Maybe you’ve been robbed, sometimes it’s just such a close fight. If me and Olivier go out there and we both put on a hell of a show, and one of us edges it, for the other guy to go home with $50k is heartbreaking. It could be me, it could be him.”

Ray then opined what he felt would be a fair change to the purse differences.

“If they came and said to me, take a half million each and then fight for the belt, I would probably just do that. Knowing that you have the guarantee that you’re walking away life-changing.”

Ray also pointed to Pettis’ recent $750k payout as a major reason to change fighter pay in the PFL. He wants recognition for his performances and adequate pay.

Ray and Aubin-Mercier have the luxury of a lengthy break from competition ahead of their Nov. 25 matchup. Ray will not only turn his attention back to training but to fighting for the rights of PFL fighters who reach the same pinnacle.

What are your thoughts on our interview with PFL lightweight Stevie Ray?

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