UFC Lightweight John Cholish, who announced his retirement before his UFC on FX 8 submission loss to Gleison Tibau has taken to Twitter to complain that he still hasn't been paid his fight purse by the promotion despite assurances the money would be wired on Monday.
From Cholish's Twitter feed:
Cholish Tweeted as a follow up to his appearance on Monday's MMA Hour where he voiced some dissatisfaction with the UFC's pay scale. Here are some of his comments from the Show:
"You're allowed three corners for each fight, but you're only in your contract, and for me personally, I only get one coach's flight and one hotel room and cover one visa," Cholish said. "I know just from this last fight. I had to pay over $3,000 in flights. I had to pay for an additional hotel room. I had to pay for two additional visas which are $500 a piece. I have to pay for the licensing fees. I have to pay for the medicals.
Cholish says he made $8,000 for his Saturday bout. He estimates once you factor in costs required simply to travel to Brazil with his team, he's in the hole $5,000 to $10,000.
"Before you even step to the ring, your original purse is gone," Cholish claimed. "And that's before factoring in the gyms I go to train at, my coaches that take hours of time to sacrifice. I want to pay them and take care of them. It just seems like certain things could be handled better and the fighter could be treated better for an organization that claims to be the best in the world in mixed martial arts."
Cholish's complaints echo those made by UFC veteran Jacob Volkmann who's now fighting for the World Series of Fighting after being cut by the UFC where he went 6-2 as a Lightweight. Here's what a "bitter" Volkmann told Above and Beyond MMA:
Volkmann: They always claim that they treat the fighters so well. Yeah, they treat the top five per cent of the fighters well - the ones that are on the main card all the time. They don't treat the rest of them very well. The healthcare plan is horrible, with a $1,500 deductible per injury - the catastrophic-injury insurance is not even really good insurance. There's no retirement fund, there's no signing bonus. You start off at six-and-six, you're really not making too much money because you're self-employed, so you're paying the self-employment tax and you're paying the regular tax and income tax. So you're paying twice as much in tax. They claim they're treating the fighters well, but they're not, realistically.
Above and Beyond MMA: Do you feel that's a misconception among fans?
Volkmann: Of course ... People always tell me, "You're rich - you're on TV!" Are you kidding me? I made $54,000 two years ago, paid $9,000 in taxes, so that leaves me with $45,000. This last year, I made $50,000 and paid $8,000 in taxes. That leaves me with $42,000 - that's barely above poverty. I have three kids and a wife I'm supporting.
Cholish is fortunate enough to have a lucrative day job as an energy trader on Wall Street and is able to retire from MMA. Volkmann's day job as a chiropractor is apparently not as lucrative. He'll be fighting Strikeforce vet Lyle Beerbohm at the next World Series of Fighting event.
UFC president Dana White responded on Twitter:
@mmathefilter washouts are never happy— Dana White (@danawhite) May 21, 2013