Mixed martial arts has been getting constant exposure over the past month or so, and it hasn't been in a positive light. Fighters, both former and current, have been speaking out about unfair treatment, specifically regarding their pay, and sponsorship opportunities. More and more details are coming to the surface, however, the comments are coming from the folks that have left the UFC, with the exception of Tim Kennedy, who recently made some harsh comments, even stating at one point that he made less than a garbage collector. Kennedy reconsidered the impact of his rant though, and ended up issuing an apology to the Zuffa brass, even going so far as to blame the media for taking his comments out of context.
Enter Bellator welterweight contender, War Machine, who has been making waves in the media with his own take on fighter pay. He thinks that the number one enemy is the UFC and the number two enemy is the fighters, themselves. I recently sat down with War, who didn't pull any punches when speaking on the matter. Here's what he had to say:
Well, the number one enemy is the UFC. They're the ones that set the pay so low. They have a complete monopoly on everything, and they're the ones that are setting the standard. They're the ones that are screwing everybody. The second enemy is us, the fighters, for taking all their shit. We are so broke and desperate and eager to get into the cage and fight, so eager to make a living from it, that we accept anything.
All it takes is for Jon Jones or anyone of these big name guys to be backstage and go, 'You know what? I'm not gonna f*cking fight tonight. I ain't gonna fight until you guys sit down here, right now, and come to an agreement to pay us fairly.' I guarantee you what will happen is that all the sudden, we're going to get paid fairly. It just takes one of these guys that has the power to do it. They need to step up and have some balls. One of these big name guys does it, and it's a wrap.
All these other fighters need to have balls, too. I can't be the only one having balls. We all need to stand up. When a company offers us $1500 to wear a tee shirt on television in from of millions of viewers, we need to be like, 'F*ck you.' That's what we have to say, but people are accepting it and not standing up for ourselves. It has to be on a big scale. It has to be a champion. It has to be somebody big, with power, to make the UFC change their ways.
They're raping us. They really are. Did you know that Dana White is worth $150 million? Does he deserve money? Of course he does. He did a lot for the sport. At the same time, does he deserve to be that rich, where he can gamble away hundreds of thousands of dollars and have 25 Ferraris and all that bullshit? No, not if his fighters are all broke. Fighters deserve to make real money, and it's gotta start at the top.
If I was a champ, the UFC would be in a world of shit. I have balls. I'll put it on the line. All these guys are pussies. Dominic Cruz is a good friend of mine. He's a nice guy. I used to live with him and he's one of the best fighters in the world, but he has no f*cking balls when it comes to this kind of stuff. I seen it when we were younger, when we were nobodies. He just will not stand up to authority. These guys have to step up. They have to do it for everyone, for all of us.
The UFC is not going to give up any extra money if they don't have to. They have so much power. God forbid if Dana White was gay. If Dana White was gay, he'd have fighters sucking dick. I guaranf*ckingtee it. If he was gay, every fighter would have to suck his dick to fight. That's how much power they have. There would be dudes that fight the toughest guys in the world that would get on their knees and suck dick to get into the UFC. It's the truth. We're just lucky that Dana White's not gay.
I've hard stories about Vince MacMahon and Joe Weider. Bodybuilders and wrestlers suck dick for jobs. It's not that far fetched for thinking these things could happen. That's how much power he has. They're not going to give up a penny more than they do already, because they don't have to. Fighters are stupid, and we're desperate, and we're so hungry to get on that big stage that we'll fight for free.
We don't need a union. We just need to be treated fairly. I saw this thing the other day, it showed the NFL, MLB and NBA - all these leagues - and like 70% of the money or profit goes towards the athletes' pay. In the UFC, it's something like 17% that goes toward the athletes' pay. Why is the gap so big? These guys get in the cage and fight, but they're not real fighters, not when it counts. Let Nick Diaz get the belt [laughs]. I bet things would change then.
You can follow War Machine via his Twitter account, @WarMachine170