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Pete Spratt says UFC cut him for refusing to fight Matt Hughes for $8,000/$8,000

As the recent UFC class action lawsuit has provided a serious pushback for fighters against the UFC, more are coming forward now, with their own stories of potentially poor conduct.

Former UFC champion Matt Hughes pictured.
Former UFC champion Matt Hughes pictured.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Back in 2003, Pete Spratt was one of the better known welterweight fighters in MMA. He was fresh off a defeat of Robbie Lawler at UFC 42, and all lined up do be the next in line for a shot at Matt Hughes, despite his 2-1 record in the UFC (these were very different times). But, that title shot never came to be. At the time, Spratt came out publicly and said that he didn't feel he was ready for a shot at Hughes. He was released from the promotion and immediately went on to lose to up and coming TKO prospect Georges St-Pierre. Eventually he would make two returns to the UFC, neither of them particularly successful, before playing out the remainder of his career on the North American regional circuit.

That brush with contention never came back around again, but it turns out that, at least according to Spratt, he didn't miss out on the opportunity because he wasn't ready for it, but rather because the UFC would only give him the fight on an $8,000/$8,000 contract, which Spratt was unwilling to accept. Spratt posted about the incident recently on Facebook.

For comparison at the time, Matt Hughes was fighting on $55,000/$55,000, Randy Couture on $120,000/$80,000 and Vitor Belfort on $100,000/$30,000. Although BJ Penn was only pulling down $25,000/$25,000 and recent champion Carlos Newton was making $30,000 flat. The lowest paid fighters were still only making $2,500-$3,000 to show. $8,000/$8,000 wasn't quite the low end that it is now, but it wasn't a big purse either.

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