Former UFC bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw believes that fighters are worth more than they're getting paid. The former Team Alpha Male member was a guest on Submission Radio this week, and was asked about Luke Rockhold's recent assertion that he wasn't being offered enough money to take a fight. This led Dillashaw to explain that the fighters are the heart of the UFC, and they deserve more money:
"Yeah, he does have a point. I mean, it does suck. I do feel that we're a higher commodity than that. I think the UFC is the UFC because of the fighters and I'm hoping they start realizing that and start paying us what we deserve. That company just sold for four billion dollars. It kind of shows the value of the fighters. We make that organization. If you don't have the best fighters in the world, you don't have the best organization. So yeah, I'm hoping it swings around and more guys continue to complain, especially when you see some bigger pay cuts going out to some of these bigger names. But yeah, he's definitely got a point."
Incidentally, Rockhold was booked against Ronaldo Souza yesterday. The interview was conducted before that booking.
Dillashaw also hopes that the UFC's recent sale will swing the promotion back to more of a sporting perspective, as opposed to the more entertainment-oriented happenings of the last few months:
"If they start doing that, I feel like it's going to ruin the sport - at least ruin the UFC a little bit if they're going to continue to do that. I mean, you're always going to have the fans that are going to watch the entertainment and watch that bullsh*t, but I got into this thing cause it's a sport. I got into it because I love the competition, I love being out there, man on man and seeing who the baddest guy in the world is, and not who's going to be able to create the most drama and talk the most shit. It's more about who is the baddest man on the planet in your weight class, and I hope they don't ruin that."
"I miss the days of when it was Chuck Liddell and those guys. They don't have to talk much shit, they go out there and prove it with their hands and go out there and knock everyone out. Man, I feel like that's how the sport should be. The entertainment should be the fight, not all the drama beforehand and all the fake bullshit."
Finally, he spoke at length about how he deserves the next shot at UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz, who defeated him for the title. He said that he heard Cruz won't be returning until near the end of the year due to some nagging injuries, and he's not going to fight again until he gets his title shot - whether it's Cruz or an interim title bout. Despite what Cruz and Cody Garbrandt are doing to build a title fight between them:
"The only way I'm gonna take another fight is if it is for the interim title cause Cruz can't come back. If Cruz is healthy, that's the only fight I want. If for some reason they're going to give up an interim belt, then yeah, I mean, I'll fight and I don't care who it is. The thing is, I just want my belt back."
You can listen to the whole interview above.