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Blaydes: I won’t stop speaking out on fighter pay just because Dana White doesn’t like it

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Curtis Blaydes isn’t letting the boss hinder him from speaking about one of the sport’s pressing issues today.

UFC 242 Khabib v Poirier Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images

Even after picking up his fourth straight win over Alexander Volkov last week, Curtis Blaydes failed to impress Dana White. The UFC president had some choice words for his number three-ranked heavyweight during the post-fight media scrum.

When you talk sh-t like he talked this week, you better come in and whoop somebody’s ass when you talk sh-t like that. When you talk the sh-t that he talked and perform like he performed tonight, you look stupid.

For Blaydes, the boss’ comments stems from his previous statement regarding fighter pay, among other things.

“He doesn’t like me for three reasons,” Blaydes said of White during a recent episode of the Luke Thomas Show (transcript by Middle Easy). “A, I speak my mind, he doesn’t like that. B, my style, what I bring to the Octagon. I’m very grappling heavy. And C, because yeah I do believe I don’t get paid what I’m worth and I speak on that.

“So he’s just using this to try to make me feel bad I guess, so I won’t speak out again but it’s not going to work. What’s wrong is wrong and when I have a platform and I’m able to speak on it, I want to speak on it.”

The 29-year-old fighter also suggested two things: to bring back the fighters’ rights to their own sponsorship, pre-Reebok, and unionization.

“He knows we’re not getting paid enough and then he takes away the option to get big money out of sponsors because they got the Reebok deal,” he said. “Let’s just do away with the Reebok deal.

“Give us the option to get outside sponsors to cash big money. Give us that. That’s a start.

“I know this is the taboo word and we aren’t supposed to speak of it, but a union,” Blaydes added. “Every other major sports league has a union, so I think that’s probably the only way for us to really get what we want, but I don’t know how that’s going to happen.”

Fighter pay is one of the long-standing issues often broached by competitors through the years. It once again came to light over the recent weeks after marquee names like Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal began speaking up and demanding their release from the UFC.