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Jessica-Rose Clark on $17.70 bank account: I learned ‘I can’t make a living off of fighting’ in UFC

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Jessica-Rose Clark was banking on a bonus to help her funds after UFC Vegas 11.

After having just $17.70 in her bank balance before the fight, Jessica-Rose Clark said she was happy to get paid after UFC Vegas 11.

Clark defeated Sarah Alpar by third-round stoppage this past weekend. The win took Clark to 3-2 in the UFC, as she picked up her first win since injuring her foot and missing out most of 2019.

Talking on MMA Fighting’s What The Heck podcast, Clark said she was happy at the fact she was about to be paid after UFC Vegas 11 whether she won or lost, but “bummed out” on not being picked for a UFC bonus.

“I got into this industry knowing I wasn’t going to make a lot of money, so it just made me happy, knowing that no matter how the fight went, whether I won or lost, I was about to get paid,” Clark said. “I’m trying to send my dogs to get trained properly, I’ve got to do some repairs on my car, I’ve got a bunch of stuff that I need to pay for right now. It didn’t give me any anxiety. I was just happy that I had a paycheck coming, regardless.”

Clark is glad to get money coming into her account after the win, but called it a “band-aid.” She says that even if she’s already been in the UFC for almost three years, she’s learning that fighting full time just isn’t a viable option.

“It’s definitely a band-aid,” she said. “I need to come up with some external forms of revenue, because the last two years have shown me that I can’t make a living off of fighting. Like, that’s a fact, especially if I get injured and I have to take another year off, I get no income from the UFC. I have some plans and ideas of how to create other forms of revenue. That just kind of solidified it.”

The Australian had already made plans with a bonus in mind for after the fight, so for Clark missing out on one was dissapointing. In her mind, she deserved the bonus over breakout star Khamzat Chimaev, who knocked out Gerald Meerschaert in just 17-seconds on the card to earn his third performance bonus in three fights.

“I was bummed out. I’d already made plans, like if I got a bonus, that would help so much, because being injured last year and then losing, like, I think I made $16,000 for the entire year, plus had a ton of medical bills to pay.

“I thought I maybe should have got it over Khazmat, whatever his name is, because he got a 17-second knockout. Like, yeah, that’s cool, but they didn’t fight,” Clark said. “He threw one punch and finished him. I’m like, ‘C’mon man, I actually fought for 14.5 minutes.’”

Smith’s dependency on a bonus and lack of money in her bank account shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as fighter pay has been an issue for a while now. Just the week before, Kevin Croom said he had just $64 in his account before defeating Roosevelt Roberts by submission.