Sarah Alpar won her way to a UFC contract with a submission win over Shanna Young on the Contender Series in 2019. Alpar then had to wait over a year for her full promotional debut.
That eventually came last September, with a TKO loss to Jessica-Rose Clark. Thanks to a fight cancellation, Alpar has been on the sidelines for another year and is expected to return to the Octagon this September to face Erin Blanchfield.
In addition to being a fighter in the world’s largest and most lucrative MMA promotion, Alpar is also a student and a barista. Recently she created a gofundme campaign to help raise the funds to pay for the training she needs to compete in the UFC.
The gofundme’s goal was quickly met thanks to a $5,000 donation from Jake Paul and a $25,000 donation from Triller.
Alpar recently spoke to MMA Junkie about all that has happened and also shared some details regarding how difficult it is for her, and many other fighters, to make ends meet while pursuing their UFC dreams.
“No one has ever done something like that for me before,” said Alpar, referring to Paul’s donation. “And it was just so simple for him. ... I’m just so grateful. And plus, I can’t believe you found me.”
Alpar said she set up the campaign for friends and family to contribute and that she is blown away that Paul, Triller and others she doesn’t know would help her exceed her initial goal of $30,000.
The 9-5 fighter said she had to start this campaign because her entry-level UFC pay, with its show-win structure, is essentially wiped out by training expenses.
“But what sucks is like you have this purse, and you get this fight or you have sponsorship, and you need to make that last,” she said. “So you get this on the front end, and you need to organize all that and make that last so you can do it again. But then when something like this happens, I really was like, even for a show purse, to go in and make weight, I didn’t get anything. So it’s like you put in all these hours and all this work, and I got nothing for it, and now I have to wait and do it again. And I’m not the only one who goes through that. It happens all the time and just all of the fighters, I feel like just the way the system is could be different. What if we got paid monthly? Maybe people would like train one very thing. That would be kind of cool.”
With more money than she’s ever had to invest in her fighting career, Alpar admitted to being conflicted in what’s the best approach to take.
“I need to figure out now what the next step is here, because now I have opportunity,” she said. “Do I just, like, quit [my barista job] and go two feet in and just do it and see if maybe it works? Will I have a backup plan? I always like to plan ahead. This is kind of just like, ‘Here it is.’ And then just get by by the seat of my pants. But I mean, if I have the opportunity to train full time to my fullest and to be able to travel where I need to and get training partners and to get better and to make that happen, I need to [figure out] what’s the best situation [or] scenario to do this? But I still want to be respectful to my position now because I have morals. You don’t just do stuff like that, you know?”