Lorenzo Fertitta: "We have a better product, we put up our money and we were smarter than everyone else.
Narrator: "Many within the sport are convinced the company is well on it's way to becoming a monopoly. Able to exert even greater control over fighter wages. At the lowest levels the UFC pays its fighters just a few thousand dollars per fight."
Ken Shamrock: "The UFC has gone out and strategicaly bought out every company or they cut the knees out from underneath them when they tried to get started by putting on shows when their shows were on. Which is fine, there's nothing wrong with that kind of business. But when you get into that kind of position, then don't use that kind of position to hold the fighters hostage."
Lorenzo: "We're giving these guys tremendous opportunity to be able to make more money, get bigger exposure, get bigger sponsors. And when you throw out the term monopoly, that's the most ridiculous thing anyone could ever say."
ESPN-e60-ufc-pay-monopoly-fighters-ken-shamrock" target="_blank">transcribed by BloodyElbow.com...
UFC fighters are among the toughest athletes competing in sports. Fiercely competitive, they enter the octagon knowing they could be cut, bruised or placed in submission holds that could render them temporarily unconscious. With each fight, they run the risk of suffering career-ending injuries.
But mentioning "fighter pay" to this same group of men brings forth a completely different side. They become consumed with fear. Flight instincts take over.
"Career suicide," one current fighter said when approached by "Outside the Lines" for comment.
"It would be the end of my career," said another current fighter, a former champion, when asked for an on-the-record interview about the UFC's fighter pay scale.
The men who run the Ultimate Fighting Championship are benefiting from unprecedented revenue growth -- the company purchased rival Strikeforce in March for $34 million, further tightening its stranglehold on the mixed martial arts industry. Recently, the UFC inked a seven-year deal worth a reported $100 million annually with FOX, its first significant broadcast agreement with a major network.
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