Early last week, ESPN released a preview of an upcoming Outside the Lines segment, that UFC-fighter-pay/">charged the UFC pay structure was unfair. This was followed by an in-depth article by Josh Gross that criticized the UFC along similar lines.
The piece centered on interviews with the billionaire majority owner of the UFC Lorenzo Fertitta, and with UFC Hall of Famer Ken Shamrock, who in a stupeyingly ironic turn, recently failed in a law suit to get a UFC contract and was ordered to pay the company $175,000 in court costs. The man ESPN put front and center to criticise UFC contracts actually sued to try to get one.
Gross has a long and contentious history with the organization, and UFC President Dana White responded by vowing to bring unseen footage from the Fertitta interview to the fans.
The full segment aired on ESPN Sunday morning and today, White released the formerly unseen video to the Underground.
“These guys that are just starting off in the UFC and they’re starting off with whatever number they’re starting off with, they have a good night and the next thing you know they’re getting a sick pay day. And that opportunity is for a guy that’s been with them, like myself, for ten years or a guy that’s green and it’s his first time in there.”
“The UFC has guys that technically they lose money on; that they’re paying $10-$15,000 to fight that nobody’s really watching. Nobody bought the PPV to see that guy, maybe like 300 people in his hometown if he’s lucky. But they’re paying that guy to get better, to keep fighting, because maybe he’ll catch on and be that next thing.”
“They’re putting an investment in all their guys, all of us. The UFC wants you to succeed. The more any fighter succeeds, they succeed. I mean even guys that aren’t making a fortune are making enough to where they don’t have another job and they can concentrate on getting better as a fighter so they can put themselves in a position to make good money.”
Update: The UFC has now also released the full and uncut forty-seven minute interview with Lorenzo Fertita.
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