Nate Quarry: Dana White is endlessly generous, & a cutthroat business man


The issue of fighter compensation has been a hot one this month, with a variety of figures weighing in on the subject. In a compelling interview with BloodyElbow's John S. Nash, retired former UFC title challenger Nate Quarry offers an insightful and balanced perspective from the fighter's side.

John S. Nash: So the source of their problems is the fact that the UFC is so big? That it holds such a dominant position over the market?

Nat Quarry: It's a catch-22, because without the UFC where would I be? Where would the sport be? I consider myself ridiculous lucky because of all the things Dana White, the Fertittas, and the UFC have done for me - and all the athletes - is amazing. But on the flip side, what all the athletes have done for Dana White and the Fertittas is amazing.

What most people don't know is, before my back surgery, I went to Dana White and said, "I can't even train anymore. My back hurts so bad and I can't afford surgery. I don't know what to do. "And he said, "We'll take care of it. Go get it done." So Dana White is 100% responsible for saving my career. Of course, if I got paid more for my title fight I could have taken care of it myself. (laughs) Maybe.

I will always be indebted to Dana White for helping me there. And I know he's done that over and over again for other guys. He's one of those guys who's generous to a fault with helping fighters - helping people in general. You hear that over and over again. But he's also a cutthroat business man.

JSN: Are there other things you think the typical fan misses or doesn't understand, especially with regards to the how the fight business works for most fighters?

NQ: What fans on the message boards don't understand is the work involved. They see someone get paid $50,000 and they say, "Look at that prima donna asking for more. I'd love to fight for that." Sure you would, but would you train for 10 years, twice a day, for free? Would you let yourself get punched in the face everyday for it? Because that's what you have to do before you ever get paid.

When I was on the Ultimate Fighter, someone came up to Team Quest to do an interview with me, and they told him I was in the back. And he goes back there and I'm sweeping floors. And he asks me what am I doing, and I tell him, they're paying $8 an hour to sweep the floors. I needed the money. I was living on next to nothing. I couldn't work a regular job because I was training all day. So I was making about $1000 a month. That's what I was living on, $1000 a month. I wired Randy Couture's house in between practices. I would go to practice in the morning, I would go to his house and insulate it, I put in light switches, I would clean up. I did whatever I could because he was paying me $20 an hour. If a sponsors came out of nowhere and gave me $500, that was life changing.

Read entire interview...


tags: UFC   Dana White   Nate Quarry (detail)  


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Macedawgg site profile image  

4/12/14 3:47 AM by Macedawgg

And good lord Goku--I sure hope you are not biling anything close to 2,600 hours.  "Capture rate" on time spent at office is about 70 to 80%--anyone who claims more is again, almost certainly taking creative liberties. . . so 2,600 hours billed is actually over 3,000 hours. . . 2,600 hours is damn near impossible to do without some serious, serious "padding" and 2, regardless of padding or not--that is a miserable life.

Macedawgg site profile image  

4/12/14 3:31 AM by Macedawgg

No, he doesn't make a great point at all--unless the UFC is saying the titles are largley worthless, and the champ can fight any Larry, Curly and Moe and it won't matter at all for sales.  Is that the case?  Still waiting for the UFC to promote a show as follows--since according to Goku, fans go just to watch the UFC: Dana White Wolf Ticketing--"UFC coming to Los Angeles, 11 fights!  [clips of the Octagon, UFC logos] More Dana White wolf ticketing--and nothing further.  . .  

Blazing Knees site profile image  

4/10/14 7:51 PM by Blazing Knees

Ever since Obama came into office, this country and those people who put him in office, have had their collective hand out. It's a social construct at this point, the collective losers vs the alpha's.

Thacommish site profile image  

4/10/14 7:09 PM by Thacommish

They really are setting up a system where people expect handouts rather than earning it yourself, very weird to see people champion this ideal. Hey hey dont worry they get paid like shit, because we have a lot of handouts to give out.

gokudamus site profile image  

4/10/14 7:04 PM by gokudamus

maybe buy insurance?

PrestigeWorldwide site profile image  

4/10/14 6:08 PM by PrestigeWorldwide

The line in this inter view that stands out the most to me... "Of course, if I got paid more for my title fight I could have taken care of it myself. (laughs) Maybe."If fighters were paid a decent living they wouldn't need to suck the tit in order to get back surgery.

Blazing Knees site profile image  

4/10/14 5:55 PM by Blazing Knees

Well, you knew I would show up in this convo-   I'm a hard core capatalist,every man for himself, pull your boostraps up, splash some cold water on your face, I'll get mine, kind of guy. I will say it again-You can't have it both ways and you can't speak out of both sides of you mouth, successfully. I see a lot of that in here.

CindyO site profile image  

4/10/14 5:25 PM by CindyO

You make great point! Doesn't he, Mace?   Cindy

HMIC2 site profile image  

4/10/14 11:25 AM by HMIC2

Successful attempt I should add.Some thoughts:Insurance with a $1,500 deductible is all but useless unless you have a MAJOR medical problem.One way contracts where you can be held to something you signed at age 20, 21, 22... with shitty representation (see comment below), but the employer can drop you for no cause is useless to the fighter.Fighters aren't protected and any manager that tries to protect one soon experiences the wrath of DFW BLAF Jr. and gets blackballed.There is nothing wrong with a fighter speaking his mind or exercising his leverage but they get attacked by the UFC shills if they do either (in the extremely rate cases where a fighter has any leverage that is in what's basically a monopoly situation).Critisizing the UFC or BLAF is like a dinner bell to CindyO, she will show up and she will post the same bullshit every time.

Unseen site profile image  

4/10/14 10:36 AM by Unseen

In business there are basically two types if market strategies: Cost Leadership, which is basically the WalMart way where a company decides to sell products as cheap as possible but they will sell more product than their competitors.Product Differentiation, which is more like BMW or Apple where the company charges more but the products are either unique or the best quality.A "no cut " contract would be a PD attic because even your least performing fighter is still better than the highest performing fighters in lesser orgs.However, since the UFC has no real competition they employ both strategies. They have both the best fighters and mediocre fighters. They have huge must see events and mediocre events. They sell some very high quality ppvs while flooding the market in different mediums with lots if other cards. Not saying they are wrong for doing this but in my opinion they are cannibalizing their own product line.