in 2009 Sports Illustrated magazine estimated that 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or facing serious financial stress within two years of ending their playing careers, and that 60% of NBA players are broke within five years of retiring.
The fight game can be far worse, with Mike Tyson famously making $300,000,000, and ending up with nothing but love.
UFC president Dana White has a simple message for fighters.
“This isn't a long-term f---ing job," said White. "You don't come into the UFC thinking, man, I'm going to stay here until I'm 65 and then I'm going to retire, get a pension and do this, that and the other. This is a f---ing short-term gig.”
“You have a window of opportunity that's about this big, if you're lucky. If you're talented enough, and you get in there and you do as many amazing things as you can in front of as many people as you can and make as much money as you can, and enough contacts and this and that, so when that inevitable day that will finally come when it’s over you put yourself in a great position where you can move on and do better things, and if you figure it out right, you don't ever have to work again. Who the f---k on this planet doesn't understand that?”
“Forrest Griffin always says this: 'go out and fight like you, but go to the bank like me.' Which means he's cheap as hell. Forrest Griffin is still wearing the jacket he wore in Season 1 of The Ultimate Fighter. He's still driving a Scion. Scion is going to do a commercial about how many miles this kid has on his car, and it’s still running.
"Forrest Griffin is a cheap motherf---er, and that's the way you have to be in this business. Save your money, put it away, do the right things with your money, because this sport, your time can be over any minute. This isn't some long-term gig.”
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