Hardy: Fighters are devalued


Pay for fighters in the UFC has been a hot topic of debt lately and it seems like everyone has an opinion, including Dan Hardy:

Well, fighter pay is really a strange situation, because there's such a vast difference in the guys that are on the first three fights of a card and the guys on the last three fights of a card. The guys on the lower end are seeing what the main card guys are doing and thinking, 'Well, I'm doing all the same stuff that they're doing, sacrificing just as much.' They're spending just as much on their training camp, but they're not getting the same kind of compensation.

The problem is that the fighters are in a situation where we don't really have a great deal of options, as far as bargaining power. There are 100 guys that would step in and do my job for free. That kind of devalues us. There aren't any options as far as where we can go and what we can do.

With the sponsor fees, it really limits what we can do outside the sport, as well. It's just a very difficult situation to be in. I'm fortunate, because I live an inexpensive life. I've got a few Lego sets and a $7,000 muscle car. Those were my treats throughout my whole career. I've not really spent any money on anything else. I just don't have expensive living costs.

There are fighters out there with kids and families. Now, with there being so many fighters, the guys aren't getting three fights a year any more. It's down to maybe two a year, and it all just comes back to not having many other options. I can understand that the UFC has a business model, and their lower tier fighters fare much better than pro boxers, but it's just not enough to live on.

Training camps consume so much of our time and energy and expenses, as well. We effectively wind up fighting for nothing anyway. Unless you win the belt or break into that PPV buy cut, or are in the very top tier, you just can't get by with it being your sole source of income.

Frankie Edgar recently fought and got a whole chunk of change. He fought really hard, and he deserves that money, but he didn't start making that kind of money until he fought for and won a belt. I've fought for a belt, and I'm certainly not making anywhere near that kind of money.

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Recent Comments »

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

7/19/13 6:33 PM by ChaosOverkill

So I guess Hughes saw this and needed to give his corporate guy version.

Standup29 site profile image  

7/19/13 6:21 PM by Standup29

Wouldn't it be great if all owners of performances based jobs/careers would be that honest. The truth is everyone knows this, or should anyway. The problem for the UFC is what the media and fans would really do with that kind of reality. Just look at how the fans and media took the reality of how prelim fighters are perceived. While we may enjoy the prelims, most paying fans who watch it live don't even bother to watch until the main card begins. Is it a stretch to say those fights don't matter to the casual paying fan? People flipped out to that truth. Now just imagine the flack that would come with admitting only a small percentage is going to get rich and not all will make it. Some things are just obvious and don't need to be said especially when it is easily turned into bad press. Great point though and I wish there was more transparency too.

KingofBJJ site profile image  

7/19/13 2:10 PM by KingofBJJ

The chorus of UFC nuthuggers will comence to saying "if you don't like the pay find another job" in 3 2 1...

Nagaho site profile image  

7/19/13 10:45 AM by Nagaho

This.Dan said it himself "There are 100 guys that would step in and do my job for free. That kind of devalues us"Not "kind of devalues" though. Completely actually. The fighters are screwing themselves/each other. If fighters refused to fight for $8k/$8k or whatever the base is now the pay would have to rise but with so many guys willing just to say they got on a UFC card there's no reason to raise the pay other than good will. It's also the reason there will never be a fighter's union or association. The reason that the athletes in big time sports have the power that they do is at one point in time they sacrificed for the greater good of the sport. If all the top guys, the guys that draw and can afford to miss a paycheck had "nagging injuries" or teams had an "outbreak of staph" until the pay structure changed you'd see how fast the pay scale would jump.

Domenico site profile image  

7/18/13 11:36 PM by Domenico

Ok, I can see Im dealing with a smart alec, I mistakenly used similar terms to describe two different things. When you are calculating a sales rep's commission payments you use certain figures that are a part of a company's financials but only those which are relevent to calculating those payments. You do not just open the books to the company and show them everything. No company should have to or be expected to do that, it is nobody's business except the owner. He can choose to show or not to show, that is his/her choice, anyone bleating otherwise is - I think - out of line.

WeidmansPHD_in_G0atslaying_fr0m_h0fstra_U site profile image  

7/18/13 11:35 PM by WeidmansPHD_in_G0atslaying_fr0m_h0fstra_U

Why is Hardy even talking out? I mean the UFC kept that guy on the roster longer than they would have any other fighter had they lost as much as him... lol    

Thacommish site profile image  

7/18/13 10:58 PM by Thacommish

"No privately owned company in the world should or needs to show anyone their books other than the owners, their accountants, and any party they are looking to get finance off.""Employees NEVER see the books."in the quiet words of the virgin mary, come again?

Domenico site profile image  

7/18/13 10:36 PM by Domenico

When I pay my sales reps their monthly commissions they get to see certain aspects of 'the books'. That, and your case, is different from opening the books to everyone.

ASBELTOMATO site profile image  

7/18/13 10:17 PM by ASBELTOMATO

the fighters wait until they are out of the UFC to complain about fighter pay. is this surprising? the UFC CLEARLY has a culture of don't complain or you will punished in some capacity. Otherwise you would probably hear EVERY fighter who makes less than 20k a fight complain. their hands are tied. I can't imagine how much money it takes to be able to train year round and pay your team, but I would like to see ALL fighters good enough to compete in the UFC be able to do it.

OnlyTheStrongSurvive site profile image  

7/18/13 9:47 PM by OnlyTheStrongSurvive

Thanks, and I don't totally disagree with you