Several UFC fighters including Tim Kennedy, John Cholish, John Fitch, and Jacob Volkmann have blasted the UFC, with most of the criticism centered around fighter pay. Further, former UFC champions and current Bellator signees Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Tito Ortiz hav recently criticized the UFC while praising Bellator.
In an interview with MMAJunkie, Malki Kawa, who manages among many others Jon Jones, Benson Henderson, Miesha Tate, Frank Mir, and Carlos Condit, offers another perspective.
"When I watch these guys talk about the UFC and how their boss doesn't put stress on them, a lot of it to me is just a lot of bulls---," said Kawa. "I know Dana White can be abrasive and aggressive and all that type of stuff, but it doesn't mean you're not able to work with the guy."
"I represent undercard guys, main-event guys and champions. The champions are getting paid pretty well, and most of my guys that deserve it are getting it. But the guys that deserve more money aren't the undercard guys. They're the guys that are carrying these cards, the headliners and the co-main event guys... When you're a guy that's on an undercard and says, 'Well, I'm 3-2 in the UFC, and I only made this amount of money over two years,' it's a little bit unfair."
"When you add it all up and you take your sponsorships into consideration, if you're winning, you're making a six-figure salary or pretty close to it. And if you're not, it's because you're losing and don't deserve to be there anyway."
"Bellator and TNA are both, at the end of the day, second-tier organizations. No disrespect to any performer there or any fighter. It just is what it is... When a fan sits down and looks at it and says, 'Aren't you happy Bellator is around so you have a second option?' well, a second option would be great if they were paying what the UFC is paying guys. It would be great if there was an opportunity across the board for other guys equally.
"You look these Bellator cards, guys are getting paid like regional fighters. Guys are making $2,000 or $3,000... When I hear Bellator starting it up and knocking the UFC's practices and talking about how their tournament style is better and this or that, it just kind of angers me a little bit. They had no part in helping MMA get to where it's needed to get to at all."
"When you see former Bellator fighters come to the UFC, they'll tell you that the biggest difference between the two organizations is the way the fighters get treated. The UFC has never, ever done any of my fighters dirty, and I'm not going to sit back and just listen to all the criticism, especially from people who don't have all the facts.There's always two sides to every story."
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