White: Fighters should be cheap motherf@$%ers


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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tags: UFC   Forrest Griffin (detail)  Dana White   


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Recent Comments »

Stache site profile image  

7/9/13 1:12 PM by Stache

I'm not an athlete but I've signed contracts before. And before I signed something as widely criticized as a UFC contract I would be sure to have qualified representation review and explain the terms to me.There is no reasonable excuse for being lazy or ignorant of the conditions of your contract, especially given the negative publicity this issue has received. Any fighter who doesn't take the time to do their due diligence has nothing to complain about.

fightharder site profile image  

7/9/13 1:00 PM by fightharder

Dana is absolutely right. Still fighters and Zuffa could institute a pension for the fighters. Both sides should make something like this happen. It can be done without the institution of a union. I can be on a defined contribution basis.The financial drawback for should not be to big. It will require some financial discipline on part of the fighters. But it would set a great precedent and it would give the UFC good PR.

Brian J DSouza site profile image  

7/9/13 11:42 AM by Brian J DSouza

  Are you a pro athlete? Do you know how contracts get signed?   I'll write something on this later to give you some context. It's not your fault you don't know what you're talking about, but you shouldn't be talking about things you don't know about, IMO.

Naderhood site profile image  

7/9/13 9:33 AM by Naderhood

They use 16oz gloves in sparring because they protect both the hands of the guy wearing them and the face o the guy getting punched. It's much easier on your brain to get hit by a padded glove that a 4oz glove. I'd say most fighters only wear 4oz gloves when they're grappling or actually in an MMA fight.

Stache site profile image  

7/9/13 9:00 AM by Stache

Were those contracts written in invisible ink? Have people not been pubically complaining about them for years?Fighters need to start taking responsibility for the agreements they enter into. Nobody should be surprised by the clauses the UFC offers. If their likeness is really worth what you say it is, then don't sign it away for less.But for fuckssake quit complaining about it after the fact.

Brian J DSouza site profile image  

7/9/13 7:52 AM by Brian J DSouza

You want me to explain my take on a UFC/MMA contract in a couple paragraphs without you having read actual fighter criticism about the nature of said contracts. If it was fighting one time for X dollars, there'd be no issue/problem. The fact that contracts auto-renew and are multiple fights (which don't matter, since a fighter can be cut at any time for any reason) means they make the fighter the promoter's property! How can there be competition if fighters can't compete for other promotions? Eddie Alvarez can't fight for MORE money in the UFC. Nor could Benson Henderson simply leave the UFC to fight in Bellator, even if he completed his contract, he'd still have to wait the matching period. Add in sponsor tax, fighters signing away their likeness rights (what they can sell to endore prodicts for $$$) and you have the REAL issues, not the made-up ones DFW is tricking or misleading people with in this thread/article.

time traveling 12er site profile image  

7/9/13 5:52 AM by time traveling 12er

Not quite getting your point. Yes you do get what you negotiate, not what you're worth. That's pretty much every job ever. Listen if mid tier MMA fighters could get Chad Dawson money, why aren't they? Are competing promoters just too lazy to do it? Or let's put it this way. If the UFC disappears tomorrow, does MMA fighter pay go up or go down? It seems like you think it'll go up because the UFC is hoarding all the money out there streaming in from MMA.

armbarseverywhere site profile image  

7/9/13 5:48 AM by armbarseverywhere

Kinda what I was thinking except Dana is trying to get these guys more money, I'm afraid the sport may have hit a ceiling and is drawing in as much money as it can.

Brian J DSouza site profile image  

7/9/13 4:44 AM by Brian J DSouza

People like to talk about fighters getting mayweather money, but his last fight Showtime lost tons of money. ^So what? Tons of bad TV shows with "overpaid" actors lose money for TV networks. You get what you negotiate, not what you're worth. You really haven't throught this through. But then again, as long as the public only sees or hears about "Mayweather Money" instead of "Chad Dawson Money," they won't understand what happens to mid-tier boxers.

time traveling 12er site profile image  

7/8/13 7:56 PM by time traveling 12er

Yeah, so my point is if there's all the potential money to be made, why doesn't anyone else do it? If no one is blocking someone with lots of money into doing it, why aren't they doing it? The answer is that many have tried and failed because the money isn't there. People like to talk about fighters getting mayweather money, but his last fight Showtime lost tons of money.People also don't realize that the only reason why those other sports are allowed to have monopolies is because the athletes are unionized. They enter into a collective bargaining agreement that says it's ok for those groups to have monopolies as long as they union members get xyz. As much crying as there is about the UFC being a monopoly when they're not, a union would actually make them a monopoly. As much as people complain about monopolies they forget that raising the minimum devastates competition that may not be able to afford it.Everyone needs to really think everything through. Every action has a reaction somewhere else. You raise the pay on the lower end and other orgs can't compete for those fighters giving the UFC even more control. That money has to come from somewhere else in the org so they're going to have to cut some people or cut bonuses. Nothing happens in a vacuum.