Hughes: How can these guys complain about their pay?


Fighter pay has been a hotly debated topic as of late. Some ex-UFC fighters and current fighters have aired their grievences publicly and support have also come to the support of their employeer. Matt Hughes now serves as the UFC Vice President of Athletic Development and Government Relations, and of course was a former world champion. His take on the issue:

"You go back to when I first started. These guys are making as much now as I did when I won the belt," Hughes said. "How can these guys complain about their pay? I don't understand it. I really don't.

"Most of the guys that complain are guys who have been kicked out of the UFC. Like (Jon) Fitch. I like Fitch. I'm not talking bad about him, but I'm going to tell the truth. If people didn't buy a ticket or buy a pay-per-view to watch him fight, then what good is he? A lot of people found him extremely boring. And so he got let go, and he's not happy about it. But the facts are the facts."

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tags: Matt Hughes (detail)  

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EazyG site profile image  

7/21/13 3:47 PM by EazyG

Truth!Aces, there are two different monopoly questions here.First, does the UFC have a monopoly in MMA so they can over charge the fans? They are the only big time MMA org in the US and have the best TV coverage so you could argue they are. But you also must consider other substitute products for Fans like boxing... Do these substitutes prevent their pricing power? Its a tough question.But for fighter pay the key question is if the UFC has a monopsony on their key input to creating their product: fighters. And if they do have a monopsony, how much are they lowering fighter wages vs a competitive free market outcome?Given the UFC is the only major MMA org in the US, where else can fighters sell their fighting skills?? What would fighter wages be if there were several big MMA orgs bidding competively for fighters in a free market, more like the NBA or MLB? I suggest there is a valid concern here. Fighters dont have many other serious options. UFC pretty much dominates MMA in the US these days.How is for understanding what a monopoly is, Ace?!

ChaosOverkill site profile image  

7/21/13 5:01 AM by ChaosOverkill

How can YOU shoot a bobcat?

LAE site profile image  

7/21/13 4:59 AM by LAE

Has everyone forgotten that the UFC provides health insurance for all of its fighters?

BshMstr site profile image  

7/20/13 11:44 PM by BshMstr

really? so, most fighters fight 3 times a year in then UFC, and if they win, they'd clear $36K before taxes? and this is the highest paying MMA organziation, so you're saying that they should hold out if they don't like it?!?just so you know, both Brazil and Canada take out taxes in addition to what the US does, so you can expect a 20-30% reduction in you fight there, as well....nevermind that fighters can't make money off sponsors anymore (well, they can if the sponsor can afford the UFC's fee)...i'm not saying i don't agree with guys like Joe Lauzon make a ton of money in bonuses, because he works his ass off and finishes fights, but to act like the base salary is livable is laughable, for a bunch of guys who are celebrities and sacrifice their health/longevity....geez, nobody complains about any other athletes being overpaid, unless it's a strike....

Macedawgg site profile image  

7/20/13 11:21 PM by Macedawgg

Aces doesn't know what a monopoly is. Not only did the government not rule out a violation, they limited their investigation solely to the acquisition of Strikeforce. 

FingerorMoon site profile image  

7/20/13 8:36 PM by FingerorMoon

Yup. He is a 'vice president' like Chuck. But that doesn't mean he is biased dammit!

Swedgen site profile image  

7/20/13 6:17 PM by Swedgen

No matter if Matt is right or not, he is a UFC golden boy and is always going to side with the UFC. Didn't they set Hughes up with a "UFC legend" job like Chuck?

BshMstr site profile image  

7/20/13 6:13 PM by BshMstr

i agree that your post is accurate, but i think people forget the difference in boxing vs MMA training...with MMA, hopefully you have a gym where you can do all your training, and it's not uncommon for guys to need several gym memberships for various disciples. this also points out that they require more training time than the average boxer as well. additionally, you can fight more often in boxing, as the injury risk is lower and they are a ton more boxing promotions's not simply comparing pay, but cost of living, as well....

IIAces site profile image  

7/20/13 4:10 PM by IIAces

They can't and won't pursue it. Look up the definition for monopoly. And not the game. It's a subbed out sport. You don't like the damn contract don't sign. And yes, the prelim fighters you watch for free don't sell PPVs. They make 6/6. The 5 fights on PPV get people to watch them tend to have a following and make more than 6/6. So yes, the UFC is giving them 6/6 because they tend to be on free tv. This gives them free exposure for sponsors, and a chance to perform for a big contract. Prove yourself and get a following. The UFC will pay you well.

IIAces site profile image  

7/20/13 4:04 PM by IIAces

They fight on Facebook and fuel FX before PPV. He gives you free fights every event. There is usually 5 fights in the main card. Those guys tend to get better than 6k/6k.