In an interview with ESPN Brazil, UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo said that both the lighter weight classes in general and he specifically are underpaid.
ESPN.com.br: Recently, Renan Barao claimed he was underpaid (Note: Barao later said he was misunderstood). Do you, Aldo, feel underpaid by the UFC?
Jose Aldo: Certainly I feel underpaid. Talking in numbers is difficult. A fighter dreams of reaching a level where he makes good money. Today I have other thoughts, I have been around the world, I have great insight into this. At the same time that they give business to us, they could improve (pay). We bring millions to the organization's events. I'm a very marketable fighter, and everyone likes to see me fight .
We see a lightweight being paid the same as a beginner. We see a heavyweight non-champion and non-title challenger earning a lot more than us. This situation makes us a little sad, but I have to keep fighting - we can't lose our focus.
ESPN: And what do you think you need to do to convince Dana to give you a raise?
JA: I do not know, man. We kill ourselves in training, we give the best of us to get out there and give a great show, break records for the UFC. We give the maximum, but do not have that due recognition. Now, I do not know what to do, do I need to get inside the cage and kill my opponent? I do not know.
ESPN: Are Americans favored in salary negotiations?
JA: I do not know. I feel that it can be bad for me, Barao, Anderson, that we are not fluent in English. What matters during a fight is how we fight, not language. We have to negotiate; Dede takes care of that. I'm there to give people what they want to see.
Read entire article... (original Portuguese)
Watch entire interview...