Franklin talks fighter pay, UFC’s edge in negotiating

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Rich Franklin was one of the sports biggest stars in the UFC 4-5 years ago, but nearing the end of his career, knows that he doesn’t have leverage to make the same money as some of today’s biggest stars:

“Everybody is put on their own schedule. How UFC negotiates with me is different than how they negotiate with somebody else. From a business standpoint, I get it. The UFC is not in the business of just giving away money. It’s your job to negotiate that money. It is difficult because they are the only player on the block. This is the analogy I use with people. In the NFL, I can negotiate my contract with the team. If I don’t like that contract, I have 31 other teams to negotiate with. I know it’s not that easy; but the point is that there are other sources that you can go to. The UFC is the only player so it gives them an edge. And kudos to them for having a great business plan.

I’ve never been one to talk about fighter pay with somebody else. I know there are fighters out there that make way more money than I do and I would never complain if somebody wanted to add a decimal place to my paycheck. But, you have to remember that I was a high school teacher. I transitioned into MMA and I made way more money fighting than I would have teaching high school.

Honestly, I feel blessed that I’ve been given the opportunities that I’ve been given and blessed to have made the money that I’ve made. I see fighters like Jon Jones, they are getting bigger contracts; the sport’s more mainstream and they have better endorsement opportunities. The Gatorades, the Nikes and the Under Armours were not there five, six, seven years ago when I was at the top of the game. I missed out on that. I was on the wave before the big wave. Yeah, it would have been nice If I has made more money in my career but I’m definitely not complaining about the amount of money I made. UFC always treated me well and they did the things they said they were going to do.”

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