Labour vs. Management: Daley and Cholish
Management vs. Labor is one the great fights over the past 100 years, and this week, a couple of skirmishes erupted, showing it is not over yet. Retired UFC fighter John Cholish wants more pay for fighters, and Paul Daly just want to fight on the open market ,until his visa issues are sorted out and he can compete for Bellator in the USA.
BloodyElbow’s Stephie Daniels interviewed Cholish, who says he thinks 90% of UFC fighters are unhappy with their income.
Stephie Daniels: What prompted you to come out with all the behind the scenes financial information you’ve been talking with the media about?
John Cholish: It’s something that I’ve been thinking about over the past year, especially leading up to this fight. I had the opportunity to train with a lot of top level fighters, and a continuous theme I noticed, was that a lot of fighters were mentioning fighter pay and compensation, and how it’s so tough to make ends meet, whether it be feeding their families or taking care of rent. I just kind of thought, ‘After this fight, win or lose, I’m going to retire.’
I just wanted to speak for the fighters that might share the same opinion, but are worried that if they speak out, there will be repercussions. I wanted to give the facts and information that I have, present them to the public, and then let them create their own opinion about it.
SD: You mentioned that there are other fighters that share your opinions, but don’t want to have their voices heard or be recognized for those opinions out of fear of repercussions. How many of those guys or what percentage would you estimate do share your opinions?
JC: I would say 90% including some top tier fighters. It’s interesting when you look at an event that takes place over the weekend, and the reported salaries for the entire roster on that card, 24 fighters or so, can be covered alone with the in-gate ticket sales at the venue. That’s before you even get to the PPV, the licensing, the merchandising, the advertising and the contracted revenue with companies like FOX.
I don’t know the exact numbers, but it’s pretty obscene when you look at the revenue that the UFC is taking in, compared to the portion that they’re giving back to the fighters. Last I checked, the fans are buying the PPV to see the guys inside the cage, not the owners sitting outside of it.
SD: Do you think fighters are worried that they will receive less advantageous match-ups, or they might be more likely to be cut if they speak up about certain subjects in public?
JC: I think you can say that, based upon current fighters on the roster that are active and haven’t spoken up. It’s definitely something they do fear. I can only speak from my individual experiences, but I do know that there are a lot of fighters that aren’t happy with the compensation that they’re receiving, but will not speak up because they’re afraid of what will happen.
Bellator fighter Paul Daley is at present unable to secure a work visa for the USA, due to an arrest and pending assault charges following a bar brawl in Britain. Daley forcefully asserts his innocence, but until the matter moves through the UK court system, Daley is unable to fight in the USA. Thus he is trying to take fights outside the US, but these must be okayed by Bellator. On Wednesday, ‘Semtex’ took to Facebook and said the approvals are not forthcoming.
Just got word Bellator have refused to allow me to fight yet another opponent!!! It’s becoming really frustrating that even though they are not my managers, they can approve my fights.
I’ve got great fights offered to keep me busy fighting and earning, and they seem to want to put a stop to this….all this while, having to pay for my OWN legal costs on a matter that influence my visa outcome…and my ability to fight for the promotion (Bellator) Its bulls—.
There’s a lot more too…with regards to other promoters having to PAY Bellator a “Booking fee” for using me on their shows?….
What do you think UG? Should the UFC be paying the undercard more, or are the asses in seats not paying for the undercard? Should Bellator let Daley fight where ever he wants to right now, or should ‘Semtex’ be grateful they are letting him fight outside Bellator at all?