Quarry offers six suggestion to improve the UFC for fighters
Last week retired UFC middleweight Nate “Rock” Quarry made a post on the The UnderGround that was cited in dozens of articles and drew a response from both Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White.
Now Quarry has come back and offered some further suggestions.
From: Nate 'Rock' Quarry
Member Since: 8/24/02
Let me state that I had the numbers wrong for my fight against Franklin. I swear I thought the gate was 3.5 million. It's been pointed out to me that the gate was about 2 million. The PPV buys about 200k. But we really don't know for sure because that information is not disclosed.
How much did I make? $10,000. But that number is NOT important. Hindsight being 20/20 and all that, I should have negotiated a better deal. I should have negotiated like Randy did so I would have the rights to use my fight photos and videos.
But I didn't. Water under the bridge.
None of that is important. My last fight I was paid around 40k. Although I took a horrendous beating that took months to heal from and now have 13 screws and titanium in my face, I think I was paid very well for that fight.
Then why did I speak up in the first place? To change the past? To speak about low pay from 8 years ago? No, no I didn't.
I'm trying to address issues that are occurring right now with fighters. The sponsorships being cut, the sponsorship tax, things like that. Things that will benefit the fighters without hurting the UFC.
So let's look at some individual issues and look at potential solutions so I don't come off as a total whiny little baby:
Fight Week: Fighters are given two flights, one hotel room and $50 per diem
I suggest: Give the fighter 3 flights and $100 per diem. The days of one cornerman are over. Fighters are taking money out of their purses to pay for the numerous coaches they have to fly in to deliver the best fight possible.
Hotel Gyms: Fighters are allowed to use the gym for free, their corner has to pay to use the hotel gym where the fighter is actually fighting.
I suggest: The fighter and up to 3 cornermen get to use the hotel gym for free. This would cost next to nothing and is one little thing that shows the fighter that they aren't being nickeled and dimed.
Sponsorships: This is completely random. The last time I was dealing with the UFC, clothing and supplement sponsors had to pay $100k for the privilege of having a fighter put their logo on the fighter's shorts. Random companies don't have to pay a fee.
I suggest: Remove the sponsorship tax. This is going to bring back a myriad of sponsors that want to support the fighters and can't afford to pay 100k to the UFC.
UFC uniform: This is speculative but it seems that the UFC is moving towards a uniform for fighters to wear out to fight in. This is going to kill the remaining sponsors. No longer will they have a shirt sponsor if everyone is wearing the same shirt. No more shorts sponsors if everyone is wearing the same pair of shorts.
I suggest: Kill this idea. If the UFC is unhappy with certain fighters wearing inappropriate shorts or shirts, punish THEM. Not every fighter in the UFC.
UFC fight contract: I may be wrong but I believe the minimum wage in the UFC is $6,000. It goes up from there. I've had agents tell me they are pushing for a 5 fight contract. Why? If you're fighter goes on a win streak he can't demand more money. If he loses, he gets cut.
I suggest: A three fight NO cut contract. This lets the fighter know that for one year they are UFC fighters. They can focus on fighting and that's it. The UFC is going to be more selective knowing that the guy they sign will be around for a year. This gives the fighter time to get over the Octagon jitters. And build a fan base because the fans know this guy will be around for at least a year. Right now guys come and go. So what difference does it make if you have one guy signed for three fights instead of three guys that are one and done?
Pay scale: Again, I could be wrong, but I believe the UFC minimum is 6k.
I suggest: Starting salary $10,000 to show, $5,000 win bonus. If you win, your next fight is $10/7.5. The third fight on your contract would be $10/10. For one year the fighter knows that they will be making a minimum of 30k.
“Don't talk about money!”
That's the golden rule when it comes to athletes. The average person will think you're an ungrateful crybaby and the owners will think you're ungrateful for all they've done for you.
“You got paid to follow your dreams!”
Sure did. And much like a painter who loves to paint and someone comes along and offers to sell their paintings and makes a mint off of them, the painter deserves his fair share.
“You're saying this over social media? You should be a man and say these things privately and face to face!”
I did. Over many years. And I was labeled an asshole and not a company man. And if you're not a company man that means no appearances and no exposure from corporate. And social media is today's version of picketing outside the offices. I can reach millions of people that are in my key demographic of people I want to reach instead of wearing a sandwich board outside an office. I did complain about having to pay to use the gym at the Palms to help my fighter cut weight. I was told rather soundly that I was the only one complaining and to be quiet. I did complain about sponsors being charge a tax or not being able to thank sponsors after fights and got THE call, telling me to be quiet. I even went to the MMA “journalists” and was told the repercussions of doing a story on such things would result in passes being pulled.
Do I represent every fighter? Hell no.
Do I think the UFC deserves to make the lion's share of the money? Hell yes. They are the ones that invested millions of dollars and years worth of time. And they are continuing to grow, worldwide.
And the UFC wants to present itself as a professional organization with uniforms and codes of conduct. And yet with all that, there is no one representing the fighters and what they want and need.
If you know me you would know I'm for increasing the minimum wage to about $10 an hour. But not $15 an hour. The minimum wage in the NBA is about $470k. I'm suggesting the minimum wage in the UFC be about $30k. You may call it apples and oranges but we have to start somewhere.
Feel free to quote stats that make me look like an idiot. Point out how I fought for the title and got brutally KO'ed. All I'm doing is trying to help my fellow fighters and speak my opinion. I'm not representing anyone but myself. I can only speak from my own experiences.
And my experience with the UFC was amazing. I got to fight for the world title, man! And Dana personally decided to pay for my back surgery. Not too many other bosses would do that. Everything in my life besides my daughter has come from fighting. And I'd do it all over again.
Oh, I'm not trying to generate interest for a comeback on my part. I'm not trying to promote Bellator or get cut from the UFC so I can fight for them. I'm sharing MY experiences. Good AND bad. And when I see the fighters losing sponsorship dollars for no good reason, that's when I feel I need to speak up.
Honestly, I don't enjoy this. But I have this little voice inside my head that won't let me sleep unless it gets its chance to talk.
Thank you all