Dana White calls media scumbags for questioning fighter pay

dana white calls media
August 27, 2020; Washington, D.C., USA; ( Editors Note: Screen grab from Republican National Convention video stream) Dana White, president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. Mandatory Credit: Republican National Convention via USA TODAY NETWORK

Dana White’s disdain for much of mixed martial arts media is well documented, and in his latest salvo on the sport’s journalists, the Ultimate Fighting Championship President said those who report on the issues of fighter pay in the organization are “scumbags.”

The amount of the revenue share that UFC athletes earn in comparison to what the promotion pulls in, has been a major topic in the MMA sphere for years. As the organization continues to rake in strong profits, even during the pandemic, the issue of the divide in revenue sharing only becomes magnified.

Even in recent months, preliminary fighters like Cheyanne Buys and main event participants such as Jared Cannonier have spoken publicly about their financial instability despite competing for the preeminent organization in the sport. Outlets from across the MMA news realm have covered those stories, and it seems the UFC boss is no fan of it.

Dana White Calls media scumbags for covering UFC fighter pay rates

Appearing as a guest on the Talking Business podcast, which is hosted by former UFC heavyweight Travis Browne, White held nothing back in critiquing members of the media who focus on the perceived inequities in the UFC, as it pertains to fighter salaries.

“You have these scumbags out there that know nothing about the business telling all the fighters ‘oh you’re all being underpaid. You’re not being paid enough money. You’re not this’ — it goes on every f*cking day,” White said [h/t BJPenn]. “Every media member that talks about fighter pay is a scumbag who is basically just out there to get attention because they literally know nothing about the business, or the pay, or how any of this sh*t works. It’s all part of the game. That’s who they are and that’s what they do, and I literally could give a f*ck.”

Over the last 15 years, fighter pay has increased. Whereas in 2005, new fighters earned US $2,000 to reach fight night, and a US $2,000 win bonus, athletes today earn US $12,000 to show and US $12,000 to win. Also, the promotion has long had the practice of US $50,000 performance bonus checks at the end of the event, and the UFC has also handed out undocumented checks to fighters in the lockerroom following events for years.

However, while fighter income has increased, so has the promotion’s revenue. Reports and financial records during that same time show the fighter pay is 15% to 22% of the promotion’s revenue. This is in comparison to the NFL, NBA, and MLB, where athletes earn 50% or more of those leagues’ incomes.

What are your thoughts? Are the media scumbags for covering fighter pay in the UFC?

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