The fighter pay debate often comes up when people are looking for ways to criticize the UFC business model, but UFC president Dana White has an easy solution for that. Rather than provide incentives like the promotion has done for a number of years, the UFC could simply pump that money in to the fighters salary.
“The bonuses were something we’ve been doing out of the kindnesses of our (expletive) hearts,” White said, via the Las Vegas Sun. “That’s not something that was ever done or structured. We started doing it and that was it. It was something we liked to do, thought it was a cool thing to do. Apparently people don’t like it. They want the lower-level guys to get paid more money.”
White was then asked if the fight night bonuses could be tossed to the side in favor of higher fighter pay and he was clear with his response.
“(Expletive) yeah, it could happen,” White said. “That’s what I’m thinking about doing. All the (expletive) lower-level guys think they need their money boosted. Everyone thinks it’s not enough money, so that’s easy to do.”
For MMA fans, this could cause some concern.
The fight night bonuses serve as an incentive for fighters to put on better performances and look for the finish.
If the bonuses are gone, everyone could begin to focus on just doing what it takes to win to keep their spot on the roster rather than looking to put on a show. If that were to happen, it would be bad news for the sport.