Former UFC fighter Jason Volkman had some less than flattering things to say about his former employer. Is he crying crocodile tears or is he spot on? It cracks me up when fans think that MMA fighters are getting rich because they are fighting on live T.V. MMA is not like other sports where you can focus on one thing. An MMA fighter has to train in; boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, BJJ, Karate AND strength and conditioning. Fighters drive endless hours going from training session to training session during the week. The amount of prep time for a fight is absolutely insane. I can understand a local promotion paying a pro fighter 750/750…those are small local shows. If you subtract the top guys in the UFC like GSP and Anderson Silva the disparity between the income that the UFC generates and what they pay their fighters is quite disturbing. No active fighter in the UFC will ever speak about this because they will be dealt with the way Roger Huerta was and nobody in the press will speak of it because they are so desperate to get press passes. In fact much of what is going on in the UFC is questionable. Guys like Sonnen and Overeem that get popped for PED use are welcomed back with open arms to the UFC because…they sell tickets. Dana said years ago that he took the “boxing model” and did the exact opposite…hmm…really? How many times is Sonnen going to be given a PPV fight because he can sell? I understand that the UFC is a business and running a business is about making money and staying in the black. That being said the UFC is way, way in the black and they could certainly be paying their rank and file fighters more money instead of treating them like sled dogs. (back in gold rush days if a sled dog could no longer pull the sled it was unclipped left on the side of the trail and replaced with a fresh dog.)
Editors Note: after publishing this post I read that the UFC has signed Josh Barnett. This is exactly what I’m talking about when I say that Dana IS following the boxing model. How many years has it been since Barnett has been relevant and he’s been busted something like 6 times for PED use. Are you telling me there is a lack of up and coming talent? Of course not. Barnett can sell. It’s sad really sad.
Here is what Volkmann had to say: (taken from Bjpenn.com)
“Very bitter. They always claim that they treat the fighters so well. Yeah, they treat the top five percent of the fighters well – the ones that are on the main card all the time. They don’t treat the rest of them very well. The healthcare plan is horrible, with a $1,500 deductible per injury – the catastrophic-injury insurance is not even really good insurance. There’s no retirement fund, there’s no signing bonus. You start off at six-and-six, you’re really not making too much money because you’re self-employed, so you’re paying the self-employment tax and you’re paying the regular tax and income tax. So you’re paying twice as much in tax. They claim they’re treating the fighters well, but they’re not, realistically. People always tell me, ‘You’re rich – you’re on TV!’ Are you kidding me? I made $54,000 two years ago, paid $9,000 in taxes, so that leaves me with $45,000. This last year, I made $50,000 and paid $8,000 in taxes. That leaves me with $42,000 – that’s barely above poverty. I have three kids and a wife I’m supporting. I’m trying to make the fans realize what the UFC is really like – I’m going to expose them as much as I can. But also my goal is to win in World Series and try to stay undefeated. Obviously it’s to win. The short-term goal is to win. The long-term goal is, as soon as they come out with that belt, I’d like to get that belt.”
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