UFC: Dana White Responds to ESPN's Outside the Lines
The bad blood between the UFC and ESPN continues to boil in the wake of the worldwide leader in sports' recent televised piece on fighters' pay.
On a recent episode of ESPN's Outside the Lines, the program details the disparity in pay between the upper echelon stars in the UFC and their lower tier fighters. The piece claims that the lesser known combatants are "basically fighting for crumbs" and that there is a culture of silence preventing fighters from speaking out for fear of losing their jobs.
Not to let the issue rest, White released a video of his own today, disputing the points brought up by ESPN's program.
In the video, posted above, White starts off by calling the piece "trash and one-sided," saying that ESPN does not care about mixed martial arts. To combat some of the claims made by the piece, UFC legends Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin and Matt Serra talk at length in the video about all the opportunities the promotion has given them.
As a police officer, Griffin states that he was making a modest $30,000 a year, but after his stint on the Ultimate Fighter, Griffin says, "I made substantially more in one year with the UFC than I would have working 15 years in law enforcement."
Griffin, as well as the other fighters interviewed, also talk about the multiple bonuses available that act as incentives to perform inside the Octagon.
Additionally, an extended look at Zuffa CEO Lorenzo Fertitta's interview on Outside the Lines is shown where Fertitta points out that the issue is not taboo to talk about among fighters and that the UFC has made many fighters "millionaires."
"These guys are making more money than they've ever made," Fertitta says. "Some of these guys are set for life."
With so much tension between these two sports juggernauts, repairing this relationship will be easier said than done.
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