It has been more than three months since Jacob Volkmann was released from his UFC contract, and he isn't going down without a fight.
During an interview with Above and Beyond MMA, he blasted his former employer for insufficient fighter pay and "horrible" health-care benefits.
While he is admittedly bitter at his untimely release, Volkmann's plan is to expose the façade he believes the UFC puts up for its fans. The life of a UFC fighter is often considered luxurious and pampered like any other professional athlete.
According to Volkmann, this persistent insinuation is only true when pertaining to the biggest names in the UFC:
"[I'm] very bitter. [The UFC] 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 health-care 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."
Similar to the release of former welterweight contender Jon Fitch, there was a lot of confusion pertaining to the UFC's decision to cut Volkmann.
He was coming off of a loss to Bobby Green at UFC 156, but a wider look at his body of work didn't show a fighter in danger of losing his job. As a UFC fighter, Volkmann boasted a 6-2 record with significant wins over Danny Castillo, Efrain Escudero and Shane Roller.
Despite his success on the big stage, fans never really warmed up to Volkmann's personality or fighting style. In nearly four years competing under the UFC banner, the most memorable moment of his career was calling out President Barack Obama.
Regardless, the life of a professional fighter isn't easy. There is a lot of work and money that goes into preparing to compete against the best in the world. It is a fighter's right to a fair compensation, and Volkmann feels he never received that from the UFC:
"Of course ... 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."
Volkmann recently signed with World Series of Fighting, and he will be making his debut on June 14 against Lyle Beerbohm.
If things go according to plan, Volkmann hopes to continue his fighting career and become the first-ever WSOF lightweight champion. If not, he plans on resuming his career as a chiropractor. A political run in the 2016 presidential election isn't out of the question, either.
Can you imagine?
Volkmann gets released by the UFC, becomes the first WSOF lightweight champ and wins the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Talk about sticking it to the man.
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