UFC: The Pay Scale Will Never Be Like Boxing, and That's Alright

Matthew Ryder@@matthewjryderFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2013

Jul 27, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; UFC president Dana White speaks at a press conference after UFC on FOX 8 at Key Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

It's time for the bleeding hearts who are beating the drum for poor mixed martial artists to dig a hole somewhere and jump in it.

The cries of fighters being unable to feed their families, train properly, and remain competitive in the harsh world of professional combat need to stop.

Grown-up men and women are making suitable choices in a business for grown-ups here. In all honesty, there's no place for big babies and childish complaints. In particular, it seems odd to complain that it doesn't rain money in the fight game.

There's even less place for those who claim that boxing is a better paying gig and yet mixed martial artists are getting hosed every time they strap on the gloves.

Get over it. If you don't like it, go somewhere else.

How do the paragraphs above read?

Akin to something you'd see from Dana White at a press scrum? Much like when a journalist who probably should know better prods him on complaints of an unknown fighter being underpaid. 

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If those paragraphs aren't exactly on the money, they're close. White doesn't have a lot of time for such questions, considering he's probably answered the same one in some form or another a million times in the past few years.

And do you know something? He's 100 percent right.

The UFC pays what it pays. If you go out and perform, you'll make more money. If you don't, you won't. In that regard, it's an equal opportunity employer.

Nobody forced mixed martial artists to join the trade. If you don't want to train eight weeks to make $8,000 for eating another person's shin live on pay-per-view, no one is saying you have to.

And that sure isn't a call to move to the way boxing does business, despite what some of the more noted squeaky wheels on the roster have suggested.

Yes, the top guys in boxing make utterly insane amounts of money. Floyd Mayweather made a guaranteed $32 million to fight Robert Guerrero ($3 million guaranteed) in May.

Yes, those are the guys that MMA fighters are pointing to in their outrage. As we all know, Floyd can't stop a double-leg.

No, every guy who ever mastered the sweet science has not made the GDP of Jordan just for showing up.

Other disclosed numbers from combatants on the undercard of that Mayweather fight? $165,000, $25,000, $100,000, and $60,000, plus a couple of $375,000 sums for a title fight.

They are all very respectable numbers, but not the type that anyone in the UFC has ever made in the history of the business.

Actually, on the last FOX cardone that was not propped up by the direct revenue stream of pay-per-viewfighters went home with numbers like $58,000 (twice), $84,000, $156,000, $74,000, and $66,000.

Certainly not numbers that are so far behind those of the squared circle that the vociferous pay-related mudslinging to which White is regularly subjected seems justified.

Even more reasonable when one considers that MMA is still, like it or not, a niche sport that simply doesn't draw the eyes that boxing does. Especially boxing with a Mayweather or Pacquiao on the marquee.

Considering that, it's even more remarkable that the worst disclosed payday for a fighter on that FOX card was $8,000 while you can't even find numbers for guys in similar positions on the Mayweather card because they're so financially irrelevant.

Everyone wants to make more money in this world and combat athletes are no different. They want to make as much as they can, while they can, and they have a short window to make that happen.

But it's time to stop complaining about what the UFC pays. It's even more important to stop making comparisons to boxing in the hope of turning things on to that line of thinking - it's only going to lead to Georges St-Pierre making $25 million to show up while Andy Ogle gets $60 and a parking pass.

Is that really better? No, it's not.

Sometimes it's better to sit back and enjoy a sport instead of digging into every corner of it looking for things to complain about.

This is one of those times.