Dana White’s math isn’t adding up, according to former UFC light heavyweight champ Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Back in January 2013, the UFC president told MMA journalist Ariel Helwani that Jackson had earned $15.2 million from 2007 to 2012. When speaking with Fight Hub, Jackson finally had an opportunity to address those figures:
The UFC put a big number out there that I made so much money over the years, and honestly, I don’t believe that it’s true. They lie about a lot of stuff. After taxes and after you pay your team, your coaches and your manager, you don’t walk away with the number like they say they pay you. It’s just propaganda.
Jackson has long butted heads with his former employer over the issue of fighter pay. Over a year ago, he even went as far as accusing the UFC of lying about pay-per-view buys in an interview with MMA H.E.A.T.
Jackson parted ways with the UFC after dropping his last three fights. He has since jumped ship to Bellator and rebounded with three straight wins.
The list former and current disgruntled UFC employees continues to grow. UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz told Submission Radio that fighters are only rewarded with “six percent” of the revenue collected from fans.
Former middleweight contender Nate Quarry claimed that the UFC only cared about the “bottom line.” In a post on MMA Underground (per BloodyElbow.com's Fraser Coffeen), Quarry also went into detail about the hefty tax the UFC places on would-be sponsors, which severely limits the opportunities for fighters to draw from any outside resources.
Current heavyweight contender Mark Hunt recently tweeted that UFC champions were the only fighters making big money. He deemed the rest of the roster payouts as “average”:
While Jackson is mindful of the lopsided nature of boxing’s pay scale, his hope is that one day MMA fighters will get paid along the lines of a professional football or basketball player.
“At least [the same amount as] basketball players and football players, it’s only one percent of boxers making big money,” said Jackson.