Chuck Liddell Responds to Gripes About Fighter Pay
By Christopher Murphy @MurphMMA
Former UFC light heavyweight champion and current VP of Business Development recently responded to growing complaints about fighter pay.
On SiriusXM Fight Club, Liddell talked about his own past with the UFC, explaining that monetary compensation in any sport is based on performance.
“Those guys have got ot understand, this is a performance based sport, like all sports. You fight good, you win, you get paid. Alright? You’re starting out, no one knows who you are, no one cares, you don’t get paid. Period. It’s simple.
“I mean, my first contract I was offered by the UFC, or my second contract, it was 1-and-1, 2-and-2, and 3-and-3. That’s 12 grand for the year… Don’t complain to me about fighter pay. It was $12,000 for a year, and it was exclusive.”
While complaints about pay have been commonplace in the UFC, fighters have become more vocal about issues like job security and a fighters’ union. Former UFC fighters Jon Fitch and Jacob Volkmann recently spoke together about the formation of a fighters’ union. Even Mark Hunt recently spoke out disgruntled about his pay for his recent UFC 160 fight with Junior Dos Santos.
Again, Chuck Liddell points to performance as the basis for pay.
“People got to understand, the fighters at the top are the fighters that are supposed to get paid, because they’re the guys that are bringing people in, bringing eyes to the TV, getting pay-per-view buys, and putting people in the seats. I mean, that’s what it comes down to. You want to get that? Beat everybody. Be good enough. If you’re not good enough to get there- sorry. It’s not a welfare state.
“You picked the wrong profession. I saw a guy who said, ‘Hey, I won eight fights in a row and I can’t make a living.’ I looked at your record. Yeah, you won eight fights in a row on these small shows. You went and you fought in the UFC twice. You lost, both times. You picked the wrong sport. Hey, you made a good run at it. You tried. Hey, try another sport because this one doesn’t work for you. Sorry.”
Strong words from the former champion, who embraces the ‘only the tough survive’ mentality when it comes to the UFC’s handling of business.