EXCLUSIVE (Part 1) | ‘War Machine’ Jon Koppehaver Says Fighters are “Getting Scraps” for Pay | Late Night CageSide Radio

June 13, 2013 2:14 pm by Jake Chastain


| This week our boys Kinch and Chase Raymond invited Bellator welterweight and interview favorite, ‘War Machine’ Jon Koppenhaver, onto this week’s episode of BJPenn.com’s Late Night Cageside Radio show. War Machine discussed his upcoming fight with Blas Avena at Bellator 96 on June 19th, his training heading into that fight, and how fighters he feels that fighters do not get paid what they deserve and what he feels needs to happen in order for that to change. Here are some of the highlights of Koppenhaver’s interview as he discussed the unfair pay that fighters receive as professional athletes:

First, War Machine addressed the topic of the unfair pay that fighters get from sponsors and fight promotions/organizations and why he feels that the problem exists:

“Well the number one problem is that the whole sport of MMA is fighters; we’re a bunch of broke, desperate scumbags, you know? So these companies can get away with paying people $300 bucks, $400 bucks for a patch or a t-shirt because we’re so hungry and we’re so desperate for money that we say, ‘alright, cool! I’ll take it, I’ll take it, I’ll take it,’ you know? The UFC can get away with paying everyone crap because the only guys that have influence and power to stop the UFC are the Champions and, you know, those guys are driving Ferraris. So they’re too scared to shake the nest up and piss of Dana White, you know? But if the fighters would take a stand and demand to get what we fucking deserve then this wouldn’t happen.”

He then referred to a personal experience with a sponsorship underpaying him and what it took to get the money he deserved:

“In 2008 Sprawl paid me $1500 bucks on a non-televised fight to wear their shorts and they offered me $500 bucks this time around on a televised fight. Why? What happened in these few years? What happened is they figured out that they can get away with paying guys $500 bucks. That’s what happened so they stared doing it. Why does Dana White pay everyone shit money in the UFC? How come when he’s worth 150 million dollars? Because he can. He can do it. Why not? He has the power to do it. So we fighters have to take a stand, you know?”

“I’m one of the dudes that has balls, dude. I stood up and I had balls, I told my sponsors to screw off, you know what I mean? I told them I’d wear a blank shirt and what happened? Three days later everyone is calling me an idiot, I’m a retard, and guess what? Bam, I got a huge sponsor, they’re paying me good money. I make more money on my sponsors than anyone else in Bellator.”

Koppenhaver then explained how he felt the situation needed to be addressed in order for things to start changing and for fighters to start making more money:

“The only solution to fix the problem in mixed martial arts is all, whatever 6 or 7 UFC camps there are, got to sit down and say, ‘we aint fighting. We’re not gonna fight again until you guys pay us what we deserve.’ And they won’t do it, dude, because they’re pussies. All these guys are pussies. All these guys are supposed to be fighters and they’re not. They’re a bunch of wussies. They forgot where they came from.”

He went on talking about fighter’s pay by stating that, “They’re getting scraps.”

War Machine continued with his solution to the problem by explaining a perfect scenario that would spark a change in the way fighters are rewarded for their work:

“There needs to be a fight with like two championship fights on a card and then backstage they go, ‘You know what? We aint fighting tonight.’ Well, what’s going to happen then? Watch Dana White freak out. Watch the UFC freak the fuck out then. If that happened, that’s when shit hits the fan. That’s when you get paid.”

“We don’t even want baseball money. We just want to be able to live a decent life, man. You know what I mean? We just want a little bit of fairness.”

For the second installment of War Machine’s interview with BJPenn.com’s Late Night CageSide Radio stay posted to BJPenn.com and to listen to the entire interview with Mr. Koppenhaver click here.

Jake Chastain


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