Dana White responds to Donn Davis’ fighter pay comments: “I do see them waste unbelievable amounts of money”

By Zain Bando - September 6, 2023

Regarding fighter pay, Dana White and the UFC’s stance has not changed in recent years.

Donn Davis, Dana White, PFL

During a 2022 GQ video in which White, UFC president since 2001, went undercover to answer fan questions across social media, he reiterated that his roster gets compensated fairly and money is “spread out” among the roster pool.

Nonetheless, PFL founder Donn Davis feels differently and said in an interview with Front Office Sports Today that his fighters are compensated better than the UFC’s, or quite frankly, any other major MMA promotion.

“UFC’s a great company, but PFL is a great company,” Davis said (h/t MMAMania). “We do everything they do, and we do some things better. One, we pay better; two, you’re in control in the PFL. You’re not under somebody’s thumb. What you do inside the cage controls your future.”

Davis added the PFL ensures that fighters remain put, unlike the UFC, where sunset clauses and other contractional obligations could keep fighters with a deal where they are inactive most of the year and want to pursue different opportunities.

“We’ve never had a fighter leave PFL in five years,” Davis said. “We’re not a feeder league. Not one has ever left.

When they get here, they go, ‘This is fantastic,’ and we’ve recruited a lot from the other guys. Francis Ngannou being the latest and the biggest. So, we think our system of treating athletes and fighter first will prove to be the better system long term. But the best thing we can do for the fighter, the industry, and our own company is be fighter first and create opportunity.”

When asked about Saudi Arabia’s $100 million investment into the PFL, Dana White was quick to fire back at Davis’ comments, discrediting nearly every single one.

White said money is not the end-all-be-all of PFL’s problems as it tries to expand into other territories on a global scale.

“One of the big things that he said in there, which is absolutely false, is that they pay more than the UFC, which is absolutely, positively not true,” White said Tuesday. “But, I do see them waste unbelievable amounts of money. And you can only waste unbelievable amounts of money for so long, no matter how much money somebody has.”

White compared PFL and Bellator’s business practices as charity-like, suggesting both companies’ financial moves and a potential merger could hurt the sport long-term.

Currently, PFL, Bellator, and the UFC run separately as competitors in the MMA space, with the UFC as the largest. The landscape changing at any point soon remains to be seen, as Bellator 300 and UFC 300 loom in October and mid-spring 2024, respectively.

What do you make of Dana White’s comments toward Donn Davis and the PFL? Let us know, Penn Nation!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM


Dana White Professional Fighters League (PFL) UFC