Gray Maynard slams UFC over pay: They keep us broke and starving

Gray Maynard
Image Credit: UFC.com (photographer not listed)

Gray Maynard has spoken out about the way the UFC conducts its business and fighter pay.

Maynard has been a UFC staple since 2007 where he had the two back-to-back title fights against Frankie Edgar including one being the Fight of the Year in 2011. Yet, for his efforts, he was only paid $26,000.

Now, after Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal have spoken up about fighter pay, Maynard has been active on social media about how much he has been paid in his career. For the UFC veteran, he says he has been wanting to speak up for a long time.

“I’ve been looking into it the last year or so. It is hard to do it while you are under contract with them. Hats off to Jon Jones and Jorge Masvidal to do just that. A lot of other guys don’t have that name value so they need to keep fighting just to pay their bills,” Maynard said to BJPENN.com. “People think you need to keep your mouth shut, but Jones and Jorge, it is good they are speaking up. I’ve just been watching guys coming up and I know people are paying money to be in the UFC. Camps cost more than the $10-12,000 they make to fight.”

For Maynard, he believes UFC fighters need to unite and create a fighter union. He says Dana White and the UFC will never pay more unless they are forced to by a law or a union.

Maynard also believes the UFC forces people to fight so often because they don’t make much and are constantly broke.

“We have to have a union. We have to have people standing up for us. Dana is a great talker and is awesome. He always says boxing is broken and we create the best fights,” he explained. “Like why do you have to create the best fights by forcing people to be broke and they need to fight? They force people into fights for your entertainment because they are starving. That doesn’t sound like a sport to me.”

Gray Maynard

Gray Maynard knows all about how White and the UFC try to pay as little as possible. He says following his draw against Edgar, Joe Silva called him to renegotiate his contract. But, as Masvidal says, it was a take it or leave it offer.

“It’s funny that Dana gives a speech after the weigh-ins and it’s supposed to motivate you. For half my career, it did motivate me. He tells you to go out there and put on a show have the Fight of the Night, etc. What did I do? Pay-per-view headliner that I was only guaranteed $26,000 for and I gave him a Fight of the Year that they play all the time. Probably one of the more played fights ever,” he explained. “All I got was a regular $50,000 bonus and a pat on the back. Joe Silva then called me two days later to renegotiate and get me to do the lowest price possible.”

After that negotiation, Gray Maynard said he was done with the sport and lost his love for MMA.

“I was done, dude. I was like what the f**k is this. This is stupid, this is a f**king stupid sport,” Maynard said. “I left my gym and stopped paying coaches because I was barely making any profit. It just got to the point like what the f**k am I doing? That is when my career took a dip because I stopped giving a s**t.”

In the end, Gray Maynard says all the UFC cares about is money and not the fighters. They also will not change unless they have to. So, the hope for the 41-year-old is something changes with Jones, Masvidal and so many former fighters now speaking up.

“UFC will never do anything until they have to. The reason the UFC has done what they did is because they can,” he concluded. “They will never change because they are money-hungry people. There are people in this world who just care about money and that’s who they are.”

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