Boxing legend Mike Tyson believes MMA fighters will never earn as much as boxers.
The extensive history of boxing has provided a lucrative career path for veterans of the sport including Mike Tyson. The retired athlete earned a whopping $400 million in the ring and had a total net worth of $685 million (according to Forbes).
“MMA will always have more views and stuff than boxing, but boxers will always make more money than MMA fighters,” he told Brant James during a podcast episode.
“[Why that is,] That’s tricky, it doesn’t make any sense,” he added.
There are a select few MMA superstars who get paid significant sums for main event fights. Conor McGregor is an example of a fighter who smashes pay-per-view records and utilizes his popularity to line his pockets. On top of his fight paycheques, “The Notorious” has his own clothing line, whiskey business and fitness company that has bolstered his wealth to well over $100 million. According to McGregor, he has already reached billionaire status.
Despite the undeniable wealth and popularity of fighters such as Jon Jones and Conor McGregor, MMA fighter’s pay has become a contentious topic. The UFC organization reportedly only pays fighters 16 percent of it’s $900 million revenue. In contrast, the Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League all pay between 48 percent and 50 percent of revenues to their players (according to a New York Post report).
Tyson doesn’t understand why fighters get paid so much less but acknowledges they don’t make enough.
“I don’t know, they don’t make enough money in my perspective. It’s exciting and sexy, but [UFC fighters] don’t make enough money.”
There are many health risks that take place in and out of the Octagon. Whether it is the dangers of weight cutting or the repeated blows to the head during a bout, fighters put their lives on the line to deliver fans the fights they love.
Do you agree with Mike Tyson that MMA fighters will always earn less? Also, do MMA organizations need to pay their fighters more? Let us know in the comments below.