UFC champion Israel Adesanya speaks out on fighter pay: “I’m not saying pay debutants some crazy money”

Israel Adesanya, UFC 243, Dan Hooker
Image via @stylebender on Instagram

Israel Adesanya defended his title against Robert Whittaker this past weekend at UFC 271 in Houston, Texas.

The much anticipated rematch concluded with Adesanyas’ second victory over the former champion, as he defeated Whittaker by unanimous decision in what was a close fight.

The middleweight world champion now has the stellar record of 22-1 MMA with his only loss coming from his fight with Jan Blanchowicz (28-9 MMA) via unanimous decision at UFC 259 in March 2021.
Fighter pay in the UFC has come under much scrutiny in the last several months with many fighters airing their concerns about how little they are getting paid.
Jake Paul, never one to mince words, has spoken out about Dana White and the UFC and says he wants to start a fighters union for better pay and better benefits.
Francis Ngannou has been in a bitter dispute with Dana & company over re-negotiating his own contract.

Robert Whittaker has voiced his concerns that there should be better healthcare for fighters.

Israel Adesanya, Robert Whittaker, UFC 271
Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker after UFC 271
The list goes on but ‘The Last Stylebender’ has decided to air his thoughts on the matter of money for fighters in the UFC as well.

Taking to Twitter, Israel Adesanya has weighed in about UFC fighter pay tweeting:

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“I’m not saying pay debutants some crazy money. I’m just saying pay them enough to be able to train, feed their family and not have a second or third job.”

It should be noted that just prior to his fight with Whittaker on Saturday, February 12th, Adesanya signed a very lucrative multi-fight contract with the UFC.

Dana White has previously responded to the criticism of fighter pay and in speaking with journalist Manouk Akopyan last year he commented:

“Fighter pay has continually gone up every year since we owned the business. Obviously, there’s been tons more opportunities with the outfitting policy, some of the sponsors that we’ve brought in that spend tons of money with the fighters too. There’s a lot of opportunity here for the fighters. And listen, there’s never gonna be a guy that’s coming out and saying, ‘Yeah, they’re paying me too much. They’re overpaying me. And all of these guys that are champions share in the pay-per-view revenue.”

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Continuing, White said:

“Listen, if you don’t like it, go start your own MMA league and pay ‘em whatever you want to pay ‘em. This is mine and this is the way we’re doing it.”

What do you think about fighter pay in the UFC? Do you agree with Adesanya that they should be paid enough to train and feed their family without having to take on a second or third job? Share your thoughts in the comment section PENN Nation!

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