UFC Bantamweight champion, Renan Barao has said that he is unhappy with his current pay, saying it pails in comparison to that of title rival, Urijah Faber.
The two fighters faced off in the main event of UFC 169 back at the start of February, and in a recent interview with Brazilian newspaper, UOL, Barao has said that he wants a bigger contract - especially after jumping in to 'save' UFC 173.
"I'm very happy being a UFC champion. But I would like to improve my contract," Barao said.
"Actually, an example: I know that Faber is a much older guy in the UFC, but he's not even the champion and has a much better purse than mine.
"It is what it is, we're working for it to improve. I hope that after this fight i can have a much better contract. I hope it improves every day. This depends on the contract, but I hope they remember that I saved an event."
According to estimates, Faber earned $100,000 for their last fight, while Barao could've earned as little as $22,000 - which is unlikely considering that figure is from he wasn't champion. With UFC 173 being in Las Vegas, we'll get to see a more accurate.
Barao, who is 32-1 during his career, hasn't suffered defeat in over nine years. And with his next opponent, TJ Dillashaw, being a member of Team Alpha Male - who're 0-8 in title shots - he'll be feeling confident he can extend that winning streak even further.
The Bantamweight champion won the interim title in July 2012, against Faber but it wasn't until his victory over Eddie Wineland in September 2013 that saw him elevated to the champion, dethroning the perennially injured Dominick Cruz.
With Cruz's injury worries in mind, that can be one reason for why Barao has stepped up to take the fight with Dillashaw.
Cruz held the division hostage with his injuries, and while that was no fault of his own, it certainly kept the burgeoning division from growing. Now that Barao is champion and is a fighting champion for the UFC, that should give him some pull in the next bout of contract talks says Barao.
"I prefer to rest a little more, but the UFC needed me, so I'm here to save the event," he said.
"Unfortunately, Weidman got injured, so they called me and I accepted. It's always good to fight in these big events, I was pretty happy."
Despite the lack of rest, Barao will be the odds-on favourite to leave UFC 173 as the champion still. Dillashaw is a tough fighter but still relatively unproven in the UFC with a 6-2 record in his three years with the company.
Like Barao though, stepping up to fill in for the main event will likely earn him favor with the UFC in terms of getting a bigger payday.
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