As the UFC and their legal fight over fighter treatment is set to begin, one of their champions has only one thing to say - pay me more.
The UFC Featherweight champ Jose Aldo doesn't tend to hold back when talking about salaries and definitely feels like fighters deserve more payouts from the organisation.
It comes on the back of the lawsuit calling out the UFC as having effectively monopolised the market and forcing fighters to earn much less than they're worth.
Fighters want to get paid like boxers
Aldo hosted a question and answer session before the UFC Fight Night 58 weigh-ins in his home country of Brazil, and when asked about the amount he gets paid - Aldo spoke up in defence of his MMA brethren.
"The athlete is not treated like he deserves. We deserve better," Aldo said on Friday. "I’m not speaking only about the UFC, but about the media as well. The fans treat us really well.
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"We suffer a lot and live to do a show. We get paid way less than we deserve. We deliver shows and deserve to get paid more. We practically pay to do this. You deserve to get better paid if you sell the fight."
That last part is somewhat disputable as Aldo doesn't speak English, something that has tempered his ability to connect with the North American crowds that make up a large section of the paying audience.
Despite being one of the best fighters in the world, with a sensational record of 25-1, it's clear that Aldo's path of let of the fighting doing the talking isn't enough.
Getting there won't be easy
"To get closer to boxing is complicated, but it would be great," admitted Aldo.
"Boxing is in the culture around the world for a long time, while the UFC is new and is still growing. I think it’s hard to get closer to what boxing pays their athletes, but we work for that. If they do get closer one day, I think I’ll be retired already."
Still there's hope for Aldo if the lawsuit against the UFC goes in the way of the fighters who are suing the organisation.
If a union comes out of it, then there's going to be a big change to the overall structure and, even if not, Aldo has the power in this exchange because if the UFC doesn't listen to him, he could become a powerful asset to those against the UFC.
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