Boxing & UFC fighter pay: Damning finances emerge about Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder & UFC 270

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The issue of UFC fighters being underpaid has been a hot topic of debate for many years now, with some roster members airing their frustrations with the lack of pay.

The topic has now taken a new twist and it’s even more damning than you could have ever imagined.

Reports have shown that boxers Deontay Wilder and current undisputed heavyweight champion Tyson Fury took home 25x more than the UFC 270 roster COMBINED for their trilogy fight last year.

According to Andreas Hale, who is the senior editor of combat sports for The Sporting News, Wilder and Fury took home $50 million between them, with the latter taking home $30m of that, while every single UFC 270 fighter took home a measly $1.8m between them!

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In defence of the issue, UFC president Dana White has commented saying that fighters are paid on performance and draw power, adding: “They don’t actually know what these guys are making. And the fighters don’t ever come out and tell you. There’s no gag order on any of these guys. These guys can come out at any time and tell you what they’re making. I have no problem with that. But they don’t, do they? No, they do not. So it’s sort of a Catch-22.”

Perhaps the problem with this statement is that fighters that are not being sufficiently paid are reluctant to fight on a regular basis.

The most recent UFC fighter to criticise the pay debate is UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou, who defeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 270 last Saturday.

With his contract expiring this year, Ngannou must continue with the promotion as a result of a clause being that a UFC champion must remain until the completion of their deal, but the Cameroonian is rumoured to be out of the UFC Octagon once this concludes.

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He told The MMA Hour: “I just want to be free. We are supposedly independent contractors. [An] independent contractor is technically a free person. That’s the reason why they need some adjustments in that contract. That’s what I’ve been fighting for.”

Other high-profile fighters have also joined the debate.

The controversial Jon Jones has had a tumultuous relationship with the UFC ever since his debut, but his argument over pay is one many fans can respect.

And even the ever-polarising boxer Jake Paul also has tried tackling the issue, even purchasing a stake in the UFC company despite his ongoing rivalry with White.

It’s clear the fighter pay problem in the UFC is an issue that will continue to gain more attention and rightfully so given these fighters put their bodies on the line each time they enter the Octagon.

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