UFC president Dana White is tired of hearing critics talk about UFC fighter pay, and thinks it’s frankly none of their f**king business.
“People like to push the buttons and talk about fighter pay, and you don’t ever see us coming out and talking about it or doing whatever because I don’t give a shit. When I’ve got 20-something year old Jake Paul, a f**king YouTuber talking about fighter pay, or these other guys on the internet. We know what the hell we’re doing over here,” White said following this week’s Dana White’s Contender Series at UFC Apex in Las Vegas.
“At the end of the day, my philosophy is always this, it’s nobody’s f**king business what these fighters are making. None of these guys are under some type of gag order in their contract. Any fighter on the roster can come out and tell you guys what they make,” White said.
“I’ve said this a million times. They can come out and tell you what they make. Ask them, what did you make tonight? They can tell you. They don’t tell you. You know why they don’t tell you? Because they don’t want you to know. I wouldn’t want you to know either.”
The loudest and most public criticisms about UFC fighter pay has come from the boxing world. Jake Paul mentions it every chance he gets. Oscar De La Hoya and White got into a recent war of words on social media about it. According to White, the UFC runs a real business and boxing does not.
“We run a real business, unlike boxing. Boxing doesn’t run a real business. What these guys do is every event is a going out of business sale. They’re trying to get as much money as they can in the door. The two guys at the top of the card make all the money. And how many fights a year are they doing? One? Three? Five? I’m doing 52 to 53 events a year,” White said.
“One of the other things we do and why we run a real business is we reinvest in the sport. Not just the business of the UFC, but we reinvest in the sport, and we’ve built a global business over the last 20 years. We have infrastructure. We have 450 employees,” said the UFC president.
“UFC headquarters. Performance Institute. I’ve found a space in Mexico, in Mexico City. We have a space that we’re looking at and doing a deal for. We’re going to build a PI there. We’re doing Puerto Rico, Africa, and obviously we have one in China. I have offices in Brazil, London, Shanghai and Singapore. We do all of our own production, which most sports do not. We built the Apex, which has enabled us to put on fights through the pandemic and keep everybody working. We pay for USAD drug testing, which is a massive number every year, to keep the sport safe and fair.”
White, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, and the new UFC ownership and staff have built an empire. The UFC is a global brand. The letters UFC represents the same thing in any language or culture. And not all combat sports have the same business models.
“Guys like (Bob) Arum and De La Hoya, and people like this never had the vision to do anything like this. It’s never been done,” White said. “What we’ve done here has never been done in the history of combat sports, and we continue to grow this thing and build the sport bigger for everybody.”