UFC: Dana White Tackles Fighter Pay Complaints, Jorge Masvidal Responds

0

Las Vegas, NV — “We haven’t talked.” That’s the situation as it stands between Dana White, and UFC lightweight champion Jon Jones.

For all the back and forth in the media and on Twitter over the past few weeks, the pair have yet to actually have a conversation. That, despite Jones announcing he was walking away from the light heavyweight title.

Despite Jones’ claim that he’s done with the promotion, at least for the near future — a situation that arose when negotiations for a fight with Francis Ngannou broke down — White appears to think that cooler heads will prevail. Speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press at the UFC 250 media day, he reiterated his belief that “Bones” is the best fighter to ever step in the octagon.

“Listen Jon Jones is, in my opinion, the best to ever do it. Let him take some time, and we’ll get it figured out,” said White. “He and I have had plenty of fights in the past. This isn’t the first, and it won’t be the last.”

Jones, of course, isn’t the only fighter unhappy with his salary right now. So is the BMF champ, Jorge Masvidal, who had some pointed comments for the promotion this week.

Like Jones, Masvidal’s concerns center on pay. But so far, they seem to be falling on deaf ears. “Listen, we’re going through some weird times right now. I just saw [Jorge] Masvidal saying ‘I want more money.’ The whole f*cking world is losing their minds right now. It’s crazy,” White stated, before adding “I think everybody wants more money.”

“And Masvidal says ‘you have enough money to buy islands,'” White continued. “Let me repeat for the f*cking billionth time. I did not buy an island. Okay? I did not buy an island. The reason we’re doing the island is so that fights can go on and these kids from Europe and the rest of the world can make money and can work.”

The UFC President then made a comparison to other sports, who are struggling to find a solution to finishing out seasons that were halfway or more completed when the coronavirus pandemic struck. “I think a lot of people are really, I don’t know if it’s frustrated, or confused, or what the situation is right now,” he said. “These other sports are trying to figure out negotiations, how people will play for half the money they were going to play for before. Some of these other sports might not even go this year, the way that it’s looking. Who knows. People are losing their minds.”

When it comes right down to it, according to White, no one has to step into the octagon. “I said it when we were going through the pandemic and the media was asking me ‘what if fighters are worried and don’t want to fight?’ You don’t have to fight,” he said. “Anybody that doesn’t want to fight, doesn’t have to fight. Including Masvidal and Jon Jones and all these other guys. And it doesn’t have to be because of the pandemic.”

“These guys are independent contractors. This isn’t like the NFL, where I can make you. You come to practice and you do this, or you’re going to get fined. Or you’re going to get this. These guys can do whatever they want,” he said, making another comparison to a sport where, frankly, fighters take home far more money on average.

“They can say whatever they want. I had a big thing the other day with a reporter about fighter pay. They can come out and tell you what they make any day of the week,” White continued. “We’re not begging people to fight. We’re offering fights, because in our contract, I have to give you three fights a year. I owe you three fights a year. You have the ability to turn them down and not take them,” he finished.

It’s hard to argue numbers though. Shortly after White’s comments to the media, Masvidal responded with a pointed statement about how much of the promotion’s revenue UFC fighters earn.

As for being an independent contractor, Masvidal had a pointed reply for that as well. In short, no one is an independent contractor is they’re unable to work elsewhere.

 

Leave a Reply