Dana White blasts boxing salaries in wake of Jake Paul's criticism of UFC fighter pay and says boxers are 'overpaid'

UFC president Dana White has hit out at critics of fighter pay, insisting a large portion of boxers are "overpaid".

The topic of raising combatant pay has been a major talking point in mixed martial arts' leading promotion for several years – with a number of big names voicing their discontent.

But it's recently been brought to the attention of the masses by YouTuber turned boxer Jake Paul – who has publicly derided the promotion for their entry-level salaries.

UFC supremo White hasn't shied away from the issue, which he's partly attributed to excessively large purses dished out by boxing promoters.

During an appearance on The Pivot Podcast, White said: “There’s always gonna be head butting.

“Do you make enough money? Do you? I want to meet that guy that goes, ‘Oh, I’m good. I make plenty of money. I don’t need another dime.’


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"You’re never going to meet that guy. It’s never going to happen. Everybody wants more money.

"And one of the big problems with boxing too is that all those f*****g guys are overpaid, and every time they put on a fight, it’s a going-out-of-business sale.

"We’re just trying to get as much f*****g money as we can from you guys, and then we’re out of here. We’ll see you in three years."

White, along with the Fertitta brothers Frank and Lorenzo, transformed the UFC into a global entity worth a staggering £3.1billion – the fee WME-IMG purchased the promotion from Zuffa for in the summer of 2016.

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And he believes the fight league, and indeed the sport itself, wouldn't be where it is now if they followed boxing's suit.

He continued: “You can’t build a league like that. You can’t build a sport.

"You can’t have 750 fighters under contract, making money, feeding their families every year, with that kind of mentality. It doesn’t work. You have to run a business.”

UFC fighters currently pocket 20 per cent of the promotion's yearly revenue generated, but White insists the company's incentive-based pay structure provides them with the chance to take home plenty of cash.

He said: “What we did it we built a business model where, if you’re the champion, you share in the pay-per-view revenue.

“If you’re the guy headlining the card, or there’s been some special occasions where we know you’re bringing in the money, too, and you’re a big draw so you, too, get to share in the pay-per-view revenue. You eat what you kill.

“The truth is, you get some of these guys that — you can walk in and say, ‘I want $30 million dollars.’ OK, based on what? I do too.

"Give me $30 million. We all want $30 million, but based on what?

"And you’re never going to have the guys on the other side worrying about the business of the sport.

"Because this isn’t a team sport. … In this sport here, it’s about me. ‘I’m the biggest star here. I knocked out 30 people.

"I did this, I did that. I want as much money as I can get, and I really don’t give a s*** about anybody else, including you, the boss that runs the business. I don’t care about this whole business. It’s about me.’

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“So you have to maintain some sort of control over that type of stuff to run a real business.

"Because at the end of the day, the reason this business has been this rocket ship of success is because not only have we built a solid [business] where these fighters are all making lots of money and doing well — even guys that are journeymen [are doing well].”

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