Last week, Strikeforce transfer Tim Kennedy (pictured) didn’t bite his tongue when it came to complaining about fighter pay. This week, UFC president Dana White addressed the Octagon rookie’s gripe and offered a quick solution to the controversial topic.
“Let’s do away with the bonuses,” White stated during Monday’s luncheon (via ESPN.com). “You don’t like the structure? All right. We’ll pay the lower level guys more money and no more [expletive] bonuses.
“Yeah, it could happen. That’s what I’m thinking about doing. All the lower level guys want their money boosted. That’s easy to do.”
After each event, the UFC awards additional paychecks ranging between $45,000 to $65,000 to about four fighters for their special performances that evening – Fight of the Night, Knockout of the Night and Submission of the Night.
Those disclosed paydays are on top of the top secret discretionary bonuses the UFC hands out to several of their athletes after each show for various reasons. While the discretionary checks will likely remain, the ‘of the Night’ bonuses might be going out the window to the benefit of the lesser known under card fighters.
“The bonuses is something we’ve been doing out of the kindness of our hearts,” White added. “It’s not something that’s ever been structured. It was something we liked to do. We thought it was a cool thing to do.
“Apparently, people don’t like it. They want the lower level guys to make more money.”
If the UFC changes their bonus structure, White admits there will still always be a disparity among fighters’ salaries. The superstars will forever earn more, and that’s true no matter what line of work you’re in.
“Frankie Edgar is going to make a lot money this week [at UFC 162],” White said. “Anderson Silva … Chris Weidman is going to make a lot of money this week.
“No disrespect, but who gives a [expletive] about Tim Kennedy? Is he selling out venues? Are people buying tickets for Tim Kennedy? OK. There you go.”
Kennedy makes his big league debut on Saturday against Roger Gracie. The middleweights are receiving third-to-top billing on UFC 162‘s main card, which is expected to be one of the organization’s most lucrative in 2013, yet Kennedy stated he’s only pocketing $55,000 to show.
The 33-year-old could potentially score an additional $20K via win bonus.