As a Brazilian UFC champion, Jose Aldo (pictured) now stands alone after Renan Barao was upset by TJ Dillasahw for his bantamweight title last Saturday at UFC 173. However, as a mixed martial artist who’s not thrilled about the numbers on his paycheck, Aldo is standing with the majority.
“Certainly I feel underpaid,” Aldo told ESPN Brazil (transcribed by MixedMartialArts.com). “Talking in numbers is difficult. A fighter dreams of reaching a level where he makes good money. Today I have other thoughts – I have been around the world, I have great insight into this. At the same time that they give business to us, they could improve [pay]. We bring millions to the organization’s events. I’m a very marketable fighter, and everyone likes to see me fight.
“We see a lightweight being paid the same as a beginner. We see a heavyweight non-champion and non-title challenger earning a lot more than us. This situation makes us a little sad, but I have to keep fighting. We can’t lose our focus.”
Aldo, the only featherweight champ the UFC has ever known, has fought six times for the promotion. However, the only occasion his disclosed salary was released was when he beat Frankie Edgar at UFC 156.
According to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the committee who sanctioned the February 2013 event, Aldo made a total of $240,000, with half of his paypay coming via win bonus.
Aldo has defended his throne twice since then, and it can be assumed he banked at least $240k in each of those outings.
“We kill ourselves in training, we give the best of us to get out there and give a great show, break records for the UFC,” Aldo added. “We give the maximum, but do not have that due recognition. Now, I do not know what to do. Do I need to get inside the cage and kill my opponent? I do not know.”
When asked if his inability to speak English affected his bargaining power at the negotiating table, Aldo admitted it can play a part. Although, fighters are paid to scrap not chat.
“I feel that it can be bad for me, Barao, Anderson [Silva], that we are not fluent in English,” Aldo said. “What matters during a fight is how we fight, not language. I’m there to give people what they want to see.”
Nick and Nate Diaz, who speak English just fine (sometimes), will be the first to attest that it doesn’t matter what language you speak because all MMA fighters are underpaid – especially them.