It’s no secret the UFC loves them some Ronda Rousey and Conor McGregor. The two powerhouses are by far and away the promotion’s favorites, mainly because they’re the UFC’s biggest cash cows.
There are other UFC fighters that have accomplished just as much, if not more, but don’t quite bring the same sizzle as Rousey and McGregor so they’re put on the back burner.
Reigning UFC featherweight champ Jose Aldo (pictured) sees this blatant favoritism with his own brown eyes, but couldn’t care less.
“I think that when an athlete doesn’t give them much money, it changes completely,” Aldo said recently at a press conference in Brazil (video and transcription via MMAFighting). “Ronda is a star, she does movies and has everything, so her treatment is totally different. Same thing with Conor. He’s doing all this. If I had an employee bring me that much money, I would put him on my lap. So I don’t think about it, just focus on myself and my career.”
Something Aldo has touched on in the past is the UFC’s exclusive clothing sponsorship with Reebok. He’s not a fan of how the UFC is now restricting supplemental income he and his fellow fighters have enjoyed in the past for a lesser amount through the Reebok deal.
Because the UFC is pretty much the only game in town, they hold all the cards knowing fighters don’t have many other options.
“I have to defend my promotion, but if there was a PRIDE or if Bellator was as big as them, it wouldn’t be that way,” Aldo said of the UFC’s take-it-or-leave-it stance. “If you have the dream of going there and fighting, they offer you a candy and you have to accept it. It’s tough. But I can’t do anything about it.
“They worked hard to get where they are today. If they do this now it’s because it was hard for them in the beginning, and are collecting what they worked for. I would prefer that there was a bigger promotion so we could negotiate differently.”
At this stage in Aldo’s illustrious career, it’s clear he isn’t afraid to speak out about the UFC’s strong-arm approaches in dealing with its fighters. Because of this, he will never receive the Rousey or McGregor treatment, and he seems perfectly fine with it.