Dana White accused of paying “slave wages” after UFC 293 fighter discloses payment details

UFC president Dana White has been involved in many controversies throughout his tenure leading the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Back in 2014, White was accused in a sex tape scandal in which an exotic dancer allegedly recorded a sexual encounter with White in Brazil without his consent.

White has also faced accusations of racism from black UFC fighters earlier this year. However, the troubles and allegations have resurfaced as a UFC fighter has accused him of paying slave wages after disclosing payment details.

Dana White gets torched for UFC payment structure

John Makdessi emerged as the victor in his bout against Jamie Mullarkey at UFC 293. The UFC veteran took to social media and shared his payment details from UFC 293, expressing his discontent with what he received.

The UFC has deducted significant amounts for taxes from John Makdessi’s earnings. In an invoice photo sent by the UFC, Makdessi’s original purse of $58,000 is reduced due to taxes, medical expenses, airfare, and other costs, resulting in a final take-home amount of just $28,461.65.

The most significant deduction from Makdessi’s earnings is due to the Australian government, which takes a substantial 45 percent ($21,600) of the 38-year-old’s initial pay. These deductions have angered fans worldwide, with one fan tweeting, “Proving yet again why every UFC fighter’s highest aspiration is to fight a pro boxer, Dana’s got these dudes getting CTE for slave wages. My god.”

There has been a sudden trend of MMA fighters calling out boxing world champions for a fight, for instance UFC bantamweight champion Sean O’Malley calling out Gervonta Davis or Devin Haney, financial profit being the main reason. Boxing in general pays better than UFC and it’s no surprise that it’s attracting the MMA fighters because of them being underpaid relatively.

White clarified UFC’s payment scheme

In a recent interview to Yahoo sports, Dana White was asked about the recurring pay gap issues. White clarified the UFC’s payment structure in the interview and stated his opinion that boxing is struggling because it overpays its fighters.

White believes fighters always want to make more money, and he stated that the boxing sport has been completely destroyed by money and other factors, but he won’t allow the same to happen to the UFC as long as he’s in charge. “Believe me, these guys get paid what they’re supposed to get paid. They eat what they kill. They get a percentage of the pay-per-view buys, and the money is spread out amongst all the fighters,” said UFC president Dana White.

The line “It’s never gonna happen while I’m here,” grabbed the most attention and ESPN published a story summarizing the interview under the headline, “UFC president Dana White not planning fighter raises: ‘These guys get paid what they’re supposed to get paid”

White lost his temperament and snapped at reporters who did the story on his interview and was adamant that he didn’t mean fighters would never get raises. He said the GQ spot was edited and was meant to be a fun, light-hearted piece. White later commented on the ESPN piece, which was authored by the highly respected reporter Marc Raimondi. He mentioned that he didn’t even see the story, didn’t know who wrote it, and went on to call the journalist a scumbag.

Dana further clarified that he would never allow the UFC pay structure to be like boxing, where, as a result of the huge purses paid to the stars, most shows lose money and other fights aren’t able to be made. Share your thoughts on the UFC’s payment structure in the comments. Do you think UFC fighters get what they deserve, or do you believe they are underpaid?


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