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Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva has come to the defense of Dana White and the promotion regarding the polarizing debate over fighter compensation.
Few topics divide opinion and remain consistently on the MMA agenda, quite like the discussion of fighter compensation. While the sport’s premier promotion has grown at a breakneck pace over the past decade, both globally and financially, many fighters and pundits don’t believe the athletes who compete inside the Octagon have any. enjoyed as they should.
While the likes of heavyweight king Francis Ngannou, bantamweight titleholder Aljamain Sterling and former 185-pound king Luke Rockhold have all been vocal critics of the organization’s pay structure, the debate continues certainly wasn’t one-sided.
In addition to former UFC light heavyweight Sam Alvey insisting that the UFC is doing everything in its power to increase compensation, Michael Chandler, the top five at 155 pounds, imposed combatants to improve their income.
Now, GOAT contestant Silva has shared a similar sentiment.
Silva: ‘You can’t complain once you’ve signed’
During a recent appearance on MMA hour with Ariel HelwaniSilva gave his assessment of perceived issues with fighter compensation.
While he admitted the UFC could provide athletes with a better income, especially those who play their part in expanding the promotion’s name and notoriety, ‘The Spider’ insisted that it’s up to the fighters and their management to make sure they don’t sign contracts that they’ll complain about later.
“When you come to the UFC, you have your manager, you have your team, and you have to mind your own business, right? Your manager, your lawyer and your team have to take care of that part of the business, because you don’t have time to focus on that… A lot of very talented fighters sign something very crazy because the manager doesn’t know. don’t mind The fighters. It’s all about numbers and money, and that’s the problem.
“My personal opinion, of course, the UFC can pay fighters better, especially a few fighters doing something very, very amazing inside the UFC and making the UFC name strong and powerful; do more (respect) for the brand. But it’s all about talking to your manager, having a good thing behind you to protect yourself, so you don’t sign something you don’t like in the future.
Along the same lines, Silva defended White, who is often the target of criticism over higher salaries. The Brazilian noted that the UFC president is a businessman, which means he acts in the best interests of the organization, not the fighters.
With that in mind, Silva believes fighters should turn down contracts and ply their trades elsewhere if they’re unhappy with what the MMA leader is offering.
“I think Dana is a good person. Everyone talks about Dana, ‘He’s not good, blah blah blah’. He’s a good person, but he’s a businessman. The UFC doesn’t get to this point now as a big business in the world if people think, “Oh, I’m doing something, I’m sorry fighters, I did something wrong.” No, l business grew because hustlers did something. That’s the game.
“Everybody signs and when they’re inside they start saying, ‘Oh, guys aren’t paying me right, this and that. … You are inside or not. You can sign or not sign. You can go anywhere. But when you sign… you can’t say anything because why are you signing? You have signed! You have a contract. “Oh no, leave me the contract.” Did you sign the contract? You’ve seen the rules of the contract, so why are you talking about them now? »
Silva’s next boxing opponent, Jake Paul, has been a prominent voice in the campaign for better contract terms in MMA since bursting onto the combat sports scene. While some doubted his sincerity, others praised “The Problem Child” for bringing the subject to the forefront of the sports agenda.
Do you agree with Anderson Silva’s assessment of the fighter pay debate?