The UFC’s business practices have long been scrutinized by the sports world.
The organization pays its fighters a shockingly small percentage of their revenue every year.
They also took away fighters’ ability to to find their own sponsorships for their fight kits and then gave them scraps from the deal the organization signed.
They somehow continue managing to avoid giving their fighters employee status.
Their business practices currently even have them dealing with a lawsuit that has been progressing recently.
However, even with their history of greed as an organization, it is the addition to some of their new contracts that just might be the greediest thing the UFC has ever done.
Over the weekend, Sean O’Malley claimed the UFC’s bantamweight belt and in the process proved that he can be a real star for the organization.
Today, Bloody Elbow’s Stephie Haynes wrote about why his earning power could be limited in spite of that star status.
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) August 22, 2023
In her article, Haynes referred to a report from Bloody Elbow’s John Nash that talked about a new inclusion in UFC contracts that could entitle them to benefit from anything a fighter does outside of the cage that capitalizes on their status in the UFC
The reasoning behind this new inclusion is believed to be that the UFC makes their fighters stars and the fighters would be capitalizing on those efforts with their other business ventures.
It’s a truly ridiculous notion.
Fighters make themselves stars, not the UFC. If the UFC had any control over their fighters becoming marketable, fighters like Demetrious Johnson probably would have put up better pay-per-view numbers throughout their careers.
They also probably wouldn’t have been so light on star power the last couple of years if they could just turn fighters into big names.
Instead, it is particular fighters who capture the imaginations of fight fans that are able to become bigger draws.
So now, the UFC is going to pay fighters 20K/20K contracts when they start out, not give them a cut of pay-per-views until they win a belt, limit their sponsor opportunities, and take a cut of some opportunities outside of the cage as well.
You have to start to wonder what exactly the appeal is of being a UFC fighter.