UFC legend Gray Maynard has spoken out against Dana White and the UFC on how they treat fighters. Maynard (13-7-1) first appeared for the promotion on The Ultimate Fighter 5 in 2007. Though he lost to Nate Diaz in the semifinals, Maynard was signed to the UFC and earned eight straight wins on his way to completing a classic trilogy with lightweight rival Frankie Edgar. Maynard never captured UFC gold, but earned three Fight of the Night awards and is a one-time Performance of the Night winner.
Maynard took to social media to praise fighter-turned-promoter Khabib Nurmagomedov. “Nice to see a promoter that has actually been punched in the face before and has been through what it is to be a fighter. Love this guy @TeamKhabib,” Maynard posted on Twitter.
That tweet opened Maynard up to comments from fans which, in some cases, he chose to respond to.
“You know how many times I’ve heard Dana shit on fighters and people in general. He brought all this on himself. To be honest, I think it’s really just the beginning,” Maynard said in response to one of his followers.
The commentary from Maynard did not stop there. When one follower suggested that White put Maynard “on a pedestal” and made him one of the biggest prospects in the sport, Maynard did not mince words in his response.
“No. He made money off my blood/sweat and paid me shit. Still making money from a lot of my fights being replayed. I was on a pedestal because I worked my ass since I was 3 years when I started wrestling. He just pimps us out and takes most of the money.”
“Look man. I don’t expect you to understand my experiences working with the UFC,” said Maynard on Twitter. “But I can assure you after my 1st title fight when I was only guaranteed $26k. Reality hit pretty hard and I started finding other ways to make money.”
Maynard responded gracefully on his platform and is the latest in a slew of fighters standing up for better pay and treatment from the UFC. Former UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt has spoken out regarding the UFC’s treatment of fighters over the years while YouTuber-turned-professional boxer Jake Paul released a diss track aimed at UFC President Dana White.
A Bigger Piece Of The Pie
Most notable is UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou’s very public contract dispute with the UFC. Ngannou completed the eighth and final fight of his contract when he defeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 270. It could be his first and only defense of the title as the UFC has not come to terms on a new deal with ‘The Predator’ and his agent Marquel Martin. By all accounts, the UFC is not interested in giving Ngannou what he wants; a contract that allows for him to compete outside of the UFC.
Historically, 15-20% of the UFC’s revenue is shared with its fighters. Other major league sports entities such as the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB offer closer to a 50/50 share with their contracted players. Even UFC rival Bellator MMA has a reported revenue share of 44%, far beyond what the UFC offers.
With record-breaking profits and a recently announced PPV price increase that was implemented with UFC 270, it’s no wonder why fighters past and present are speaking out.
Do you believe fighters deserve a bigger revenue share and a higher per fight guarantee?