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Aljamain Sterling Calls Out Michael Chandler on Fighter Pay Remarks

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UFC bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling called out Michael Chandler for his recent comments on fighter pay.

During an appearance on the ‘How You Livin’ J Piven’ podcast, Chandler defended Dana White and the UFC on the controversial subject of fighter pay. What seems to have rubbed many the wrong way is Chandler’s suggestion that Dana White works harder than the fighters he employs.

“I think people think we should make a lot more money because the UFC makes a ton of money on their shows,” said Chandler. “Well, the UFC’s been at it since 1993. Dana White has had 10,000 sleepless nights when most of us fighters are just showing up to practice and going to bed, laying our head on the pillow and getting after it—and getting paid a decent wage for what we do.”

Aljamain Sterling Says Chandler ‘Doesn’t Understand the Situation of Other Fighters’

Aljamain Sterling had a response to Chandler’s comments while speaking to MMA Fighting. While ‘Funk Master’ stopped short of being disrespectful of Chandler’s opinion, he believes the former Bellator champion simply doesn’t understand the situation.

“I like Michael Chandler. He’s a cool dude, every time I see him he’s super cordial, no problems with him whatsoever. But I think it’s a little bit different and ill-advised for someone to be saying the things that he’s saying that are sort of discrediting all the other fighters out there.

“Michael Chandler fought for Bellator, he made a sh*t ton of money for Bellator, he was a world champion in Bellator, [and] I think he was also a national champion at the Division I level, so he has all those things going for him. The average fighter comes up, they’re not a wrestler, they’re not a national champion, they didn’t become a Bellator champion, they don’t have all those credentials and accolades, they don’t come from money — I’m not saying Michael Chandler comes from money, I don’t know anything about his backstory, but he doesn’t understand the situation of the other fighters. 

“Clearly, he doesn’t understand this, because he wouldn’t have said what he said if he did – the backstory of the other fighters that aren’t making the type of money that Michael Chandler is making, and that’s the difference.”

Chandler’s original comments leaned heavily on fighters utilizing their status as independent contractors to find additional sources of income outside the Octagon. While that may be easy for established fighters like himself, many still making their way up the rankings struggle to attract those same opportunities. 

Many UFC fighters just starting out with the promotion, such as Paddy Pimblett, typically only earn a base pay of $12,000 per fight with the number doubling for a win. Most believe that the base rate is too low, especially in situations like with Pimblett who has become a star within the organization overnight. 

Where do you stand on the subject of fighter pay? Do you believe Aljamain Sterling is correct in his rebuttal of Chandler’s comments?

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

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