Felice Herrig on the UFC; ‘Not Really Treated Like a Professional Athlete’

Image for Felice Herrig on the UFC; ‘Not Really Treated Like a Professional Athlete’

After eight long years with the UFC, Felice Herrig is moving on to another venture, signing with the fast-rising Bare Knucking Fighting Championship. As a mixed martial artist for 20 years, ‘The Lil Bulldog’ officially hung up her 4oz gloves following her loss to Karolina Kowalkiewicz on June 4th. It was her fourth straight loss in as many years, a streak that began with a loss to Kowalkiewicz at UFC 223 in 2018.

While appearing on The Fighter vs. The Writer, Herrig opened up about her tenure with UFC and discussed some of the difficulties she faced in her near-decade worth of experience as a UFC fighter. The first thing ‘The Lil Bulldog’ discussed is a frequent hot topic amongst mixed martial artists; fighter pay.

“We’re professional athletes, but you only get paid when you fight and you’ve got to make that money spread out, and unless you live in Vegas and you get to go to the [Performance institute] every day, you’re not really treated like a professional athlete,” Herrig said.

“Imagine going to the P.I. and getting all my free meals and all my free supplements and getting my body worked on every single day and getting to work with their strength and conditioning coaches. That’s all stuff I have to pay for here on my own, because I don’t live in Vegas.”

Felice Herrig Talks About The Cost of Being a Fighter

The UFC does offer insurance to fighters who sustain injuries during training and in competition, but Herrig says that depending on the severity, length of time, and medical professionals available in a given area, much of that cost can fall back onto the fighter.

“Even with the recovery stuff, it’s like, OK, it’s great, so for the first year after knee surgery medical expenses were covered, but at the same time the physical therapist, I’m just going to say it, in Illinois suck,” Herrig said. “The guy that I found out was good was a chiropractor, that’s paying out of my pocket. The massage therapist is paying out of my pocket.

“Everything else is being paid to make sure that my body feels good, it’s being paid out of my pocket and I wouldn’t have been able to afford that. How can you afford it when you’re not getting paid? You get paid to fight and that money has to carry you for how long?”

While Herrig has no regrets about her time with the promotion, the time away from UFC has allowed her body to heal, her energy levels to rise and she is sleeping more soundly.

“I feel like fighting has done so much to my body over the years to make me almost miserable all the time. I realized I’m happy again. I have good energy again. I haven’t slept good in like 10 years. Sleep was always an issue and now it’s not an issue anymore.”

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

Share this article

Covering the world of Mixed Martial Arts since 2012. Providing the latest news, picks, scores, results, and commentary on the world of MMA.