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Joe Rogan speaks out on fighter pay: “They should get paid more”

"I know f*cking dangerous that sh*t is..."

With several fighters citing financial compensation as a cause for poor relations with the UFC, commentator Joe Rogan has now addressed fighter pay. 

It’s safe to say that the UFC have strained relations with many of the promotions biggest stars. The Covid-19 pandemic means no audiences, no live gates, and less of a profit made for each event. Many fighters have openly taken issue with the UFC at the moment, Jon Jones has threatened to leave the UFC and vacate his light heavyweight title. BMF champ Jorge Masvidal has detailed the issues he’s had negotiating a new deal with the UFC. On top of that Conor McGregor, the biggest star in MMA, announced his retirement – Seemingly due to disagreements with the UFC.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan seems to have an understanding of both sides, and decided to speak out on the topic recently.

“Right now in particular, there is probably less money because there is no live gate, and that’s an extreme amount of money,” Rogan said on his Joe Rogan Experience podcast. “But there’s also fighters that agree to certain deals. They agree to like, an 8-fight deal at X amount per fight, and then they become more popular and then they want to renegotiate their deal, and the UFC is like, ‘Look, we’re just trying to stay open. We’re not going to renegotiate anything. You can take it or you can leave it, but this is what it is.’ I think it’s a matter of that.”

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Despite Rogan’s understanding of the UFC’s side of things, overall he does feel that fighters are underpaid, and supports an increased salary.

“I think they should get paid more. I think everybody should get paid more,” Rogan said. “I think it’s a crazy way to make a living. I think you should get the most amount of money you can possibly get. But it’s also a business and I think that if they are struggling as much as I think they are – I don’t talk finances with them but I know that WME, the people who own it, are hurting, bad. They’re laying people off. Most businesses are hurting and all the entertainment businesses are f*cked. . . So what do they do? That’s what I think. But when it comes to me as a human that likes fighting, I know f*cking dangerous that sh*t is. You should get paid an incredibly generous amount of money to step into a cage fight for millions of people to see. “

With the world in an uncertain state, it’s tough to say when these strained relations will improve. While the UFC certainly have been hit hard by Covid-19, it’s hard not to agree that fighters competing in the UFC deserve to be properly compensated for their battles in the cage.

Do you agree with Joe Rogan about fighter pay?

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for MMAnytt.com