Chan Sung Jung will be fighting Jose Aldo in two days for the UFC Featherweight Championship. I’m happy he’s got the opportunity to fight, and while I think ring rust could be a problem, I think he has a chance. But I’m not excited about it, and most likely I won’t watch it.
The problem is the money. Chan Sung Jung will make $20,000 to show up, plus another $20,000 if he wins. In many big cities, your average real estate agent makes $20k just to sell one home, and he/she doesn’t have to pay a jiu-jitsu trainer, a boxing coach, a strength trainer, etc. Your average real estate agent doesn’t get beaten up, risk permanent injuries, or have an effective competitive career of 6-10 years, after which he has to find an entirely different line of work. Your average real estate agent doesn’t risk being turned into the star of an opponent’s highlight reel. Your average real estate agent doesn’t have to compete with people around the world who are looking to do him or her harm.
Check out 5 WTF Facts about UFC Fighter Pay. The saddest fact is #5:
Floyd Mayweather, in the 12 months between summer 2011 and summer 2012, made approximately four times more in guaranteed salary than the entire UFC roster combined. He fought twice.
How is it possible for one boxer to make FOUR TIMES more money than…ALL the fighters in an entire promotion COMBINED? It’s not as if the UFC itself isn’t making enough money and have the ability to pay its fighters. It’s still doing well in PPV buys.
These UFC fighters are seriously underpaid. I can support the UFC because I think the sport is exciting (even if it’s not a serious sport). I can support it because I think it’s a great venue for athletes to perfect their fighting skills. I can support it because I think it’s good for American health in general for more Americans to practice jiu-jitsu and boxing. But I can’t support their pay structure. These fighters are among the best in the world, and their pay should reflect the sacrifices that they make to compete against one another. Right now, the UFC brass is simply taking advantage of them.