Former UFC heavyweight Mark Hunt has hit out at the pay offered by the mixed martial arts promotion, saying its title holders are “world champions of nothing”.
Hunt competed as a UFC heavyweight between 2010 and 2018, and the 47-year-old last week challenged the company’s president Dana White to a fight amid a near-$400,000 legal dispute.
The New Zealander has been ordered by the United States District Court to pay the company $388,235 in legal fees and costs, per court documents recently made public from a March 2021 ruling. Hunt then took to social media to deny the suggestion that he will have to pay the fee, before challenging White and former UFC executives Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta to a fight.
Now, Hunt has slammed the promotion’s wage offerings. Speaking on The MMA Hour, Hunt said: “I don’t like watching UFC or fighting in general, because I know what it’s like at the top. I know what they’re fighting for, which is nothing. They’re fighting for nothing.
“‘I’m the world champion.’ Of what? Explain to me what you’re the world champion of.
“If you’re the world champion of boxing, there’s reality. You have made it to the top, you don’t have to worry about money, don’t worry about nothing. There’s the goal to reach, Mount Everest.
“But in the UFC, you make it to the top, what do you get? Look at the champions. Don’t look at what I’m saying, look at the champions in the sport. What have they got? They’re sitting there complaining about money. You’re the world champion of nothing.”
Hunt added that he cannot endorse young fighters pursuing a career in MMA.
“I can’t tell fighters to join the cause, because they’ve all got bills and mortgages to pay,” he said. “Get a job, get a normal job, man. Be like everyone else.
“The cost is the cost. The cost has been my heart, the cost has been my love for the sport, the time away from my kids chasing a cause – a belt that I thought was worthy. It’s not worthy of my time or anyone’s time. It’s not worthy to fight for.
“It’s not worthy for my blood, it’s not worthy of anyone’s blood to be honest, because at the end of the day… look at the other examples, look at the ex-fighters paying for it, having to do GoFundMe pages to pay for injuries caused by work.”
The New Zealander also took aim at White again, accusing the UFC president of stealing from fighters.
“That idiot Dana talking about: ‘We built this company.’ Yeah, you built the UFC; the sport, you’ve stolen from. You’ve stolen from the sport, from all the fighters. That’s the difference. There would have been another company that brought MMA up to where it is, because it is the ultimate in fighting combat. The problem is they’ve built the UFC up, but they’ve stolen from the sport.”
Hunt went on to urge fighters to come together and collectively call for better pay.
“The power that all the fighters have, it can’t be beaten. If all the fighters got together and said, ‘I don’t want to fight for this company no more,’ there’s no UFC.
“I’ve said this many years ago, this company thinks it’s got all the power and that’s what all these fighters have been led to believe. But if these fighters realised that they have all the power and all of them just need to say, ‘No, I want 50/50 for pay-per-views, I want the Ali act, and I want all these things,’ then things will change in an instant – because without these fighters, there’s no UFC.”