The debate over fighter pay in MMA – and more particularly the UFC’s revenue split between promotion and talent – shows no signs of going away anytime soon. And while a few stars have gone to battle with the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion over their desire to get a bigger piece of the action, it seems that not every fighter feels the UFC is doing their athletes a disservice.
In a recent episode of his TimboSugarShow podcast, rising featherweight star Sean O’Malley gave his opinion on the fighter pay debate. Despite the fact that he’s made it clear several times that the UFC needs to pay him more if they want him to take on elite talent in headlining spots, O’Malley seems to feel much of the roster is getting exactly what they deserve out of the Endeavor-owned organization (transcript via BJPENN.com).
“Dude, like I don’t even blame [Dana White], it’s like some of these fucking people have zero following,” O’Malley explained. “They’re not making the UFC one hundred thousand. They’re not making the UFC fifty thousand. They’re not making the UFC any money, really. But that’s just from a business perspective, from Dana’s business perspective, and I can see that.”
With a 15-1 record overall and seven victories in the UFC (including a three-fight win streak, following his TKO loss to Marlon Vera), O’Malley is currently on a hell of a roll inside the Octagon. And while he may not feel like everyone else is creating the kind of buzz that should earn them a few extra digits on their paycheck, his success certainly sounds like it’s going to start paying off bigger and better for him in the near future.
“The guy he beat tonight is a very real guy. He did it in very spectacular fashion,” White told reporters following O’Malley’s win over Raulian Paiva at UFC 269. “He wants to get paid and he wants to fight higher-level competition. We’re gonna have to pay him and get him some fights.”
Good news for the ‘Sugar Show’, and good news for the UFC. For everyone else it’s business as usual.