Tim Kennedy on UFC Fighter Pay: I’d Make More Money Emptying Trashcans


UFC newcomer Tim Kennedy was always an outspoken, opinionated fighter during his tenure in Strikeforce. He was never to one to mince words, and he gave you the sense that he was telling you how he really felt.  So it may come as no surprise that Kennedy is already taking a stance on a touchy subject before his UFC 162 fight against Roger Gracie, and that subject is fighter pay:

“Anybody who accepts that as a reality of the sport is sad and pathetic. I hope this isn’t the reality of the sport, if it is I should probably go do something else, like empty trashcans. I’d make more money than I do now.”

Kennedy revealed that he was due around $55,000 to show up at UFC 162, with the purse potentially increasing to $70,000 with a win bonus – but that after the expenses of his camp, medicals and fight team, he would only pocket around $20,000, even before taxes.

After the interview, Kennedy sent a detailed breakdown of how his fight purse would be divided up: 13% on gym fees, 12% for nutrition, 10% to his manager, 10% to his coach, 8% on his camp lodging,  3% for fight medicals and 3% on equipment. In total, that’s 59% of his fight purse before tax is deducted. –  via Place To Be Nation

When it’s put into such a detailed perspective, it seems fighters truly do struggle to make it through a camp with a little left over. The UFC has been under extreme fire recently for allegedly paying their fighters much less than they are truly worth. Talk has swirled of a potential fighters’ union,  but no official steps have been taken. Kennedy joins Jon Fitch and John Cholish in the group of fighters choosing to speak out about the UFC’s pay discrepancies.

Sponsorship pay is not factored in, and is definitely a big portion of many fighters’ income. However, in a time when the UFC is cleaning up with an all-time high number of events, perhaps the fighters do deserve a little more. Lorenzo Fertitta has stated that the UFC put on each event solely by themselves, the exact opposite of major professional sports who have large partnership deals in place. What are your thoughts on Kennedy’s words and the issue of fighter pay in general?