Dan Hardy on UFC’s Fighter Pay Issue: ‘Not a Good Look’ for Promotion

Dan Hardy
Photo Courtesy of USA Today

The UFC continues to skyrocket in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacts sports worldwide, but Dan Hardy thinks that’s more of a reason for the UFC to pay their fighters what they are truly worth to the company.

Hardy is a former UFC commentator and welterweight title challenger who had quite the falling out with the promotion. He was let go from the UFC’s broadcast team for a series of altercations he had with referees and UFC staff members during his time commentating cards.

The issue regarding fighter pay in the UFC has become more of a mainstream issue for the promotion during the pandemic; as stars such as Jon Jones, Jorge Masvidal, and commentators such as Hardy have alluded to it. During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Hardy blasted the UFC for its current pay model.

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“It’s not a good look,” Hardy said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “I also don’t think it’s a good look for someone like Brian Kelleher to say that he’s looking for a YouTuber to fight so he doesn’t have to get a job at Walmart after he’s done with his career.”

“The environment that’s been created by the UFC is everyone scrambling for the scraps,” Hardy continued. “It’s all about bonuses. Why can’t it be about the pay? Make sure these fighters are covered before they get in there so they’re not fighting at a deficit and hoping a bonus bails them out.”

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Dan Hardy isn’t the only one who has criticized the UFC for its financial handling of its fighters

Hardy is in the midst of considering a potential comeback to MMA after a long layoff. He’s looking at possible appearances in ONE Championship, although nothing has materialized.

Hardy last competed in the UFC in 2012 in a win over Amir Sadollah, and before that knocked out Duane Ludwig.

Hardy has become one of the most prominent voices on behalf of fighters around the world, advocating for changes in pay models and additional benefits for retired athletes. It appears that the debate regarding fighter pay in the UFC doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.

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Do you agree with Dan Hardy’s comments?

Curtis Calhoun is a Combat Sports Contributor based in Seattle, Washington. After a longtime dream of becoming a sports journalist, he was able to accomplish his goals upon graduating from Washington State University in 2016.