ESPN’s recent investigatory piece on UFC fighter pay for Outside the Lines has kicked up a lot of dust, most recently drawing an incendiary reaction from top British middleweight Michael “The Count” Bisping.
Speaking with MMAFighting’s Ben Fowlkes recently, Bisping expressed the opinion that the UFC’s gradually escalating, merit-based pay scale has served him well and offers young fighters the opportunity and incentive to work hard and perform.
“To be honest, it makes me mad, because people don’t understand,” said Bisping. “I’ve worked hard, and I get [the amount stipulated in the contract], but when Dana comes into the locker room and gives me a check afterwards, they don’t have to do that. Far from it. I was already very happy with the money I was getting, but then they’ll hand you another check on top of that and say, ‘Well done…good job,’ and there’ll be another huge check inside the envelope.”
The Count, who was ranked one of the highest paid UFC fighters of 2011, aligned himself with fighters like Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell and Matt Serra, who all appeared in the UFC’s rebuttal piece to the Outside the Lines reports, stating unequivocally that he’s never been done wrong by the UFC in regards to pay.
“From my initial involvement with the UFC on, the UFC has done nothing but take great care of me and my family,” said Bisping. “They’ve always gone above and beyond the call of duty. They really have. With bonuses, with care, if I ever have injuries they give me access to the best doctors and then pay for everything. Myself and my family, we’re living a great lifestyle. …I’m making more money in one fight than I could have in 20 years of my old job. So you’ll never hear a bad word come out of my mouth about the UFC’s pay structure.”
Bisping is on deck to face Chael Sonnen later this month in the co-main event of UFC on Fox 2: Evans vs. Davis.