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Former UFC middleweight contender Chael Sonnen has come out to defend UFC President Dana White over fighter pay.
Sonnen has come to the defence of White over fighters complaining about a lack of sufficient pay after a recent dispute with heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.
In a recent video taken from his Youtube channel, Sonnen expressed how White was the first to champion for bigger purses for fighters.
He added; “The person who believes fighters were exploited and fighters weren’t paid enough is Dana. And they’re now trying to use the same argument that he brought forward and act as though he is doing something wrong.
“When I first fought in the UFC, the year was 2005. I was paid $2,000 to show and $2,000 to win. I could not believe how much money I had in my pocket when I got that check. $2,000 in 2005.”
Sonnen went on to say that the overall pay for fighters in today’s landscape has significantly risen since then. With payouts rising from $2000 to $12,000
With the ”bad guy” offering anyone a reward who can name one or more companies besides the UFC who has done the same thing.
”The minimum pay right now is $12,000. The minimum now is six times as much. I will give two tickets to anybody who shows me any company in the world that is paying six times (more) right now than what it paid 15 years ago.”
Is… is Jake Paul the good guy❓https://t.co/XWMpIwPOCR
— Pundit Arena (@PunditArena) July 1, 2021
The topic of fighter pay has been long discussed in MMA, and especially in the UFC. With former Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones in the spotlight.
After vacating his Lightweight strap and moving up to Heavyweight, Jones expressed he should be compensated more if he were to challenge UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou.
Jones was immediately shot down by White, who claimed Jones wanted Deontay Wilder money for moving up a weight class.
White’s Response to Jones
During a media scrum in May, White responded to Jones’s claims, claiming he wanted over £30 million, and that £8-10 million was simply too low.
“We have text messages from Jon Jones. It’s not like I can’t prove what I’m saying is true. We have text messages from him but I’m not going to do that. I’m not going to put his text messages out in the press”.
“If Jon Jones wants to sit down and take a lie detector test about who’s lying and who’s not, we can do that, too”.