‘I Would Like to Get Paid Like an Elite-Level Athlete’- Jared Cannonier Clarifies Recent Comments on UFC Pay

Published 08/24/2021, 7:15 AM EDT


Jared Cannonier ‘The Killa Gorilla’ secured a unanimous decision win over Kelvin Gastelum to bounce back into the win column. Despite putting on an impressive performance against a top-ranked fighter, Cannonier’s post-fight interview garnered more attention than his performance. ‘The Killa Gorilla’ claimed that he was ‘broke’ and needed to fight sooner rather than later to pay his bills. 

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This came at a time when the UFC has been under scrutiny for underpaying its fighters. In the latest installment of ‘The MMA Hour’, Cannonier shed more light on the comments he made.

He said, “It’s not dire, it’s just a natural occurrence if you will. Of course, coming off the injury, I’m not balling out of control or anything like that, and a lot of people don’t understand that when we have these fights that we owe people money after these fights. After this win, 60 percent of my money is already gone.”

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The Killa Gorilla’ continued, “I’m not here to say the UFC isn’t paying me. Because I’m getting paid pretty good from the UFC. It’s just that money don’t last forever…. I am an elite-level athlete. I would like to get paid like an elite-level athlete. Like the one’s in the NFL and NBA and the one’s playing baseball and soccer and doing all that stuff.”(h/t mmafighting.com)

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Jared Cannonier joins an increasing list of fighters to raise their voice against pay in the UFC 

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This is not the first time in the recent past that a fighter has raised their voice against pay in the UFC. Cannonier suggested that athletes in other sports are allowed to have sponsors. The UFC used to allow fighters to have sponsors on their fight kit prior to the Reebok deal. However, since then, fighters may not have branding on their fight kit. ‘The Killa Gorilla’ feels the UFC should reinstate this. 

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Furthermore, there have been many reports suggesting that the UFC distributes only 16% of its revenue to athletes. On the other hand, leagues such as the NBA and NFL distribute around 48-50%. It will be interesting to see how many more fighters raise their voice against pay in the UFC and if it will make any impact. 

What do you make of Jared Cannonier’s words? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kevin Binoy

1185 articles

Kevin Binoy is an MMA author at EssentiallySports. He earned a Bachelor's degree from Fergusson College and has been covering sports professionally for over two years. Besides working with the MMA writing team, Kevin is a core member of the organization's web stories team and is responsible for delivering engaging MMA web stories.

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