Chael Sonnen, a former UFC middleweight championship challenger, has cast skepticism on the recent merger of UFC and WWE resulting in increased compensation for fighters.
Despite the new combined value of $21.4 billion, Sonnen believes that the UFC's business model is designed to pay fighters as little as possible while keeping them fighting frequently.
Sonnen's views come amid ongoing debates about fighter compensation in the UFC, with some speculating that the merger could lead to changes. However, Sonnen suggests that there may be little difference in terms of fighter pay.
“They say this merger could be the gateway to fighters being paid more, that’s a comparison you really don’t want to make,” Sonnen said. “The only time you can do, ‘The fighters aren’t paid enough, the fighters are mistreated,’ is for people who don’t do math…when you see the fighter made $300,000 and he was only called upon three times in the last 12 months, it changes the perception…if you took all the guys that make the same number in the WWE, they go 250 nights…so we can hit Dana right over the head, as long as we continue to do it with people who don’t take the time to do the math.”
The worlds of action sports are abuzz with the news of the UFC and WWE joining forces, but for MMA fans, this collaboration may not be groundbreaking. After all, former UFC champ Ronda Rousey has already made the successful transition to pro wrestling.
The relationship between WWE’s Vince McMahon and UFC’s Dana White has been improving, particularly since UFC star Brock Lesnar won the heavyweight championship. However, despite the increased collaboration and a combined value of $21.4 billion, former UFC champ Chael Sonnen remains skeptical that fighter compensation will change.