‘It’s exciting and sexy, but they don’t make enough money’: Mike Tyson hits out at UFC for failing to pay stars like Conor McGregor the same as boxers… after Irishman made almost £100m for Floyd Mayweather fight compared to just £3.8m for MMA comeback
- Conor McGregor made £3.8m for his win against Donald Cerrone in January
- However, Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder earned £19.4m each a month later
- Mike Tyson believes boxers will always be paid more than MMA athletes
- UFC president Dana White has come under fire this year over cuts to his stars
Mike Tyson believes MMA stars will always be paid less than boxers, despite promotions such as UFC potentially bringing in more viewers.
One of the biggest stars in UFC history Conor McGregor pocketed a company record £3.8m for his win against Donald Cerrone in January, whilst Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder earned £19.4m each for their heavyweight boxing contest a month later.
McGregor’s highest ever sum received for a fight was when he switched to boxing – his fight against Floyd Mayweather earned him nearly £100m – and former heavyweight world champion Tyson says he can’t quite put his finger on why there is financial disparity between the two sports.
Former world champion Mike Tyson says MMA stars will never be paid as much as boxers
Conor McGregor made £3.8m for his win in January but made nearly £100m in boxing
‘MMA will always have more views and stuff than boxing, but boxers will always make more money than MMA fighters,’ Tyson told podcaster Brant James.
When asked why that is the case, the 54-year-old added: ‘That’s tricky, it doesn’t make any sense.
‘I don’t know, they don’t make enough money in my perspective. It’s exciting and sexy, but [UFC fighters] don’t make enough money.’
The figures would back that up, with McGregor earning £2.3m for his loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov, in one of the biggest fights in UFC history.
In addition, UFC president Dana White has this year been accused of not paying his stars enough of a cut from pay-per-view bonuses – from the stars themselves.
Welterweight Jorge Masvidal threatened to walk away from the UFC in June, saying: ‘It’s about how much I’m going to receive from the pay-per-view. How much of a share I want from the pay-per-view. That’s one of the main things that I’m fighting about. I don’t feel that cut is fair and I don’t agree with it.
Dana White has been accused of not giving athletes a big enough cut from PPV bonuses
UFC star Jorge Masvidal had threatened to quit the company over pay cuts from PPV events
‘I love to fight and I always get told don’t say that. Because you know why? They expect me to do it cheap or damn near free. I love to compete in the sport that I do. But I’ve been doing it for a long time.
‘I’ve been in the shadows studying, learning — what makes this guy be able to get that much money? That whole plan, we’ve been doing it for a while.
‘We have a formula just like I do for fighting. I have a formula for the business side of it and if they don’t want to pay me what I’m worth, it’s cool. I’m set for life. I don’t have to fight. I fight because I love it.’
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