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The UFC’s version of the story

The UFC has released their response to ESPN’s Outside the Lines segment on fighter pay, and it’s a pretty good watch to balance out some of the accusations being thrown around by guys like Ken Shamrock. Oh, speaking of Ken Shamrock, here’s Dana White’s opinion on that guy:

“Ken Shamrock filed a bogus lawsuit against us and lost. He owes us that money. Do you know what I’ve done for Ken Shamrock? Ken Shamrock, when I brought him over, he was broke – flat [expletive] broke. He was in income-tax trouble. His knee was shot. I rebuilt his knee. I got him out of income-tax trouble, fronted him a [expletive]-load of money. We gave him money – literally gave him money – $60,000. We gave him $60,000 just to get him back on his feet. You know how much money he made in the two fights he fought with us? It was $2.5 million.

“[Expletive] you, Ken Shamrock.”

Don’t hold back now, man. Tell us how you really feel! Dana also explains why he had a bad feeling about the ESPN piece even before he saw it:

“They went out and tried to talk to all these fighters,” White said. “The fighters were calling us going, ‘ESPN is here.’ One of them notably was Matt Serra. Matt Serra said, ‘They come in, they waste my [expletive] time, they set up all their cameras, and when I started giving the interview, they didn’t like what I was saying. They shut the [expletive] thing down and left.’ We had numerous fighters say that. They were calling me and saying, ‘ESPN is showing up and wanted to do an interview, and when they don’t like what we say, they leave the interview.'”

Dana White has always had something of a contentious relationship with ESPN. ESPN doesn’t so much cover sports as they cover the sports on their network. Anthony Pettis could land a 720 backflip kick knockout and ESPN wouldn’t bother to sandwich the highlight in between dudes catching baseballs. So it’s not like the UFC doesn’t have a point with all their anger over the past few days towards the cable company. They’ve just … reacted a bit strongly to the whole thing.

The full and unedited 47 minute interview between Lorenzo Fertitta and ESPN is after the jump.

  • agentsmith

    Regarding what low-end boxers get paid, the ESPN segment already admitted that.  It’s also disingenuous to compare them to the UFC for several reasons.  First, ESPN isn’t the promoter for those shows, so it’s be like blaming Spike for what the UFC pays.  Second, those are small-budget shows with no-name fighters, so it’s not comparable to even a free “Fight Night” show in the UFC.  Third, those 4-round fights Lorenzo mentions aren’t even on the main card of those shows.

    So yeah, undercard boxers in small shows get paid shit.  Now ask the guys on the undercard of a Bellator show what they’re getting paid, cause anything else isn’t even close to a fair comparison.

    That being said, it’s also apples & oranges to compare MMA (or boxing) to the NHL, NFL, etc, that have completely different business models, so boo on ESPN for that bullshit too.

  • Royal

    Espen tipped their hand that they didn’t give a shit about MMA when they started to cover UFC 100.

  • Wulv

    I don’t think it is just ESPN fights that have low undercard paydays. I can’t seem to find it but I remember seeing a Mayweather payday breakdown, and there were people making $1500 while Mayweather was making millions.

    I never get the comparisons to the NFL etc, were there any comparisons ever with Boxing to any league sport?

  • SHORT_BUS

    @Wulv

    Is this the article you’re talking about:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mma/news?slug=ki-mmamailbag042908

  • Cat Snipers

    This interview is old its before the Fox deal. lol pay has increased since then.

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