It’s turning into a Dana Sayin’ Stuff / Working Out day here at Fightlinker, so let’s just keep it rolling. Newly retired UFC fighter John Cholish has been on a bit of a media tour talking shit about the UFC’s payscale for new fighters and shockingly enough, Dana White doesn’t seem too impressed with his talking points:
“What’s scary is this guy wasn’t good enough to be in the UFC,” White said. “I wonder if he’s good enough to be on Wall Street. I mean, this guy has to be the biggest moron I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s talking about taxes? Yes, Wall Street guy you have to pay taxes, so do I. When we go down to Brazil and do a fight I pay taxes in Brazil too, and Sweden, and in all these other countries and states. Every state that we go to takes taxes.”
White continued, “He signed a contract. He got the same opportunity that Georges St-Pierre, that Anderson Silva, that Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez and the list goes on and on. The unfortunate part of this business is some of you are good enough to be here and some of you are not. That’s life, Cholish.
“Unfortunately my friend, you weren’t good enough to be here. Hopefully you’re good enough to stick around on Wall Street, because if you don’t know what taxes are, I’ve got a feeling you’re not.”
According to the UFC president, “Fighter pay has been beaten to death. If you don’t want to be here, don’t sign a contract with us. I can tell you this, John Cholish was paid discretionary bonuses even when he lost. What do you want me to tell you? The guy is delusional, not too bright and what do you want me to say to that?”
There’s those secret discretionary bonuses brought up again. Back when Randy Couture went rogue and tried to break his contract, the UFC revealed that they often paid an assload of cash in ‘locker room bonuses’, basically throwing cash around to guys they felt performed well and deserved a little bump in pay. A little five figure bump in pay. The problem here being there’s no way to plan financially for a discretionary bonus you may or may not be getting depending on the whims of your often fickle bosses.
As for the tax thing, Cholish wasn’t expressing shock that he HAD to pay taxes, just that a quarter of your already meager payday going to taxes contributes to the overall negative financial outlook for a starting UFC fighter.
One thing I’m surprised Dana didn’t bring up was sponsorship money. Back in the day, whenever UFC pay came into question the first thing White would bring up was the oodles of sponsorship cash fighters were making on top of their UFC pay – money that would often triple or quadruple their salaries. Cholish never touched on that (or those discretionary bonuses either).
(pic by Jeff Cain for MMA Weekly)