LAS VEGAS – UFC president Dana White has a stern directive for boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya: Stay out of our business and worry about your own.
Following this past weekend’s UFC 266, De La Hoya took to Twitter to suggest featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski was grossly underpaid for his gutsy win over Brian Ortega and that White should “have some f*cking respect for yourself and these fighters and pay these warriors what they deserve.”
Hey @alexvolkanovski you just won a brutal battle for @ufc and made 1/20 of what you’re worth. @danawhite have some fucking respect for yourself and these fighters and pay these warriors what they deserve
— Oscar De La Hoya (@OscarDeLaHoya) September 26, 2021
“I said it to (De La Hoya) yesterday, and I’ll say it to him again: He accomplished a lot of great things in boxing. Outside of the ring, the guy’s an absolute f*cking loser,” White said. “He’s a liar and many other things, and I can’t tell you – maybe you can tell – how much I despise this human being, but that’s the only reason that I’m even f*cking doing this. This is it. This is the last time. I’m not going at it again.
“I mean, last time he did it, I was on SportsCenter and I laid out how he lied and facts, and then here we are again, you know? Yet this guy keeps opening his big f*cking yap.”
While White has previously discussed the less-than-expected pay rates for UFC Hall of Famers Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell for their trilogy match, which was hosted by De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in 2018, this time he addressed a more recent event by the promotion. White brought copies of the pay sheet from a June Golden Boy Promotions hybrid card held in California and distributed them to the media before discussing its contents.
“So what you’ve been handed, I could have brought 30 of these,” White said. “I brought one because it’s June 9, 2021. OK, this was a fight that just happened in June. It’s a Golden Boy Promotions fight that this d*ckhead put on, OK? There were nine fights, 18 fighters. The total purses paid for every fight was $36,500. Total. The average purse per fighter is $2,000 on a Golden Boy-De La Hoya card.
“He’s concerned about Alexander Volkanovski. OK, before we pay $1 in f*cking purse money, right, Volkanovski got paid more to wear his UFC Venum kit than Oscar de la Hoya paid the entire f*cking fight card. Do you understand what I’m saying? To walk out with the Venum fight kit on, he was paid more than Oscar paid the entire f*cking fight card. I could go on, but I think we all get the f*cking point: He’s a liar.”
As MMA Junkie previously reported, Volkanovski received $42,000 in UFC Promotional Guidelines Compliance pay at UFC 266.
White and De La Hoya have openly feuded since the former boxing champ-turned-promoter publicly told fans not to buy the 2017 crossover contest between then-UFC champ Conor McGregor and undefeated boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. White felt betrayed at the time after long supporting De La Hoya’s career and feels the boxing great’s current focus on UFC pay is unfounded.
“We were cool at one point,” White said. “I’d go to his fights. He’d put on fights, and I would literally use my social media to talk about the fight. ‘Hey, you watching Oscar’s fight tonight?’ So all the things that I had done for this guy, you know, when he was having fights and sh*t, then we do Mayweather vs. McGregor, and this guy goes on like a PR tour telling people not to watch the fight. It was a ‘disgrace to boxing,’ but he would fight Conor McGregor, right? It’s not a disgrace to the sport if you fight him?
“First of all, I’m involved in this fight. Why would you tell people not to watch somebody’s fight? What do you even care? Right? I just laid out how he pays his fighters and what he does. But you’re concerned about my fighter comp?”
Of course, De La Hoya isn’t the only one talking about fighter pay in the UFC. The promotion remains involved in a years-long antitrust suit, which alleges, among other things, that the UFC has long operated as a monopoly and worked to drive down fighter wages.
Plaintiffs in the suit have alleged that less than 20 percent of the UFC’s revenue goes toward fighter pay, which pales in comparison to the payout percentage of other major sports. When pressed on that figure, White declined to address the UFC’s current revenue split but encouraged anyone who didn’t like the promotion’s model to feel free to start their own organization.
“It’s none of your business,” White told MMA Junkie. “It’s none of your business how much it is. That’s it. I mean, that’s what people are always asking about. You know, ‘What about this? What about that?’ Listen, if you don’t like how we run our business, go start your own.
“There is no barrier to entry to get into this sport. Anybody can do it. Many have – a lot of smart guys, too. (Mark) Cuban. (Donald) Trump. The list goes on and on – a lot of guys that have gotten into this business. I hear there’s new guys coming out. I wish them all the best. You know, anybody can get into this business. If you don’t like how we’re running ours, go do it yourself.”
While he didn’t offer any specific figures, White did say that fighter compensation has increased since the promotion was acquired by Endeavor in 2016 and that he anticipates that trend to continue.
“Fighter comp has gone through the roof over the last five years since the sale, you know, and it’s going to continue to go up,” White said.
In closing, White vowed not to address De La Hoya’s jabs again moving forward but said he felt inclined to do it on Tuesday. The UFC boss again challenged anyone, including De La Hoya, who wasn’t comfortable with the promotion’s practices to do it better themselves and pointed towards the growth of MMA as a whole and the UFC’s investment in making it a global sport as proof that the promotion is doing things the right way.
“You don’t like the way we pay our fighters?” White asked. “Too fucking bad. Go start another MMA organization and you go f*cking figure out how to do it, and you can pay them $10 million a fight, $30 million a fight – whatever you want to do.
“We run a business. We’ve been very good at it. Not only do we run the business, we continue to grow the sport and take everybody along with us. You know, tonight, like Laura Sanko said, you know, this whole Contender Series was all foreign guys that are coming in here to fight. Everybody makes money. Everybody makes a living. You know, there are some hard stories and some sad stories. Some guy came in at this. You’re either f*cking good enough to be here or you’re not. This is the big leagues. It’s like the NFL. You can either last here or you can’t last here, but people get paid. People get paid a lot of money.”
To see the full interview with White, check out the video below.