Sean Strickland, the UFC middleweight champion, recently expressed his strong reservations about taking up fighting as a professional career. Known for his candidness and willingness to broach potentially uncomfortable topics without hesitation, Strickland did not shy away from discussing the always controversial issue of UFC fighter pay. Assisted by UFC Hall of Famer Don Frye and T.J. DeSantis, the host of “Extra Rounds”, Strickland voiced his concerns during a live broadcast for Professional Bull Riders (PBR), a company owned by UFC parent company Endeavor.
In the live session, Sean Strickland posed a question to Frye regarding the pay scale during his era of fighting. It was revealed that tourney winners received $50,000 while others earned a paltry $500. After this revelation, the middleweight champ disapproved of a parent’s decision to let his son pursue professional fighting. He launched into a lengthy monologue explaining his reasons for advising against a career in fighting.
In his argument, Sean illustrated the reality of the fighters’ pay. If they are part of the Contender Series, they earn between $5000 and $5000. If they lose, they still make $5000, but they do not get to advance to UFC. Strickland underscored the fact that these aspirants have literally devoted their entire life to train for this career which offers no assurances. Even if they make it to the UFC, they earn about $10,000 per fight. He pointed out the harsh reality that they may end up being dropped from the UFC after a few unspectacular fights, leaving them with a total career earning of around $60,000 and no options, as part-time fighting isn’t a feasible choice. He ended his discourse highlighting the grim future that awaits these fighters, where they might have to settle teaching cardio kickboxing after a career in fighting.
Strickland, concerned that the broadcast did not cover the entirety of his remarks, took the initiative to record and upload the rest of his conversational interview on his Instagram channel. Detailed and impactful, the champion’s views on the subject shed light on the stark reality of the professional fighting world. The Instagram post invites viewers to listen to Strickland’s insights on key issues in the UFC and the current status of fighter remuneration.