Whether they get it or not, you got to agree that they deserve it. Every UFC fighter puts their life on the line during a fight.
Behind the scenes, they go through hell during the training camp and the weight cut.
A lot of competitors in MMA have mentioned that their medical bills add up to a hefty sum after their retirement. And most of the causes can be connected back to their days inside the cage.
Unless you are a main event draw in the UFC, chances are you won’t make enough out of your time as a fighter to set you up for life. If you are in a less known promotion the pay would be even less.
So does the UFC pay the fighters a pension? The answer is no. At least not yet.
UFC – We are the NFL of MMA!— Erik Magraken (@erikmagraken) August 2, 2021
Except no union.
No collective bargaining.
No fighter input on anti doping.
No post career health insurance.
No certified player agents.
No livable entry pay.
But we have a monopoly and make truck loads of profit!
NFL of MMA Baby!
Talks about hooking the fighters up with a pension have been talked about for a while. Even in 2011 UFC president, Dana White mentioned that he would love to set up the fighters with a pension fund.
But according to Dana White setting up a pension is not as easy as it sounds.
Almost every job that offers pension plans is used cutting a percentage off their basic salaries while they work and making it available to them once they retire as a pension fund.
MMA is still a growing sport, therefore the revenue that it generates isn’t as big as everyone expects.
Taking UFC as an example, the company has a lot of shareholders. After they get their cut, there is not a lot left for the fighters.
With such an amount going into their purse, the fighters are not always happy about saving some for the future. This makes it hard to set up funds for the future. This makes it complicated to set up a pension fund.
But with the growth that the sport has seen lately, talks about pension funds for fighters have been spreading to every promotion.
The correct response is yes.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) June 13, 2021
But because UFC isn't a sports league and gets away with whatever it wants to get away with when it comes to fighter rights/benefits, we get the president of the organization offering wildly out of touch answers like this. https://t.co/kP1gsacype
Even the UFC held a stakeholder meeting regarding the issue during 2021, which was held by California State Athletic Commission.
Similar to the pension fund that boxers get after retirement, a similar arrangement was what they were looking to provide for MMA fighters. The pension that boxers get was established back in 1982.
It is just a matter of time before UFC and MMA as a whole provide the fighters with a pension fund. An up-and-coming promotion, BKFC mentioned that it is close to figuring out a pension fund for the fighters.