Retired UFC Vet Bart Palaszewski Weighs in on Current State of MMA, Advises Fighters “Bust Your Ass, Get Paid, Stop Whining”
By Kelsey Mowatt
UFC and WEC veteran Bart Palaszewski recently called it quits on a decade plus career, which saw the noted finisher compete in over 50 pro bouts. Although Palaszewski is just 30 years old, the Illinois fighter transitioned into MMA during its formative stage, and was part of it as it evolved into a mainstream sport. While Palaszewski is understandably happy that MMA has grown like it has, he believes today’s emerging fighters may be too focused on the business side of the sport.
“We just did it for fun…These guys are like two amateur fights in and they’re looking for sponsors,” Palaszewski noted recently on Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing his early days of fighting compared to the sport’s status quo. “They need twelve week camps, and these f–king kids are like, blowing this whole thing out of proportion. Just go and enjoy it for a little bit man.”
“They’re making more money on amateur fights now with sponsors, they’re actively looking, and more power to them, make the money, but I don’t know. You’re just putting a lot of stress on it,” furthered Palaszewski. “Just enjoy it for now. Don’t burn yourself out. You’ll have time for that.”
Recently, Palaszewski decided to honor earlier statements he made, that if he was let go by the UFC he would hang up the gloves. The BJJ black belt was released by the promotion last year, following his loss to Cole Miller in April, and Palaszewski decided not to pursue other offers that have been tabled.
In addition, Palaszewski admits that his “heart’s not in it” any longer, and that he wants to pursue a career in long enforcement. What didn’t play a factor in Palaszewski’s decision, however, was the sport’s current financial landscape.
“I think it’s awesome,” said Palaszewski, when asked for his thoughts on the current state of MMA. “All these guys are bitching, you know, only the top two percent are making money, everyone else is struggling, well f–k, bust your ass and become the top two percent. Don’t bitch about it, do something about it.”
“I was not top two percent, I was one of the guys that was making it by, but I was making it by,” added Palaszewski, who went 1-3 during his run with the UFC. “I busted my ass as hard as I could and that’s it. Bust your ass, get paid, stop whining. It’s supposed to be one of the toughest sports in the world, but we have the biggest f–kin prima donnas in it, and whiny bitches, than any other sport. It’s like the tougher the sport, the more whiny the people get.”
While Palaszewski clearly doesn’t believe some fighters are as hard done by as some competitors and critics claim, the IFL vet still sees room for improvement.
“Don’t get me wrong, I made decent money when I went in, because I had fifty f–kin fights,” said Palaszewski while discussing compensation in the UFC. “These guys are going in with three and four fights, complaining about it too. It’s like, oh, NFL guys get paid millions of dollars, and it’s like, yeah, but those guys that are going into the NFL have been playing since they were five years old…put in some time. Maybe the UFC should do something like, kind of how Strikeforce had, a mini under league where you get paid less, and you work your way up. I don’t know.”
“There’s obviously room, you’ve got guys, obviously Dana’s (White) making a f–kin stupid amount of money, so give some money to fighters I guess too,” Palaszewski furthered. “They’re always saying ‘oh, the UFC’s worth 2 billion dollars’, well, spread the wealth a little bit man. But there’s guys up there that definitely should be making more money, that have 20 fights in or something, but when the guy with three pro fights goes into the UFC and starts complaining about money, that definitely chafes my ass. You got to put in the work and put in the time.”
You can read about Palaszewski’s decision to retire and his plans for the future by heading here.