UFC’s Dan Hardy Says Fighters Lack “Bargaining Power”, Number of Eager Competitors “Devalues Us”
By FCF Staff
While it remains to be seen what the future holds for Dan Hardy’s fighting career, now that he’s been diagnosed with a cardiac disorder called Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, the accomplished fighter has shared his thoughts on fighter compensation. The UFC vet’s comments come at a time when what fighters earn has been a much discussed and debated topic, after men like John Cholish and Jacob Volkmann have argued the UFC should pay its fighters more.
In a recent an extensive interview with Bloody Elbow, Hardy covered several topics, including the issue of fighter compensation. Here is some of what the punishing striker had to say.
Well, fighter pay is really a strange situation, because there’s such a vast difference in the guys that are on the first three fights of a card and the guys on the last three fights of a card. The guys on the lower end are seeing what the main card guys are doing and thinking, ‘Well, I’m doing all the same stuff that they’re doing, sacrificing just as much.’ They’re spending just as much on their training camp, but they’re not getting the same kind of compensation.
The problem is that the fighters are in a situation where we don’t really have a great deal of options, as far as bargaining power. There are 100 guys that would step in and do my job for free. That kind of devalues us. There aren’t any options as far as where we can go and what we can do…
….There are fighters out there with kids and families. Now, with there being so many fighters, the guys aren’t getting three fights a year any more. It’s down to maybe two a year, and it all just comes back to not having many other options. I can understand that the UFC has a business model, and their lower tier fighters fare much better than pro boxers, but it’s just not enough to live on.
Hardy also believes that the tax the UFC imposed on sponsors, has meant some companies have been forced to reduce what they can pay the fighters. The 31 year-old vet also noted that: “when I turn it down, there’s another 10 fighters on the undercard that will take that offer, because there’s nobody else paying.”
Hardy hasn’t competed since September, 2012, when he worked his way to unanimous decision win over Amir Sadollah.
The British fighter was scheduled to fight Matt Brown at UFC on FOX 7, but he was pulled from the bout after his heart condition was discovered.