“I’m bankrupt, I need to fight.” Future UFC title contender shocked audiences
On the night of August 21-22, the UFC Vegas 34 tournament was held in Las Vegas. In the main duel of the evening, middle-age fighters Jarred Cannonier and Calvin Gastelum met . This time there was no flashy knockout or deadly submission. Cannonier won on points, and the main “show”, if you can call it that, began later. After the fight, Jarred confessed that he was bankrupt.
Immediately after the fight, Cannonier gave an interview to former UFC heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier . It was there that the middleweight talked about his financial problems.
Cormier asked Cannonier if he was ready to wait for the outcome of the title fight between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, in order to then meet with the winner. To this, Jared quite unexpectedly admitted that for him a long downtime is unacceptable precisely because of the financial situation.
“I am bankrupt, so I have to fight. I hope I still have a chance for the title. If they offer a good opponent, then I will agree to the fight, “said Cannonier. Thus, Jarred made it clear that for him the battle for the belt is not as important as the issue of survival and fees.
A title fight between Whittaker and Adesanya is scheduled for early 2022. And, of course, Cannonier, in his current financial situation, cannot wait that long. Jarred himself made it clear that he would be ready to fight with Paulo Costa or the winner of the fight between Derek Brunson and Darren Till .
Hostages of the system
Cannonier is far from the first UFC fighter to complain about a difficult financial situation. In general, in the UFC for quite some time there has been a serious confrontation between the president of the organization, Dana White, and the fighters who are dissatisfied with the fees.
Moreover, both beginners and experienced fighters talk about problems. For example, in early summer, Sheyanni Bays admitted that she had been bankrupt almost her entire life in order to play in the UFC. To this, White replied that Byes had only two fights in the UFC, so it was difficult for her to count on something else.
But there are other examples as well. For example, Misha Tate, who does not need additional introduction, said that she spent almost all the money to conduct a training camp to return to the octagon. And Cannonier himself has long been a veteran. In MMA, he already has 19 fights, and in the UFC – 12. Jarred takes 3rd place in the ranking of middleweights. And if such a fighter has financial difficulties, then what to say about less promoted athletes?
On the other hand, you need to understand the financial system of the promotion. UFC fighters only make money when they enter the octagon. And Cannonier hasn’t been able to earn much in recent years. He had only three fights in three years. He hasn’t fought more than twice a year since 2017. Therefore, his earnings have certainly declined.
At the same time, Cannonier’s fights were shown on ESPN. He fought Robert Whittaker on a Pay-Per-View scheme that earns a large fee. That fight took place at the UFC 254 tournament, which was the last for Khabib Nurmagomedov. Obviously, the audience was gigantic there.
Therefore, it cannot be said that Cannonier necessarily received less royalties. Perhaps this is only about the misuse and frivolous use of the money he earned.
A new headache for White
Be that as it may, Cannonier’s high-profile interview is unlikely to please White. The UFC president now and then has to fend off annoying journalists who ask questions about the fees of the fighters. Athletes of all ranks have already expressed dissatisfaction, including mega-stars like Jorge Masvidal and John Jones.
And, of course, such speeches are another reason for White’s enemies to rub their hands and speculate on the topic. After all, everyone remembers how YouTube blogger and boxer Jake Paul donated $ 5,000 to UFC fighter Sarah Alpar, who launched a crowdfunding campaign on the GoFundMe platform? The athlete raised funds for a training camp and preparation for a fight under the auspices of the UFC. Now Paul and White’s other opponents have another trump card up their sleeve.