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Dana White is the Newest Person to Question ESPN's Journalistic Integrity

by Photo of Andrew Lontos

White says ESPN is “dirty”, “they lie”, and “they never give you all the facts”.

Dana White is the Newest Person to Question ESPN's Journalistic Integrity

In this article…

With so much money being made from the blood, sweat, and broken faces of its athletes, and with UFC rapidly becoming — gasp – one of America’s major sports leagues, the compensation of its athletes is under an increasingly hot spotlight.

The subject of fighter pay has always been a touchy subject in UFC, which gives fighters a base pay, combined with a unique incentive-driven structure: you get extra money if you have the “submission of the night, knockout of the night, fight of the night,” and according to CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, fighters who do a good job promoting that night’s event are sometimes cut a check right on the spot (fighters also make money from sponsorships and endorsements).

But, according to a report from ESPN’s Outside The Lines, the median income for your average UFC fighter is between $17,000 and $23,000. If you lose in your first fight, you might have only made $6,000. One fighter classified this compensation as “crumbs,” and ESPN quotes fighters, attorneys, and union chiefs that essentially say your average UFC athlete isn’t paid shit.

It’s obviously not a flattering portrayal of the company’s management, and they’ve taken exception. In a YouTube response to the OTL report, UFC president Dana White said ESPN is “dirty,” they “lie,” and “they never really give you all the facts.” He then shows unaired segments of the interview with Fertitta, which he purports to be more fair than what ESPN showed on TV.

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Those are strong words for a company with so much influence in the sports world. I guess White feels he has nothing to lose since they barely covers the UFC anyway. But in fairness to ESPN, it's not easy to fit the UFC in when you have Tim Tebow to talk about.

Sports Grid

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