UFC middleweight contender Jared Cannonier would like to get paid more, following his most recent victory over Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC Vegas 34.
Cannonier spoke with Ariel Helwani on the latest edition of The MMA Hour to clarify the comments he made in his post-fight interview with UFC commentator and former two-division champion Daniel Cormier about being broke financially, despite being one of the five best middleweights in the promotion currently.
“It’s not dire, it’s just a natural occurrence if you will,” Cannonier said (h/t MMA Fighting). “Of course coming off the injury, I’m not balling out of control or anything like that, and a lot of people don’t understand that when we have these fights that we owe people money after these fights. After this win, 60 percent of my money is already gone. Between the gym, between management, between taxes, on top of that I’ve got bills, credit cards, I got kids, I’ve got a house up in Alaska, I’ve got a house here, I’ve got car payments. That money goes. Money don’t last forever. Right now fighting is our only revenue. I don’t have sponsors or anything like that. Fighting is my only focus. I’m not out here doing commercials or anything like that. Nobody’s asking me to be in the next Marvel movie. Not being able to fight for the last 10 months put a strain on our pockets. So I’m glad to have gotten back in there. I’m glad that I get two checks plus that main event bonus. I’m glad I’m not injured so I can do it again.”
He continued on to say that he's very grateful for all the organization has done and provided for him, Cannonier just ultimately wants to be paid how he believes an elite athlete should be compensated as we see in other sports organizations like the NFL and NBA.
“I’m not here to say the UFC isn’t paying me,” he said. “Because I’m getting paid pretty good from the UFC. It’s just that money don’t last forever. I’m not out here balling out of control, I’m not splurging or anything like that. I’m not stupid, I don’t spend my money on dumb stuff but it’s just life I guess. I would like to get paid. I am an elite-level athlete. I would like to get paid like an elite-level athlete. Like the ones in the NFL and NBA and the ones playing baseball and soccer and doing all that stuff. They get sponsors but they don’t need sponsors. All they need is that check through the organization. That’s what we need here in the UFC. That’s what we would all like. I should have six figures in my account that I don’t even need to touch. I shouldn’t have to worry about ‘if I get injured and I can’t fight anymore, what the hell am I going to do?’ Unfortunately, that is a situation that a lot of us fighters are in —that I’m in myself. I’ve never been happier. This is the best job I’ve ever had in my life. I think the UFC takes very good care of its athletes. They make sure we have everything we need, especially during fight week. It’s the premier organization for mixed martial arts in the world. I’m part of history in that regard. I’m grateful and I’m blessed to be part of this organization. Yes, I do want more money. I would like one fight to be able to hold me up for at least two years, not one. Then off of that, we build off that.”