Former two-division UFC champion and now PFL commentator Randy Couture recently shared some of his thoughts on the state of fighter pay within mixed martial arts.
Couture spoke with Morning Kombat's Brian Campbell and was asked how he viewed the current saga between former UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and the promotion over negotiations about a future heavyweight title fight.
"Obviously we see in Jake and Logan Paul kind of shine a light on the disparaging difference between what boxers are getting paid," Couture said. "And these guys are YouTubers that are making more money than a lot of MMA fighters have ever made in their careers. Which is disparaging, it's irritating, and I think that's where Jon is coming from. It's a big move up to heavyweight, I think he wants to solidify that and his legacy as a two-weight champ and really challenge himself, and I think that's a smart move for him. And he's right, we don't get paid the same way that boxers do. The transparency in the sport just isn't there."
He continued to give his take on why the Muhammad Ali Act being introduced into MMA with a few revisions, could be an easy solution to the stranglehold promoters seems to have on fighters and their contracts.
"We don't enjoy the protections of the Muhammad Ali Act that was implemented in boxing in 1996 to create that transparency," Couture said. "And protect fighters, boxers, from promoters and these very restrictive contracts, signing away their ancillary rights forever. When you sell a company for $4.2 billion dollars you kind of get everybody's attention, especially if you're a fighter stepping up in that cage and putting your sweat and blood into that, and your not getting remunerated appropriately in my opinion. The simple amendment to the Ali Act and the definition of changing from boxer to combative sports athlete. And then there's some terms in there that are specific to boxing that would have to be generalized for combative sports, it's a pretty easy fix honestly. Hopefully, at some point, the fighters will unionize and demand some minimum criteria, some 401k's, some different things that other professional athletes enjoy in our society, I think we'll be a lot better off."