The main reason behind it is just I do kind of have another job that provides for me and it got to the point where I really had to sit back and say, ‘You know, all the sacrifices that I'm making, time away from family, time away from friends, is it really worth what I'm getting in return? For the love of the sport, I was pretty much doing it the whole time, but then it gets to the point where financially, it just doesn't make any sense.
To kind of give a brief overview, why I'm here talking to you today is I just think a lot of fighters feel the exact same way I do, but are just in a situation or position where they're, for a lack of a better word, just scared to say anything about it, because they're worried about the repercussions.
I can say from how I've been treated indirectly and just my understanding of what I think the UFC takes in on an annual basis, they could compensate the lower-level fighters and without going into detail the upper-level fighters a little bit better. I think if you're a fighter on the lower level, you should at least be getting enough income - win or lose in your fight - so that in a three-month period of time or two-month period of time, whatever the fight camp may be, you can go into that fight fully focused on the fight
, performing your best as opposed to worrying about, ‘Man, you know, financially how can I prepare? Cut corners? Because someone who fights full time, I just don't see how they can live off the income at this level.
But just for a basic example. So Danny Castillo I know trains out of California. He had to travel to New Jersey. I live in New York. I had to travel to Brazil. You're fighting in a sport, mixed martial arts, with a wide range of skills and tactics and a lot of people will have multiple coaches. You're allowed three corners for each fight, but you're only in your contract, and for me personally, I only get one coach's flight and one hotel room and cover one visa. I know just from this last fight, I had to pay over $3,000 in flights. I had to pay for an additional hotel room. I had to pay for two additional visas which are $500 a piece. I have to pay for the licensing fees. I have to pay for the medicals. Before you even step to the ring, your original purse is gone.
And that's before factoring in the gyms I go to train at, my coaches that take hours of time to sacrifice. I want to pay them and take care of them. If a fighter doesn't do well, how does he reciprocate his coaches who put their hours and time and their training partners? It just seems like certain things could be handled better and the fighter could be treated better for an organization that claims to be the best in the world in mixed martial arts.