Renan Barao recently complained that the UFC pays him too little compared to opponents like Urijah Faber. Thursday, UFC president Dana White responded to the bantamweight champion's gripes.
"Show me a guy who's thrilled with his contract," White told media assembled at Thursday's UFC 172 media day.
"I want to meet that [expletive] guy."
White took issue with Barao's characterization of his "saving" a UFC event in May after Chris Weidman and Lyoto Machida's middleweight title bout was postponed.
"He 'saved the event'. When guys start talking like that, I hope that's not the direction we're going with Barao right now," White said.
The UFC promoter said that he loves Barao as a fighter and is doing his best to promote the Brazilian. And, while Barao isn't a major star worthy of big bucks yet, White believes his popularity and pay days will increase.
"It's always going to be tough and Barao's in this spot. Listen, who's been beating the Barao drum more than me? I think this kid, he's not there yet. He's the champion, but not the big star yet," White said.
"Who says more positive things about Barao than me?...Guy's been winning fights for nine years and hasn't lost, he's on this incredible win streak, he finishes guys. He comes in, he's a fun fighter to watch, exciting. I don't disagree. I don't disagree. You have to be able to deliver the numbers and we're in the process now of building Barao into the star that I think he should be."
How do you feel about White's response to Barao? Do you think that Renan should get a pay raise if he successfully defends his belt against T.J. Dillashaw in late May or should he have to become more popular first?
Let us know in the comments section!