During a recent interview with ESPN Brazil, UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo admitted that he feels underpaid by the world's top MMA promotion. "Certainly, I feel underpaid," he said.
"Talking in numbers is difficult. A fighter dreams of reaching a level where he makes good money. Today I have other thoughts, I have been around the world, I have great insight into this. At the same time that they give business to us, they could improve [pay]. We bring millions to the organization's events. I'm a very marketable fighter, and everyone likes to see me fight."
The dominant Brazilian champ says that the UFC's pay-scale is all over the place and weighted against the lower-weight class fighters such as himself. "We see a lightweight being paid the same as a beginner," he said.
"We see a heavyweight non-champion and non-title challenger earning a lot more than us. This situation makes us a little sad, but I have to keep fighting - we can't lose our focus."
Aldo, who has never lost in the WEC or UFC, said he can not imagine what more he could do to get the UFC to recognize his value. That said, "Scarface" seemed to recognize that his not being fluent in English may be hurting his marketability in the United States. and was asked what he could possibly do to make the UFC pay him more
"I do not know, man. We kill ourselves in training, we give the best of us to get out there and give a great show, break records for the UFC. We give the maximum, but do not have that due recognition. Now, I do not know what to do, do I need to get inside the cage and kill my opponent" he asked rhetorically.
"I feel that it can be bad for me, Barao, Anderson, that we are not fluent in English. What matters during a fight is how we fight, not language. We have to negotiate; Dede takes care of that. I'm there to give people what they want to see."
Aldo's teammate Renan Barao recently complained publicly about his pay as well, but then signed a three fight extension before last weekend's UFC 173 event where he lost his bantamweight title to TJ Dillashaw. Before the fight, Barao told ESPN that his complaints were a misunderstanding and that everything had been sorted out.
Without specific numbers to compare, it is difficult to really understand the complaints of Aldo and Barao. That said, do you feel that champs like them and Dilashaw should be making as much as heavier fighters in the UFC?
Let us know in the comments section.