Jose Aldo: ‘We get paid way less than we deserve’

Featherweight champion Jose Aldo says that the UFC needs to pay fighters better. 

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Quinton "Rampage" Jackson may be happy with his new UFC contract, but featherweight champion Jose Aldo is not. That is, Aldo still isn’t happy with his pay.

Ever since UFC president Dana White began taking swipes at quite possibly the best fighter in the world, pound for pound, Aldo has seemed to get more vocal about what he says is lacking compensation for the promotion’s fighters like himself. Time and again, Aldo has criticized the UFC for supposedly not paying fighters enough.

Now, the champ is taking his criticism to another level. Before last week’s UFC Fight Night in Aldo’s native Brazil, "Scarface" told fans during a question and answer session that it almost costs fighters like him money to compete in the world’s top MMA promotion. 

"We get paid way less than we deserve. We deliver shows and deserve to get paid more. We practically pay to do this. You deserve to get better paid if you promote the fight," Aldo said.

"The athlete is not treated like he deserves. We deserve better. I’m not speaking just about the UFC, but also about the media. The fans treat us really well. We suffer a lot and live to do a show."

Athletes like Aldo do indeed often pay a lot of money out of their own pocket to cover the costs of training camps, including food, travel, coaches, sparring partners and a great deal else. Additionally, fighters often have to cover the cost of flying out some of their coaches to events.

We practically pay to do this. You deserve to get better paid if you promote the fight

Though Aldo is perhaps the most dominant world champion in MMA and UFC history, he has said before he feels that because of his relatively small stature, he does not get paid as well as other fighters do. All of that said, the Brazilian says that he understands that the UFC and MMA as a whole are both young, so it is more challenging for athlete pay to match that of other, more established sports.

Aldo said that he hopes to keep highlighting the topic of fighter pay in hopes that it will continue to grow. "The UFC is new and still growing," he said.

"I think it’s hard to get closer to what boxing pays their athletes, but we work for that. If we do get closer one day, I think I’ll be retired already."