Ronda Rousey: ‘Fighters should get paid more than ring-card girls’

Ronda Rousey believes that fighters like her should always make more money than UFC ring-card engineers like Arianny Celeste.

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Bantamweight world champion Ronda Rousey isn’t usually one to criticize her promoter, the UFC, but during a media day this week the two-time judo Olympian did criticize one aspect of fighter pay. "I think that they should get paid more than the ring girls," she said.

How much Octagon card holders like Arianny Celeste and Brittney Palmer get paid isn’t publicly known. Then again, neither is how much UFC fighters are paid, since fight purses are often just the tip of the iceberg with regards to pay, at least for big names like Rousey.

In any case, Rousey seemed to be suggesting that many UFC fighters get paid less than the models who sit in bikinis nearby as they fight, which is not hard to believe. The UFC’s "Octagon girls" usually work far more dates than a fighter has fights, in any given year, and are pretty heavily promoted.

"I don’t know if the ring girls get paid too much or the fighters don’t get paid enough," the UFC 184 headliner continued.

"But yeah. There’s definitely a lot more in what the fighters do than what they do. So, I think that’s one thing that’s unfair."

Rousey isn’t complaining about her own compensation, however. She says that the UFC has gone above and beyond in what they pay her.

"There’s times where they give me more than they’re contractually obligated to or more than I even expect. That’s why I always trust them so much. Even if they didn’t ever give me anything extra, I would still be happy, because you know what I made as an Olympian? Nothing. It cost me money," she explained.

"I got my first house, I got a car, what else do I need?" Rousey said. "I don’t need a private island. My house is paid off. My car is paid off. I just need to buy dog food and pay my taxes and that’s pretty much it. I have no need to want. The only thing I want to do now is fight and they made that possible for me and I’m eternally grateful."