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Liddell: UFC and MMA “Not a Welfare State”

Kelsey Mowatt

Chuck Liddell

Chuck Liddell was one of the first MMA fighters to make it big in mainstream culture, thanks to a pretty unique look and stopping power that electrified audiences, and as a result, “The Iceman” made out just fine on the financial side. The former champ, who ran through the UFC light-heavyweight division from 2004 through 2006, is in every sense one of the “upper tier” fighters people cite when discussing fighter pay.

While UFC vets like John Cholish and Jacob Volkmann, among others, have been criticizing what the promotion pays it’s fighters recently, Liddell recently fired back at the ZUFFA detractors while speaking with Sirius XM Fight Club. Here is some of what the 43 year-old fighter had to say about fighter salaries, and those who believe the financial compensation structure is flawed (quoted via MMA

“Everybody doesn’t want to hurt to lower guys from getting paid, but it comes down to, it’s a performance based business. You get good, you win, then you get paid. Guys are getting paid plenty, trust me. I got paid plenty, trust me.”

“People got to understand, the fighters at the top are the fighters that are supposed to get paid because they’re the guys that are bringing people in, bringing eyes to the TV, getting pay-per-views buys, and putting people in the seats. I mean, that’s what it comes down to. You want to get that? Beat everybody. Be good enough. If you’re not good enough to get there — sorry. It’s not a welfare state.”

Of course, it should be noted in all this, that Liddell continues to work for the promotion as the UFC Executive Vice President of Business Development. It’s already been three years now since Liddell fought for the last time, when he was stopped by Rich Franklin in June, 2010.

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