MMA Odds and Ends for Thursday: Kennedy Says Sorry To UFC For Fighter Pay Comments

Tim Kennedy Just a few days after he made comments highlighting low fighter pay in the UFC, middleweight contender Tim Kennedy has did an about-face and has apologized for for his remarks. On Monday, Kennedy appeared on the GrappleTalk Podcast and went into detail about how much money he makes from the UFC and how much money he spends on preparation for his fights. According to Kennedy, who broke down the numbers in a scientific manner, he is set to make $55,000 to show against Roger Gracie at next weekend’s UFC 162 event with a potential $15,000 extra as a win bonus if he comes out of the bout victorious. But, Kennedy said, he’ll only take home less than $20,000 of that after he pays for gym fees, nutrition, coaches, his manager, his housing, his medicals and his equipment, and that’s even before taxes take more away from him. The interview then spread viral on Twitter and MMA message boards and the last 48 hours, which have been very quiet as far as MMA news goes, have thrust Kennedy’s comments in the spotlight, comments which are similar to the ones former UFC fighters John Cholish, Jon Fitch and Jacob Volkmann made recently, and comments that UFC president Dana White was not at all happy about. But today Kennedy released a long and detailed statement to where he apologized to White, UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta and UFC matchmaker Joe Silva for the comments he made and said that he was only intending to highlight the fact that professional MMA fighters are paid considerably less than athletes in other sports and that he wasn’t intending to bash his employer with his remarks. I think the move to apologize was the right one for Kennedy to make. After all, even if he does have another job with the US Army he’s still a UFC fighter and it’s never a good idea to bite the hand that feeds and, relatively speaking, the UFC is paying him a decent salary compared to most undercard fighters. I’m guessing that the UFC got word of the comments and weren’t happy about them and obviously Kennedy doesn’t want to get cut from the roster — which could definitely happen if he loses to Gracie next week — so he made the right choice to apologize for what he said, even though everything he said was bang on. Of course, it still wouldn’t surprise me if the UFC didn’t care about the apology and was still bothered about the comments, but at least Kennedy attempted to calm down the situation. It will take many more fighters to speak up about the subject of fighter pay until the athletes eventually get a bigger piece of the pie but in a growing sport like MMA, it’s best at this point to take what you can get and I’m sure Kennedy realized this in the last 24 hours and knew he had to do some serious damage control and, at least from my vantage point, he accomplished just that. But you never know what the UFC is thinking and, like I said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Kennedy was cut from the roster with a loss in his UFC debut next weekend.

Written by Adam Martin.

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