Fighter pay was one of the hottest topics in the world of MMA leading up to the Fight Island events. Henry Cejudo retiring at UFC 249 started it all as major stars like Jorge Masvidal and Jon Jones got into public feuds with the UFC.
As we approach the last event of UFC fight island, it seems those problems are an afterthought for the UFC hierarchy. Henry Cejudo has remained retired while Jon Jones is still on his crusade.
Dana White has kept the ‘train moving’ with the promotion offering some tremendous fights over the past few months. This has shifted the power dynamic back into the hands of the UFC, especially after Masvidal agreed to fight Usman on six days' notice.
UFC had gotten some attention regarding the fighter pay issue with even ESPN jumping in on the conversation. However, such talks now seem to have died down.
Henry Cejudo has been active on his social media and has taunted fans with pictures of him against Demetrious Johnson, which gives the impression that Triple C’s retirement may just be a ploy to gain more negotiating power.
Cejudo has also called out Petr Yan and Deiveson Figureido and his return inside the octagon seems possibility considering he is just 33 years old.
This leaves Jones as the lone wolf in his fight against the UFC and being in this position has historically never been a good idea. For all the popularity that the Diaz brothers have gained throughout their years as fighters, this has always been a point of sore contention between them and Dana White.
Nick Diaz got so tired from all the politics that come along with fighting that we have not seen him inside the octagon for the best part of five years. Dana White also didn’t seem high on his brother, Nate, being a star before he finally broke out with his win against Conor McGregor at UFC 196.
Nate has fought just three times since then, with money being a sticking issue between the Stockton native and UFC.
If Jon Jones is to keep doing what he does alone, then the only way forward for him looks like following in the footsteps of the Diaz brothers. Jones has already made it clear that he will not fight until the paycheck is good enough and that path can lead him towards one of two ways.
Either the UFC bring back Jones into the fold as they did with ‘Gamebred’ by offering him a respectable offer for both parties or Jones sticks to his guns and waits for the right deal.
Has UFC won the latest installment of the fighter pay campaign? Without an inch of a doubt, they did.