It’s easy to side with disgruntled employees over the perceived injustices of their corporate bond holders. How can you make a case for CEOs using cash as bookmarks while their subordinates count loose change for lunch?
This is particularly true for fighting, which requires manual laborers to not only struggle to make ends meet but get punched in the face while doing it. The latest sweatshop victim appears to be Heath Herring, who told ESPN 1080 in Orlando that he was focusing on acting after relations with the UFC had soured.
"With the way the UFC's pay scale and as much as it costs me to get ready for a fight," Herring told the station, "at the end of the day I made like 40,000 [for Brock Lesnar]…Dana White’s got like six Ferraris. Hell, I just want one.”
$40,000 doesn’t go too far in a vapid economy, and there’s nothing wrong with feeling jilted. But this is the unfortunate reality of prizefighting: it’s an incentive business. If Herring was winning fights, his salary would rise in proportion. Instead, he’s 2-3 since a 2007 debut. Still, $40,000 at a clip of two or three times a year and supplemented by sponsorship dollars and possible bonus tips would likely result in a six-figure income for a mid-tier fighter. In boxing, he’d be washing dishes on the nights he wasn’t tarring roofs.
There are rewards for supplying structure: in White’s case, six Ferraris. If Herring is dissatisfied with that, he could start his own promotion. Anyone think he’d make $100,000 a year at start-up?
(Alert courtesy Michael David Smith and MMAFighting.com.)