Cub Swanson understands that both Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey are two of the biggest names in combat sports, and are compensated accordingly. But, it also sounds like the featherweight believes they had an easier path than most to stardom.
Swanson is preparing to fight Brian Ortega tomorrow at UFC Fight Night 123, in a scrap that will serve as the card’s headliner. The fight is going down after Swanson campaigned fora shot at the featherweight title, and was denied. It’s also the final fight on his current UFC deal, and Swanson’s let it be known he intends to test the free agent market.
Well, speaking of fighter contracts, Swanson recently had this to say, while speaking to Yahoo Sports.
“No, I haven’t been, and I feel all the fighters should be paid more,” Swanson said. “I feel I was putting in my dues for a long time out of an ignorance of thinking, ‘I’m going to put in the work and I’ll be taken care of.’ I feel I’ve been paid good, but when you see guys like Conor [McGregor], guys like Nate Diaz, who are hardly fighting and make a couple of [million] each fight, man…”
“That’s very fair, but I also think both of them were very pampered,” Swanson said, while conceding the fact Rousey and McGregor have been paid well, on account of their fame. “You know I’ll take slack for saying that, but it’s very true. I tell young fighters this all the time. Me and Ortega both, we’re just another fighter from California. We’re not from a country that doesn’t have any other fighters and so we don’t have an entire country backing us up. So we’re not an easy sell from a promoter’s perspective.”
Swanson certainly isn’t the first person to argue that McGregor and Rousey have received preferential treatment from the UFC. Although, most would likely say that McGregor has been the target of that argument, far more often.
After all, McGregor was allowed to move up to 155 to challenge for the title, without having ever defending the featherweight belt. Then, this past year, the UFC signed off on him boxing Floyd Mayweather, which is something no one would have foreseen happening, say three, four years ago.
But, as well all know, Rousey and McGregor have been extremely valuable assets for the UFC, in terms of revenue. Disproportionately so.