The relocation of UFC 232 from Las Vegas to Los Angeles is going to eat into what the fighters are paid, and Dana White didn’t appear to like being asked about what the promotion might do about that…
Tomorrow’s card was relocated to L.A. just a few days ago, after a drug test administered to Jon Jones came back with an atypical result. Since the headliner can get licensed in California for UFC 232, and not Nevada, the UFC decided to move the card.
The relocation from Nevada has impacted the fighter’s financially, due to the income taxes they need to pay in California. Further, if fighters were bringing out additional family, friends and teammates etc, they might have had to shell out more cash in connection with the card’s relocation.
Well, at the pre-fight presser for UFC 232 yesterday, White was asked if the UFC is going to offer fighters any additional compensation, due to the taxes they’re going to need to pay in California. A disgruntled looking White had this to say in response (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Who is going to pay my income tax in California?” White said. “It is what it is. It’s either that or not fight and nobody gets paid, nobody does anything. It is what it is. We had to move it. Listen, it’s costing everybody more money. It is what it is.”
“[The move cost us] about $6 million,” White reported, while discussing the financial hit the UFC’s taken as a result of the move. “Yeah. We don’t know [if the pay-per-view revenue will make up for that]. Pay-per-view is always a crap shoot, you don’t know how that’s gonna go. Listen, this was the right thing to do. At the end of the day, USADA’s not gonna put their reputation and their business on the line for one fight or one guy. We would never put anything on the line for one fight or one guy. We could have canceled this fight, moved it to March until he had time to go through the Nevada State Athletic Commission stuff, and just did this in Vegas. This was the right thing to do. California was already intimately involved in his situation, they knew everything, it was easy to get done, and the venue was available, so we moved it. We’re here, this is how we work, this is what we do.”
Now, as White relayed, it is true that the UFC is also taking a big financial hit by moving the card. But, when you consider how ridiculously wealthy White is, the “who is going to pay my income tax” comment may not have sat too well with impacted fighters. Especially since the fighters likely weren’t consulted, in fact, many were reportedly not even informed about the card’s move, until after it had been announced. Further, it seems clear that not every fighter’s convinced Jones is completely innocent.