Looks like getting picked up right away by the World Series of Fighting after recently being fired by the UFC did not take away any bitterness from our favorite President-threatening lightweight, Jacob Volkmann. This past February, Volkmann lost by submission for the second time in his last three fights and was subsequently released by the UFC.
The elfin warrior tells AboveAndBeyondMMA.com that he didn’t deserve to be cut and is now on a mission to expose what he sees as the UFC’s unfair treatment of fighters.
“Well, I didn’t realize there was that much politics in martial arts, especially in the UFC. That was kind of frustrating. It’s not who is the best; it’s more of a political kind of BS,” he said.
“I was released after a loss against Bobby Green, which I should’ve never lost. It was kind of a fluke loss, going into the fight sick. I lost and then after that, they cut me. I was 6-2 at lightweight and they still cut me.
“You’ve got to know the right person, have the right manager in there. And your style determines if you stay in, too. The guys that stand and bang are the ones who are still fighting for the UFC. The ones that take the fights to the ground and focus more on the technique on the ground, they’re not in there because apparently the fans don’t like that.”
Volkmann is dead-on in saying that the UFC and the sport of MMA as a whole favors striking and strikers, and he goes on to include some interesting details about the UFC’s health coverage, but his whining tone probably distracts from any good points he has. No one begrudges someone for being upset at being fired, but excuse-making isn’t very sympathetic — especially from a boot-straps kind of conservative like Volkmann.
Volkmann has clearly shown that he’s a UFC-caliber fighter over the years, but he’s unfortunately not the first such guy to be cut after he goes on a downturn. First off, as we mentioned, Volkmann has been finished in two out of his last three bouts. Sure, maybe he was sick and injured in the last one but no one really ever cares about that. Also, he is 6-4 in the UFC — impressive for sure, but when half of those losses have come recently, he shouldn’t have been too shocked at being released.
Volkmann admits to being “very bitter,” over the firing but then displays a poor understanding of what poverty is.
“People always tell me, ‘You’re rich — you’re on TV!’ Are you kidding me? I made $54,000 two years ago, paid $9,000 in taxes, so that leaves me with $45,000. This last year, I made $50,000 and paid $8,000 in taxes. That leaves me with $42,000 — that’s barely above poverty. I have three kids and a wife I’m supporting.”
We’ve never gotten a crystal clear look at the UFC’s health care plans ever since they implemented one a few years ago, so tidbits of information are always great to get from fighters. Volkmann, now a lover scorned, claims that the coverage is too costly for fighters to do much good.
“They always claim that they treat the fighters so well. Yeah, they treat the top five per cent of the fighters well — the ones that are on the main card all the time. They don’t treat the rest of them very well. The healthcare plan is horrible, with a $1,500 deductible per injury — the catastrophic-injury insurance is not even really good insurance. There’s no retirement fund, there’s no signing bonus. You start off at six-and-six, you’re really not making too much money because you’re self-employed, so you’re paying the self-employment tax and you’re paying the regular tax and income tax. So you’re paying twice as much in tax. They claim they’re treating the fighters well, but they’re not, realistically.”
Rough sauce indeed. Many fighters get paid less than six and six to start, however, and lots of those are presumably in the World Series of Fighting.
What do you say, nation? Is Volkmann just mad because a black man is President and a white bald dude fired him? Or should his voice be heard on the matters of fighter compensation and job security?