In the not-so-distant past, Floyd Mayweather has referred to MMA as a “fad for beer-drinkers” and “animals” that was started by white people who couldn’t hack it in boxing. Granted, it wasn’t an Adrien Broner-level attack on the sport (and basic human logic), but it wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement either. But now that the 36 year-old champ is fresh off his latest title defense over Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, he seems to be changing his tune in regards to our beloved sport. And thank God for that (*lifts leg* *farts*).
In an interview with Fight Hype published earlier today, Mayweather revealed that he was interested in managing MMA fighters in the near future. Because if there’s anyone who could potentially put an end to this whole “MMA fighters get paid in peanuts” debate, it’s the guy who made 40 million dollars for his last fight:
I want to promote MMA fighters. You know, Al Haymon is looking to manage MMA fighters. Even though Al hasn’t came on record and said it, but I want Al to manage MMA fighters. I think I can take it to the next level.
I don’t mind doing business with Dana White. Dana White’s a cool guy. I’ve been knowing Dana before he got involved in MMA.
Al Haymon, of course, is Mayweather’s personal advisor and a legendary boxing promoter/advisor who manages everyone from Austin Trout to Danny Garcia.
Fight Opinion recently published a fantastic article detailing the dichotomy that exists between MMA and boxing, the main point of which argues that MMA fighters in general will continue to be “underpaid” when compared to their boxing counterparts until they decide to form a fighter union or something of the like. And in order for that to happen, a strong external force — be it a politician, a rival promotion, or sports management company — would need to be introduced into the equation. Since we can cross the first two options off the list, that leaves MMA fighters with one choice: to somehow wrangle in a big name agency to essentially go to war for them. The problem is, most big name agencies simply don’t see where the money to be made in MMA is.
Not yet, at least.
With the UFC landing more network deals, original programming and broadcasting rights across more and more countries by the day, it’s become quite obvious to people like Mayweather that there is some money to be made in this sport. The question now becomes: Is Floyd Mayweather the man to give the MMA pay scale a much-needed overhaul? Probably not, but that doesn’t make the prospect of seeing some big names (and even bigger bankrolls) getting in on this MMA “fad” any less interesting.