(Video via YouTube.com/KarynBryant. Skip to 17:35 for the money quote.)
Following his loss to Glover Teixeira at UFC on FOX 6 — allegedly his final performance in the Octagon — Quinton Jackson sat down with his old friend Karyn Bryant for a sprawling 44-minute interview about his relationship with the UFC and what he has planned for the future. The interview has become newsworthy for a couple reasons. For one, Jackson offers to drag his balls across Bryant’s face. It is what it is, I guess. No amount of bad publicity is going to stop Jackson from being weird with female reporters, and that’s not going to change no matter what he decides to do with the rest of his life.
The other interesting moment comes when Jackson starts opening up (or “complaining,” if you’re one of his haters) about the way the UFC reports its pay-per-view numbers to fighters. Many of the UFC’s marquee athletes earn a cut of PPV sales for the events they compete on, which makes it very important for those fighters to get an accurate assessment of what those numbers are. Unfortunately, the figures aren’t made public, so the fighters have to take their employer’s word for it — never an ideal situation when money is on the line. Here’s what ‘Page had to say (via MMMania):
“In my opinion, I feel like me and the rest of the UFC fighters are getting taken advantage of. I feel like the UFC is cleaning house. The pay-per-view dollars? They tell me one number, but then they tell the press another. Pay me the numbers that you tell the press! Don’t tell me, ‘Oh, we only sold this many,’ then you tell the press, ‘Oh we sold this many!’ But then I’m saying, ‘Hey, you only told me we sold 800,000 buys but you told the press you sold a million buys.’ Then they say ‘Oh, we just say that for the press.’ No, pay me what you told the press because you lyin’ somewhere. You either lyin’ to me or you lyin’ to the press about the pay-per-view numbers. If they’re doing it to me, I’m sure they’re doing it to other fighters.”
Well, this is an easy one: The UFC is lying to the press. If Dana White were to tell reporters that a big UFC fight did a million buys, and it was later proven somehow that the event did less than one million buys, it would be a minor embarrassment for the company that would be reported on MMA blogs for about two days. On the other hand, if the UFC mis-represented their pay-per-view numbers in order to short-change Anderson Silva on his PPV bonus and he found out about it, it would be grounds for an enormous lawsuit. Believe me, the UFC’s top brass aren’t stupid enough to ever try this.
What Jackson’s interview suggests is that the UFC occasionally exaggerates its PPV figures on the rare occasions when they actually do throw a number out to the press — something I already assumed they were doing. It also shows us that Jackson is willing to play out his public feud with the UFC to the bitter end, which might do him more harm than good in the long run. After all, how many fight promoters will want to work with a guy who has no qualms about putting their private business on the street if the relationship turns sour? Do you think Bjorn Rebney needs this kind of bullshit in his life?