Travis Browne thinks the latest wave of fighter pay complaints is much ado about nothing.
The former UFC heavyweight took a strong stance in support of the promotion’s business practices on a recent episode of his Tough Business podcast that featured an interview with UFC President Dana White. Browne competed for the UFC from 2010-2017, compiling a 9-7-1 record and earning notable victories over Matt Mitrione, Brendan Schaub, Josh Barnett, Alistair Overeem, Gabriel Gonzaga, and Stefan Struve.
The issue of fighter pay has become newly relevant with YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul publicly butting heads with White over how fighters are compensated, which Paul discussed in the lead-up to high-profile boxing matches with former UFC standouts Tyron Woodley and Ben Askren. In the past, prominent names like Conor McGregor, Georges St-Pierre, and Nate Diaz have also raised various concerns regarding their dealings with the UFC.
Speaking to White, Browne stated that he understands how the UFC works and called fighters complaining about pay “whiny little b*tches.”
“You guys have always treated me right,” Browne said. “The pay has been there, and again, it’s always been at least what the contract was, and most of the time it was more. So these people that are complaining, people in the media that don’t f*cking hear that they hear the little bitch that’s crying and complaining. Because you get these, like, entitled people. Or I don’t know where the f*ck it comes from.
“It’s like, they’re just whiny little b*tches, and then they go to more whiny little b*tches that’ll write about it.”
Browne noted that in his experience with the UFC, he was often paid more than what his contract promised and that he “always felt like I was part of the UFC.” The 39-year-old has not competed since July 2017 at UFC 213, where he was submitted by Aleksei Oleinik, his fourth straight loss. Browne’s disclosed purse for that bout was $120,000.
Though Browne has never officially announced a retirement, he is most often seen now sharing lifestyle videos from the farm that he owns with his wife, former UFC champion and former WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey. Rousey is one of the most successful athletes in combat sports history and Browne points out that the UFC played a major role in building her brand.
“It works both ways,” Browne said. “‘Cause what happens is, when somebody comes in and they start working their way up in the UFC, the brand builds them up and turns them into stars.”
“Then once you have the brand plus Chuck Liddell, the brand plus Matt Hughes, the brand plus Ronda Rousey, the brand plus Conor McGregor… it’s powerful for everybody. It’s a very incredible relationship when you have both, the brand plus the star.”
See Browne’s full comment to White below (transcription via Bloody Elbow):
You guys always paid me what you said you were gonna pay me, and most of the time, it was actually more. So, all these people that are complaining about it, that are just talking shit about it, at the end of the day, I’m the one that signed that f*cking contract. And then I’m gonna turn around and b*tch about it? Or I’mma b*tch about it to a f*cking reporter or something like that?
That doesn’t make sense to me as a man. I signed a contract. If I wanted to get paid more, and you guys have always been upfront about it. ‘Hey, if you’re a free agent, go find a better deal.’ I’ve always felt like I was part of the UFC.
When one of my contracts was up, we had a bigger offer, but I was, like, ‘Listen, the best fighters are here in the UFC, and I’m not trying to be a B-Level fighter. I’m trying to compete against the best.’
You guys have always treated me right. The pay has been there, and again, it’s always been at least what the contract was, and most of the time it was more. So these people that are complaining, people in the media that don’t f—ng hear that they hear the little bitch that’s crying and complaining. Because you get these, like, entitled people. Or I don’t know where the f—k it comes from.
It’s like, they’re just whiny little bitches, and then they go to more whiny little bitches that’ll write about it.