UFC middleweight Tim Kennedy has never been afraid to express his opinions even they aren’t necessarily popular. However, Kennedy’s recent statements regarding the way low/mid level fighters are paid apparently rubbed a few important people the wrong way to the point he’s since apologized despite the masses agreeing in principal with his plight.
Kennedy, who labeled his own pay as “slim pickings”, backed off his comments in a message on Facebook where he said his words were taken out of context and he is actually quite happy with how the UFC treats him.
“I recently made comments regarding fighter pay. The intent of these statements was to highlight that professional fighters incur significant expense associated with their preparations to fight and that fighter compensation is still not on par with other major sports. While I am fortunate to have various revenue streams associated with my business interests, most fighters do not have that luxury. When you spend training camps with great guys with amazing talents and you see them barely making ends meet, while simultaneously seeing athletes in other sports with far less character and a far smaller work ethic making exponentially more, you can get frustrated,” wrote Kennedy. Unfortunately, I made statements that alluded to how the UFC in particular pays its athletes. This was particularly offensive as Zuffa has taken better care of me than any other organization, even giving me a bonus for being amusing on Twitter. My choice of words was poor, not properly informed, and did not match my intent.”
“Additionally, my comments were taken out of context. I can tell you that I have been fighting longer than most people and I remember all too well the days when there was no regulation or standard for an MMA promotion,” he continued. “I fought many times in Mexico where the rules were negligible, there were no physicals, and being paid was a luxury we didn’t expect. Our sport was shunned and was considered “human cockfighting”. Today, we are on Fox. We have doctors and insurance. We make more money than the average American. And we get these things by playing a sport we love. The only reason this is possible is because of Zuffa. They have legitimized the sport and taken better care of the athletes than any other organization, and the trend is only improving, with athletes making three times what they made on average five years ago.
“My comments were hurtful and inappropriate,” Kennedy concluded. “I accept full responsibility for the statements and apologize to the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta, & Joe Silva as well as anyone I might have offended with my comments. Fighting for the UFC is an honor and a privilege. I look forward to putting this situation behind me and focusing on my upcoming fight with Roger Gracie.”
White, who is typically quick to fire back at criticism, has not publicly commented on the matter.
Kennedy-Gracie is on deck for next weekend’s UFC 162 lineup. Both are making their Octagon debuts after spending the past few years in Strikeforce.