Dana White Explains Status of Wonderboy’s Show Money: “Guys Don’t Just Get Paid to Not Fight”

Following the UFC’s controversial failure to pay Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson after the welterweight star’s opponent missed weight at UFC 291, Dana White provided an update and explanation of the situation, per Alex Behunin of MMA Mania.

“So, how that works is, guys don’t just get paid to not fight,” White told Behunin and other reporters at a press conference last week. “That’s not how that works. Guys have been paid — listen, if you’re coming in, and you’re making short money, we take care of you. You come in, and you don’t fight — first of all, you decided not to fight. The guy was three pounds overweight, whatever it was, you get a piece of his purse if you take the fight.

“But if you decide you don’t want to take the fight — we also offered [Wonderboy] another fight — you know, there’s a much bigger story behind the scenes. And no, you don’t just show up and say, ‘Yeah, I’m not going to fight. I want a quarter of a million dollars.’ Not the way it works. Hasn’t worked that way for anybody.

“So, what we do is we try to get you another fight; we try to turn it around quickly. If you don’t turn around quickly, we try to figure out, ‘Well, what are the costs of your camp? We’ll reimburse you.’ You know, there’s a lot of different ways that this gets worked out.

“You don’t just go, ‘Yeah, this guy’s three pounds over, I’m not going to fight, and no, I won’t take another fight two weeks later, and pay me my show money.’ Not how it works. You don’t fight, you don’t get paid, necessarily, in the contract. But we always make sure that we take care of everybody and, you know, we’re working it out with Wonderboy right now. It’s all being worked out behind the scenes, and this should all be worked out by Saturday.”

White’s reasoning has generated mixed responses from UFC fans on social media. Some have applauded the UFC president for providing a clear-cut explanation of the situation without dodging the question or beating around the bush. A few have also sided with White, agreeing that making weight shouldn’t automatically guarantee a fight purse without an actual fight. “I love Wonderboy, but if you don’t fight, you shouldn’t get your purse,” wrote one Twitter user in response to the news. “Obviously if the cancellation is out of your control its a different story, but he chose not to fight. [It’s] nice that he’ll be reimbursed for his camp, but he shouldn’t expect that.”

Others, however, continue to criticize White and the UFC for what they view as unfair labor practices. One fan sarcastically Tweeted, “I know the UFC is hurting for money, tough situation to be in. Almost as tough a situation as paying for a training camp, travel for your team, dealing with an opponent having an unfair weight advantage and then turning down a new opponent you didn’t prepare [for].”

Wonderboy has not made an official statement on the situation at this time.


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