Fighter pay has been a hot topic over the last few months as Youtube star turned-boxer Jake Paul has sought to highlight what he views as low pay for fighters from the UFC. Fighters such as Francis Ngannou and Paulo Costa have also expressed their own opinions, all while pound-for-pound great Jon Jones remains in limbo as he apparently waits for “Deontay Wilder money.”
This isn’t a new debate. I have myself over the years repeatedly asked why there is not a union in MMA, if competition or collective bargaining was better or why MMA stars can’t make the same huge purses as boxers. And while most fighters that voice complaints seem to soon lose interest, Nate “Rock” Quarry is one fighter that has remained steadfast in his efforts to enact what he sees as much needed change.
I first interviewed Nate Quarry almost 8 years ago. While his views of what ails the sport of Mixed Martial Arts remain pretty much the same, his opinion on what the solutions are has changed. Since that first interview he has signed on as a plaintiff in the UFC antitrust lawsuit and has traveled to Washington DC to lobby Congress on behalf of expanding the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act to include MMA fighters. He has also published a graphic novel titled Zombie Cage Fighter which he calls “autobiographical horror story.”
With so much recent discussion on the subject of fighter pay, I thought it might be worthwhile to ask what he thinks can be done about it.
[The following conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.]
So what would you like to see fighters do? If a fighter is reading this and they agrees with what you’re saying what would you suggest they do?
The number one thing fighters can do is make an appearance, either in the courtroom or in Washington DC. And if I had to choose I would say DC. Walk the Capitol with us and let congress know we want this bill passed. If you can’t go to DC come to Vegas whenever there’s another hearing. It can’t hurt for the judge to look out and see that there is a bunch of fighters interested in the outcome of the case besides the five Plaintiffs. And if I’m not the 6th Plaintiff I will be sitting there in the audience.
So if you’re a fighter and you want to to follow the case go to our website and you can register for updates and you’ll know when the next hearing is. And if you want to help with the Ali Act. Contact any of us fighters involved with the case. We’re all on twitter or social media. You can find me on twitter @NateRockQuarry. And we’ll let you know what you can do to help and when we’re going to go to DC next. If you can’t make it to DC or Vegas then just publicly voice your support. It would help if fighters did this, especially the former champs that people know well.
And who am I to do this shit? I last fought 10 years ago. When people ask me who I am I say remember the first season of the Ultimate Fighter? ‘Yes.’ I was the guy that got hurt. And they’re like ‘Oh. Well that was a long time ago.’ I fought for the championship once years ago, and lost. So it shouldn’t be me doing this. Where are the former champions that held the belt? Where are the current champions? Come with me and walk the halls of Congress.
Retired fighters are doing more to increase pay and benefits for fighters than the active ones who would actually benefit from it.
LOL nOObs Dont know who Nate Quarry is .
Did anyone ask how he feels about people paying for surgery’s for other people when they have no obligation to?
What are you talking about? Explain clearly
There needs to be a fund created by the UFC to take care of medical care for ex UFC fighters also.
To be fair Nate has always given credit to Dana and the Fertittas for paying for his surgery
"Well, they’re very unsatisfied. They have next to no negotiating power whatsoever. One big organization basically dictates whatever happens…It’s a catch-22, because without the UFC where would I be? Where would the sport be? I consider myself ridiculous lucky because of all the things Dana White, the Fertittas, and the UFC have done for me - and all the athletes - is amazing. But on the flip side, what all the athletes have done for Dana White and the Fertittas is amazing.
Quarry went on to explain a situation where he required back surgery just to be able to train, and White helped him with his medical issues. This is the kind of story that doesn’t get a lot of press because it’s behind closed doors, but I’m sure it’s not an isolated incident of White and the UFC going out of their way to help their fighters"
Thank you for the answer. Kind sir.
Big fan of Nate. He came around a tad early to make a great deal of money. Certain guys make a lot of money in UFC/MMA and your average mid-level guy like Nate probably makes much more on average compared to a journeyman boxer for instance. Pretty sure thats already been proven. Of course, the top of the food chain boxers make way more than MMA fighters but boxing has been around a lot longer.
Wouldnt the Ali Act turn the MMA landscape into a horrible Boxing landscape?
He is a good dude
Nate is looking for a job, namely as an agent.