Ranked UFC welterweight responds to being spotted working as a server at a restaurant

The issue of UFC pay model for competitors has long been a topic of intense scrutiny and debate within the realm of MMA. Fans and journalists alike often question the compensation provided to athletes, with many expressing concerns about the potential underpayment.

This issue gained significant attention in recent times when former heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou vacated his title and left the promotion due to failed negotiations over financial terms.

A report published by ABC News in 2022 further intensified the debate around the UFC pay model. The report suggested that only a mere 20% of the promotion’s revenue finds its way into the pockets of the athletes.

It is widely known that the UFC offers relatively low entry pay to its combatants. Consequently, many athletes are compelled to seek additional sources of income to make ends meet. For example, former heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic continues to serve as a fireman in Ohio despite his success in the octagon.

Prominent UFC competitor Geoff Neal who is ranked eighth in his division, recently made headlines when he was spotted working a second job. Reports emerged of him serving as a waiter at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant.

A Twitter user posted:

However, Neal clarified on his Twitter account that he had no grievances regarding his compensation from the UFC. He attributed his decision to work a second job to simply staying busy.

He replied:

Neal’s most recent bout was against Shavkat Rakhmonov, where he suffered a defeat via third-round submission. Complicating matters, Neal missed weight for the welterweight bout by four pounds.

Typically, such a weight miss would render a combatant ineligible for any post-bout bonus. But in an exceptional turn of events, Neal still received a $50,000 bonus for his performance against Rakhmonov.

UFC President Dana White justified this decision by expressing admiration for the captivating nature of the bout.

He said: “After that fight, I was like, I don’t give a s**t if he made weight or not, man. We’re paying that dude 50 grand. That was incredible, both guys had incredible heart, and you just couldn’t watch a better fight than that. It was awesome, and I love that s**t.”