UFC to fighter: No free tickets, unless Dana White approves

Joanne Calderwood, who is ranked 7th in the UFC’s women’s strawweight division, took to social media on Monday to relay a ‘shocking…

By: Tim Bissell | 7 years
UFC to fighter: No free tickets, unless Dana White approves
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Joanne Calderwood, who is ranked 7th in the UFC’s women’s strawweight division, took to social media on Monday to relay a ‘shocking’ experience she had with the UFC regarding complimentary tickets for the upcoming UFC 206.

I don’t ask for much and I know this is a very selfish sport when it comes down to giving your time and attention esp if…

Posted by Jo Jo Calderwood on Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Along with a statement, Calderwood shared a screen capture of a brief email exchange she had with Ryan McCarthy, the UFC’s Senior Director of Event Development.

McCarthy’s original message, one presumably sent to a host of fighters, outlined the ticket prices for UFC 206, which will be on December 10th at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Calderwood responded to the message asking, “Are fighters not getting complimentary tickets any more?”

McCarthy responded, “Fighters on the card get tickets and guest fighters get tickets. If a fighter is just coming, then they will need to purchase, unless Dana approves the comps.”

Calderwood, who has been living in Montreal, Quebec, had been planning to attend the event to watch her training partner’s from the Tristar gym compete on the card. On learning that she would have to pay for a ticket to attend the event, the Scottish fighter was candid with her response, writing:

I don’t ask for much and I know this is a very selfish sport when it comes down to giving your time and attention esp if you are serious about being a high level professional fighter…as a fighter I know we don’t get a lot back and it’s never an easy road, we sacrifice a lot and most of the time we are broke. I’m eating into my savings just to pay for myself to get better as a fighter so I can win and put on better fights. Right now I’m recovering from a minor concussion and to know it could put my next pay day back further is scary, not to mention I don’t even know when my next fight is going to get offered to me. I’m lucky for the support around me cause Ive been really down the past week with having to take time out of training and it’s tough not knowing what’s around the corner. But anyway I’ve been really looking forward to making the trip to Toronto next week to support some of the guys from Tristar, after emailing the UFC to request tickets, I’m still a little shocked after receiving this….to say I’m upset is an understatement

This marks yet another incident of a UFC fighter publicly acknowledging their dissatisfaction with the UFC. Just hours before Calderwood’s post, UFC veteran Cole Miller’s grievances with the promotion were aired stemming from the cancellation of UFC Manila.

Invicta FC strawweight champion and former UFC fighter Angela Hill, who also competed on TUF 20 with Calderwood, took issue with her statement. She offered her own explanation of the ticketing process on Twitter:

This news also comes as talks of a fighter’s union and/or association are developing on multiple fronts.

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About the author
Tim Bissell
Tim Bissell

Tim Bissell is a writer, editor and deputy site manager for Bloody Elbow. He has covered combat sports since 2015, but has been watching since the early 2000s. Tim covers news and events and has also written longform and investigative pieces. Among Tim's specialties are the intersections between crime and combat sports. Tim has also covered head trauma, concussions and CTE in great detail.

Tim is also BE's lead (only) sumo reporter. He blogs about that sport here and on his own substack, Sumo Stomp!

Tim is currently a social worker in training.

Email me at [email protected]. Nice messages will get a response.

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