There’s a bigger story – Dana White explains Thompson’s purse situation for UFC 291

Dana White addresses the ongoing discussion about Stephen Thompson's UFC 291 purse.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 2 months ago

UFC president Dana White spoke to the media on Tuesday to address the ongoing situation regarding Stephen Thompson’s UFC 291 salary. ‘Wonderboy’ recently claimed he has yet to receive his show money after the cancellation of his scheduled bout with Michel Pereira

Dana White speaks to the press and the fans at UFC288 - Sterling vs Cejudo - press conference, PK, Pressekonferenz at Prudential Center on May 4, 2023 in Newark, NJ Newark, NJ United States - ZUMAp175 20230504_zsa_p175_023 Copyright: xLouisxGrassex
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Dana White explains Wonderboy’s situation

During the post-event scrum of Tuesday’s Contender Series, White set the record straight. According to him, the process is much more complex, while revealing that ‘Wonderboy’ received a replacement fight offer. 

“You decided not to fight,” White said of Thomspon. “(Pereira) was three pounds overweight. You get a piece of his purse if you take the fight… 

“We also offered him another fight. There’s a much bigger story behind the scenes. 

“No, you don’t just show up and say ‘yeah, I’m not going to fight, I want a quarter of a million dollars.’ That’s not the way it works. Hasn’t worked that way for anybody.” 

Dana White goes into detail about fight cancellation process

To further shed light on the matter, Dana White bared some details on how the UFC handles such situations when fights get canceled. 

“So what we do is why try to get you another fight. We try to turn you around quickly. If you don’t turn around quickly, then we try to figure out what it cost for your camp. We’ll reimburse you. 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.’ That’s not how it works. You don’t fight, you don’t get paid necessarily in the contract.” 

Both parties are still working things out

In his recent appearance on The MMA Hour, Thompson stated that his team is in talks with the UFC to sort out the salary situation. Ultimately, the former UFC welterweight title challenger remained positive that things will work out. 

“I’ve done everything that I am supposed to do. I tried to be as honorable as possible when it comes to signing my contracts and abiding by it and doing what the UFC has said. I’ve done what they’ve wanted of me, and I feel that they’re going to do right by me. Things are still in talks. 

December 4, 2022, ORLANDO, FL, ORLANDO, FL, United States: ORLANDO, FL - December 4: Stephen Thompson (L) and Kevin Holland (R) step in the octagon for a 5-round bout at Amway Center for UFC Orlando - Thompson vs Holland : Evevnt on December 4, 2022 in ORLANDO, FL, United States. ORLANDO, FL United States - ZUMAp175 20221204_zsa_p175_108 Copyright: xLouisxGrassex
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“I think they’re waiting for Dana White to come back from his vacation, and we’ll go from there. But at this point, nothing.”

Dana White echoed a similar sentiment. 

“We always make sure that we take care of everybody and 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.”

Wonderboy, however, wants to see a clear provision in fighter contracts, in the event of such situations. 

“There should be something black and white in the contract. So that way the fighter’s covered if anything happens, you’re covered.

“Because a lot of people don’t realize what is involved in running a camp for a fight. How much money you spend, the people you bring in to train you, your coaches. 

“I’ve got five coaches and plus a nutritionist, plus my physical therapy that I spend more on now. I was the oldest guy on the card actually this past weekend.”

The 40-year-old Thompson last saw action in late 2022 against Kevin Holland, whom he defeated via fourth-round TKO to break a two-fight skid. He holds a win-loss slate of 17-6-1.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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