They’re addicted to UFC fame – Former champ Pettis tells fighters to go ‘guaranteed money’ instead

Even with the existence of other promotions, there’s no denying that the UFC is still the most prominent name in the game today. But even with that high-profile reputation, many fighters tend to find greener pastures in other ventures.

Former UFC champion Anthony Pettis, for his part, is now apparently more satisfied as a PFL fighter. And in his recent studio guests on mma time, he talked about how many of his fellow competitors prefer the fame and hype that the UFC brings.

“It’s strange. I think the fame that comes with fighting in the UFC, these fighters are addicted to it. They want that more than the guarantee,” he said. “They’re like, I’m ready to risk not being paid a certain amount to gain the fame that comes with it and the recognition that comes with fighting on a UFC fight card.

“The general public looks at the UFC like it’s the best place to fight, it’s the only place to fight. But as fighters you’re supposed to take care of yourself. I don’t fight until I have to fight, so I got to see all the phases of the MMA chain, from the UFC takeover to WME, how these changes happened.

As an example, Pettis revealed how many fighters would prefer to start at the bottom of the UFC totem pole.

“I have fighters who will say no to more money just to compete in the Contender Series,” he said.

“You really can’t do anything. You’re like, ‘Man, this is guaranteed money – you can always build yourself and your career – if that’s what makes sense for your career, then go for it.’

“But I think eventually, once the general public stops pushing this on fighters, then we’ll see fighters make different decisions.”

Ultimately, Pettis, 35, has some advice:

“I think fighters should definitely test the market. And there are so many other organizations coming out now that are paying good guys. Eagle FC, Khabib’s show, they pay guys a lot of money.

Pettis signed with the PFL in 2021 and is on a 1-3 streak so far. He last fought at PFL 5 in June against Stevie Ray and lost via twister submission in the second round. The two are set for a rematch in the lightweight tournament semifinals at PFL 7 on August 5.

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