Joanne Calderwood pulled off a great third round TKO win over Valerie Letourneau on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 89 in Ottawa, but in a post on Instagram after the win lamented the financial situation she currently finds herself in.
In response to that post, and the backlash from fans that followed, UFC President Dana White said they plan to rectify the situation with her quickly.
“She will be bonused for that fight,” White said on the “UFC Unfiltered” podcast (via MMAFighting.com). “There were so many good fights that night, people were going crazy, ‘how did she not get [a bonus],’ and it’s true. Me and Lorenzo were saying, ‘how the hell did that skip us? She should have got a bonus.’
“In that 115-pound division, you don’t see finishes, the way she finished Valerie,” White continued. “And Valerie went five rounds with Joanna Jędrzejczyk, Joanna didn’t do that to her. We’re going to take care of her, and we’re going to sign her to a new deal.
“The reality of it was, for the last year plus, we didn’t know if that girl was ever going to fight again, so, to put that in perspective. This girl at one time was one of the hottest prospects in the 115-pound division. … It looks like she got through that, she’s in a stable camp, and we’ll take care of her.”
Penick’s Analysis: That’s great news for Calderwood, but it also somewhat brushes aside the fact that there are a lot of fighters in her situation right now. There’s a good contingent of the UFC roster who either have to work other jobs or somehow subsidize their training in order to make it into the cage because the money they’re making from the UFC isn’t enough. It remains ridiculous that an organization touting itself as the premier spot to compete has “professional” fighters who aren’t being paid like professional athletes. If this is something they can work on across the board, great. Obviously Calderwood’s plight spurred some action, but much more can and should be done for a company valued where they’re valued.
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