Last Week Tonight with John Oliver featured a segment on the WWE discussing how the sports entertainment company treats its talent. In the episode, Oliver covered how professional wrestlers aren’t actually employees of the WWE and are independent contractors responsible for their own medical expenses. The business model that made Vice McMahon a billionaire isn’t that much different from the UFC’s.
Former interim welterweight champion Colby Covington insists that the WWE treats its wrestlers better than the UFC treats its fighters.
“You can’t even compare the two. I mean, WWE, they’re not making $10,000 pay checks, those guys are getting paid, man. They’re all making at least $500,000 plus a year minimum. Most of them are making multi-millions a year, with their t-shirt deals they’re making even more,” said Covington during a recent appearance on Submission Radio.
“I’m pretty sure all those guys get health insurance and retirement benefits. We don’t get none of that s–t in the UFC, we don’t get no health care unless we’re fighting. Last time I was in training camp and I broke my hand, I had to pay for that out of pocket. Like, that wouldn’t happen in the WWE. So, they don’t even compare. There’s no parallel to it, man. The UFC, we get paid like dog s–t. It’s pennies over here.”
Health costs for WWE athletes are only covered if they’re injured inside the ring, according to Oliver. Although the athletes are under exclusive contracts, the contracts shield the company and McMahon from liability for injuries and even deaths. Despite what Oliver showed, Covington maintains that the UFC fighters are treated worse.
“(Oliver) has no idea, man. If he came and looked into the books and really did some research into the UFC man, there’s no parallel, everyone’s getting taken advantage of in the UFC,” Covington said.
“Chaos” offered to go on Oliver’s show to discuss the treatment of UFC fighters and believes he’s the right person to do so.
“I’m the right guy for it. Like, obviously I speak my mind and I say how I feel, and I’m also not scared of losing my job, man. Some of these guys, they’re so scared to lose their job. Obviously, I stood up to the UFC brass, I stood up to Dana White. I didn’t give a f—, dude. I was willing to lose my job. So yeah, definitely I’ll speak to the guy and speak truth,” he said. “I definitely would love to talk to him.”