Ronda Rousey is the most popular female fighter in the UFC and arguably its biggest name overall, but apparently the popularity of the bantamweight world champion isn’t doing much to help other female fighters earn their proper salary.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Rousey called out the UFC for paying the ring card girls more than a number of the female fighters.
“I think that they should get paid more than the ring girls. I don’t know if the ring girls get paid too much or the fighters don’t get paid enough. But yeah. There’s definitely a lot more in what the fighters do than what they do. So, I think that’s one thing that’s unfair.”
It is difficult to find exact salaries for either the ring card girls or UFC’s female fighters, but the site kgb answers notes that there is at least one very well paid ring-card girl.
“While her annual salary is undisclosed, Arianny Celeste (Arianny Celeste-Penelope Lopez Marquez) has a net worth of $1 million dollars.
“The average UFC ring girl salary is $20,000 a year, while the average salary for ring girl jobs is $18,000. Average ring girl salaries can vary greatly due to company, location, industry, experience and benefits so we expect Celeste’s salary to be at the higher end of the payscale.”
Other UFC fighters have brought up the pay disparity. Last year, fighter Nate Diaz noted that Celeste was better paid than he is.
It’s likely that Celeste makes more than Ronda Rousey as well. The most recent reported payout for Rousey came in July when she defeated Alexis Davis and earned $120,000.
But Ronda Rousey noted that she was only sticking up for the other, lesser-known female fighters, and didn’t have a problem with her own salary.
“There’s times where they give me more than they’re contractually obligated to or more than I even expect. That’s why I always trust them so much. Even if they didn’t ever give me anything extra, I would still be happy, because you know what I made as an Olympian? Nothing. It cost me money,” she explained.
“I got my first house, I got a car, what else do I need?” Rousey said. “I don’t need a private island. My house is paid off. My car is paid off. I just need to buy dog food and pay my taxes and that’s pretty much it. I have no need to want. The only thing I want to do now is fight and they made that possible for me and I’m eternally grateful.”
While she is humble when it comes to salaries, Ronda Rousey is high on her own abilities. Rousey said she is confident she can become “the greatest of all time” in the UFC.