Dana White responds to Donald Cerrone’s complaints on pay after UFC Fight Night 89: “You’ve got to win them all”

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Donald Cerrone (photo credit Jane Kamin-Oncea © USA Today Sports)

Dana White had tons to say on this week’s “UFC Unfiltered” podcast with Matt Serra and Jim Norton, touching on a number of different recent subjects. One of them was Donald Cerrone, who sounded off about his pay in the organization after his latest win over Patrick Cote on Saturday night.

White believes Cerrone’s being paid quite well for his position in the organization at the moment, and it’s the inconsistency of the fan favorite in major fights which has kept him from taking another leap up in pay.

“Cerrone at the press conference comes out and says, ‘I don’t know if the UFC loves me if you look at my paycheck,'” White commented (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com). “OK, me and Cerrone are as tight as tight can be. There’s a lot of personal stuff with me and Cerrone, too, on the positive side. But the kid made over $200,000 on a fight on free TV in the co-main event, and the gate was $900,000. I mean, how much money does Cerrone expect to make on a co-main event? The kid looks great. Never held a world title and made over 200 grand, co-main event, $900,000 gate on free TV.

“We talked. We’ve talked, me and Cerrone. He absolutely agreed. What he said to me was, ‘I was half joking.’ I love him. He looked phenomenal, and the thing is with Cerrone is, Cerrone is so inconsistent. Cerrone will come out and look like a world beater, then come out and get stopped in the first round by a body shot…. I think the thing that’s frustrating, especially for a guy like ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, is he has the personality. Everybody loves the kid. His fighting style is f***ing exactly what I like. It’s right up my alley. Everything I love about a fighter, ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone is. And he’s a couple fights away from having that big fight. You’ve got to win them all. Every fight is the most important, and you’ve got to work your way up and you’ve got to win those big fights.

“‘Cowboy’ – again, a guy that I love – hasn’t always taken everything so serious. You can’t be f***ing rock climbing two days before your fight or wake boarding the day of your fight. Some of the stuff that this guy does – you want to make that serious, big money, you have to get in the right mindset. The way he looked the other night against Patrick Cote is the way you have to fight when you fight dos Anjos or Diaz or any of the big guys. When you get to that big fight, you have to win.”

Penick’s Analysis: Cerrone might have an argument for some type of bump in where he’s at simply because he still is a fan favorite who brings in eyeballs and sells tickets because of his fights, but White isn’t wrong about some of the things halting his momentum. Cerrone’s had several great extended winning streaks, and some nice highlight reel wins to go along with it, but when he fails to win the biggest fights he gets in consistently, he’s not going to command the top dollar some other stars will. It’s not too late for him, but the UFC’s reasoning isn’t entirely faulty here, either.

[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]

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