Jonathan Snowden: Since being cut from the UFC, we haven't seen you in the cage. Why has it been difficult to get fights?â†µ
Chris Wilson: Well, it kind of depends what fights you are looking for. I've had trouble with events not wanting to fly me and a corner up from Brazil and pay me the wage that I believe I am worth (perhaps half my UFC pay or less) on top of flights/room/board. I've made concessions in purse (I would accept less pay) and even offered to find a corner from the US and pay the difference between my hometown flight and the Brazil flight. Still have had trouble finding fights. Through new management and contacts I'm in talks with a couple of the promotions and hopefully I'll find a home with one of the larger events.â†µ
The other problem is that I'm coming off of 2 losses. It's not really abnormal but it seems more and more that everyone wants you to get some wins before they consider giving you a fight. If, for example, Bellator, Shine, MFC, Tachi Palace, SharkFights, Strikeforce, Sengoku, and Dream say "Get some wins," then where exactly do I fight to get some wins. Is a fighter who has made it into the UFC but hasn't broken top 10 not good enough for an upper-level or mid-level promotion? It doesn't make a lot of sense. It's almost sad really, that after leaving the UFC you have to start all the way back at zero in Mom'n'Pops shows. There are people in those and every organization that are true talents and deserve to be there but some of them would stand little chance against me but I can't fight them because I have losses in the UFC... the UFC. It's frustrating to say the least. Not all the promotions are guilty of this, it's just an example.â†µ
Jonathan Snowden: With the cost of international travel making smaller shows impossible, what opportunities exist in Brazil?â†µ
Chris Wilson: Here in Brazil, fighting is like slave labor. As always, there is the risk of injury and of not getting paid in full, even from bigger shows. Top pay is generally around R$2000/R$2000 (US$1,100/US$1,100) for some of the best pros in Brazil (however most fighters make less or much less, I was being nice). Only the international athletes (former UFC or Pride guys) break out of that and fight on some of the biggest shows in Brazil which are few and far between and the pay is still relatively low compared to the US. The MMA scene is growing but pay is still an embarrassment. Getting those fights is also a who-you-know type deal.â†µ
Wilson is an interesting guy and a decent fighter who deserves some decent money to ply his trade in the cage (or ring). Go check out the full interview.