In a day and age where most athletes are simply looking to get paid, UFC fighter Bryce Mitchell is looking to do more than that.
He’s looking to give back.
Following his dominant win over Edson Barboza at UFC 272 on Saturday night, Arkansas-native and UFC featherweight sensation Bryce Mitchell told Joe Rogan that it was time to give back to all the people who have had his back. Mitchell announced that he would donate $45,000 ( half of his winning fight purse) to children in Arkansas who are battling serious illnesses.
“For ten years y’all had my back I haven’t done a damn thing for y’all,” Mitchell said during his post-fight interview. “And I’m about to show you I’m not just good at hurting people. I can help people. Half of my fight purse, $45,000, is going to Arkansas children with medical conditions who have no hope. We will be their hope! In the name of God, these children will be healed.”
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Mitchell went into detail about why he had chosen to make this donation.
“Well, children are some of the most precious things on the planet, brother,” Mitchell told Rogan. “And I see so much evil and wickedness in the world and so much greed. People killing for money, and it makes me sick. I wanna do the exact opposite. You know what the greatest thing I can do in the cage is? It’s inspire. That’s the greatest thing that I can do in that cage is inspire people. And I’m gonna tell you why.
“Me by myself, I can’t do sh*t. My $45,000 when it comes to medical professions really ain’t sh*t. That sh*t’s gone in one surgery. That sh*t’s gone in a couple of skin grafts. But if I can inspire you and you and you and you, then it’s limitless. It keeps going, it’s perpetual. So the greatest thing I can do is inspire, and I really feel like I’ve done that, and I really feel like I owe that to God.”
While $45,000 may not sound like much compared to multi-million dollar purses boxers bring in or some of the more lucrative winnings from more high-profile MMA fighters, it’s an awful lot for a non-title holder like Mitchell who has never headlined a pay-per-view.
No one knows that better than the man who signs Mitchell’s checks, UFC President Dana White. After Mitchell announced his donation, White told Mitchell to keep his money and that the UFC would donate $45,000 to sick children in Arkansas.
“The kid’s making 45 and 45 tonight, and was gonna give 45 to the [children] … and I respect that,” White said according to MMA Media. “And I said we’ll do it, we’ll take care of it.”
Mitchell was happy with White’s donation but still insisted that giving his own money was something he needed to do.
“Dana White came up to me after the fight and said, ‘Don’t give your money, I’m going to give the $45,000.’” Mitchell said. “I’m still going to give some money, you know? But he said, ‘Don’t give any of your money, it’s going to be mine, and I’m going to take care of it.’ But I’m still going to do something because I just need to.
“There will be more than $45,000,” Mitchell explained. “We have people coming out of the woodwork. So I’m planting a seed, and we’re going to watch this thing grow. It’s all about giving back, like I said, this ain’t just gonna be about hurting people when I’m done. We’re going to help people.
“Every time I fight, there will be children healed. Through the fight, yeah.”