Olivier Aubin-Mercier: “When I was in UFC, it wasn’t like I felt respected. I felt like someone else.”


Olivier Aubin-Mercier has a lot to be happy about these days.

After wondering not that long ago if perhaps his fighting career was over, the 33-year-old Canadian is now the PFL’s 2022 lightweight champion and he is $1 million richer following his knockout of Stevie Ray in the finals of the year-long tournament this past Friday. It’s a far cry from when Aubin-Mercier was distraught in the middle of the pandemic without the ability to compete and he was offering training sessions in his hometown just to stay afloat financially.

“I didn’t know at the time what was going to happen [with my career],” Aubin Mercier stated on The MMA Hour . “I mean when COVID happened, they really, truly closed everything here in Quebec and I was like god****, is it the end for my career? It is the end of my career? Because money was gradually disappearing from my bank accounts, I considered getting a job.

” I needed money to pay bills, and in fact at one point last year, was teaching classes in the park. People were able to come train with me. It was crazy to give a class in the park. Everyone was only two metres away. I was asking like $20 a class. It’s crazy to think I was asking for $20 to train with me for an hour and then right now I just won the million dollars with the crazy knockout. My career .”

was not what I expected.

The pandemic struck just after Aubin Mercier’s five-year career in the UFC. A three-fight losing streak precipitated his contract expiring, which made him a free agent without any guarantees about what would come next.

That’s when the PFL came calling with an offer to join the lightweight roster along with a promise that winning the season long tournament would yield a million-dollar payday.

Now that he has seven figures in one night, Aubin-Mercier believes that going to PFL was the best decision for him and that more fighters will realize it is a great opportunity.

” I hope that they can see the progress,” Aubin-Mercier stated. “I hope there’s no fighters that are mad about that, that are mad that they make less money in the UFC than I made money in the PFL. Because I think truly the problem is those fighters that decide to go to the UFC instead of the PFL just because of the big name.

“I think people are going to understand really soon that you can live a really good life if you go to the PFL. People will be more likely to choose PFL over the UFC. I believe I am a good example. Others will open their eyes to the fact that UFC is great and has a lot of hype, but .”

Aside from the handsome paycheck that he has just received — which Aubin-Mercier believes is much more than the UFC’s entire tenure — Aubin-Mercier feels like the PFL considers him a human being and not just another number on the roster.

” I felt disrespected when I was at the UFC. I felt like a number. That’s it,” Aubin-Mercier said. “With PFL, I don’t feel like a number.

” I love those who work there. The people who did it were amazing. It is truly amazing. I feel respected. I feel that maybe they could change some stuff and I feel like my voice is heard, too. If I tell them that I think that’s not the right way, they listen to me. They might not do much, but they will listen and be respectful. PFL makes me feel respected more than the UFC .”


With plans to make another run at the PFL lightweight championship in 2023, Aubin-Mercier is glad to put the past behind him and truly celebrate this achievement, which felt nearly impossible not that long ago.

” Although the last few years were difficult for everyone, being able to accomplish something like this is truly an incredible moment.” Aubin-Mercier stated. “It was really stressful, too, so I’m really happy that it’s done.

“I’m happy I was on top at the end and I’m happy with the accomplishment. It’s amazing. It’s amazing .”

Source: https://www.mmafighting.com/2022/12/1/23486866/olivier-aubin-mercier-when-i-was-in-the-ufc-i-didnt-really-feel-respected-i-felt-like-a-number?rand=96749