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UFC 91 salary figures go public

FiveOuncesOfPain.com obtained salary figures for this past weekend’s UFC 91 event courtesy of the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday afternoon. According to NSAC’s official records, main eventers Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture were the top earners from this past Saturday’s fight card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

Lesnar, the UFC’s new heavyweight champion, received a documented total of $450,000. The breakdown of the former NCAA heavyweight champion’s NSAC reported salary is $250,000 as his guaranteed purse to “show” with an additional $200,000 paid out in the form of a win bonus.

Couture’s guarantee was also $250,000. However, if he had won, he would have received an additional $250,000 win bonus.

Proving that heavyweights are at a premium, former UFC heavyweight title challenger Gabriel Gonzaga received the third highest total on the card, clocking in with $110,000. The native Brazilian received a guarantee of $55,000 and an additional win bonus of $55,000 for his TKO victory over Josh Hendricks.

Hendricks, making his UFC debut, earned $8,000, which is considerably higher than the standard entry-level rate in the UFC of $3,000.

Lightweight Kenny Florian was the fourth highest earner on the card, receiving a total of $80,000 for his first round submission victory over Joe Stevenson. The number one contender for the UFC lightweight title was paid a guarantee of $40,000 and received an additional $40,000 as a win bonus. Stevenson was paid a total of $35,000 and could have doubled his pay with a victory.

Demian Maia preserved his undefeated record against Nate Quarry and earned $40,000 in the process ($20,000 paid as a guarantee and $20,000 paid as a win bonus). Quarry only received his guarantee of $25,000 and would have earned an additional $25,000 had he won.

UFC welterweight Dustin Hazelett is moving up in the world. In addition to receiving $60,000 for the “Submission of the Night,” Hazelett received a $14,000 guarantee as well as a $14,000 win bonus. His total reported take for the event is $88,000. Hazelett’s opponent, Tamdan McCrory, earned his guarantee of $10,000 and would have double his pay with a victory.

Aaron Riley, returning to the UFC for his third tour of duty not only received $60,000 for being a part of the “Fight of the Night,” but also was paid a total of $8,000 with $4,000 coming in the form of a guarantee and another $4,000 coming in the form of a win bonus. Jorge Gurgel, who received $60,000 as the other half of the “Fight of the Night,” was paid $10,000, per his guarantee. He would have received an additional $10,000 had he won.

Jeremy Stephens, the UFC 91 winner of the “Knockout of the Night,” earned a total of $60,000 for his dramatic third round TKO over the debuting Rafael dos Anjos. Stephens was paid a total of $16,000 with $8,000 paid in the form of a guaranteed purse to show and the other $8,000 being paid as a win bonus. Dos Anjos earned $4,000.

In the battle of the black belts, Mark Bocek received a total $18,000 for his win over Alvin Robinson. Bocek received $9,000 as a guarantee and an additional $9,000 as a win bonus. Robinson was compensated $7,000 for the losing effort and would have earned an additional $7,000 had he won.

In the night’s opener, Matt Brown received $16,000 as a late replacement against former Division I wrestler Ryan Thomas. Brown was guaranteed $8,000 to show and received an additional $8,000 for the win. Thomas was the lowest compensated fighter on the show, receiving only a documented $3,000.

As a disclaimer, it should be noted that these figures should not be considered as final salary figures for the fighters listed. Fighters are subject to additional income through sponsors, “Fight Night” bonuses, and discretionary bonuses awarded by the UFC that are not made public. The reported figures also do not include any bonus a fighter is contractually obligated to receive that is tied to total pay-per-view sales.

17 COMMENTS
  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Remind me why UFC fighters want or need a union.

  • dice says:

    Mikey buddy, I am guessing you don’t know any fighters who do this for a living.

    Lets see, 2-4 fights a year, gyms cut, managers cut, taxes, etc.

    Go down to your local MMA gym and talk to some full-time fighters and ask how they survive. I would 80-90 percent of fighters rely more on sponsorships (and working at the gym) than their fight purses. The UFC’s profit margin is massive compared to other professional leagues where the revenue is more equitably shared.

    Also what do fighters do after they retire? A few get into broadcasting and running gyms but most are probably on the outside looking in when it comes to getting decent employment. Being a full time MMA fighter isn’t exactly a desired skill in business (unless of course the business is in the MMA industry).

  • Austin says:

    glad to see lesnar gettin pizzaiiiiddd

  • ChrisC says:

    Mike Wolfe. Wow. I’ve seen many people like you over at sherdog having heated arguments over UFC salary, saying “it’s all about supply and demand”

    The thing is put any one of you in the fighters’ shoes and you would have spasm over how little you’ve been paid.

    People feel like it’s OK to say “they knew what they were getting into” but
    it’s not YOUR money. The fighters have the right to say whatever they want because it’s their livelihood, their freaking goddamn money.
    If you(or any of the sherdogger) took a hit in your paycheck, you’d have spasm.

    Stop whining.

    Not the right article to post this under but there’re so many “Mikes” out there it’s insane.

  • MMAStation says:

    Chris,

    I think most of us will agree that a fighters union would be very beneficial to all fighters involved.

    I am tired of hearing how much a fighter makes and everyone bitching about it otherwise. Leave the fighters paydays to them, if they wanted more money or needed more money they should have signed a better contract. If my job offered me 25k a year for a job I should be making 40k for I wouldnt work for them, fighters always have the option of not signing.

    Most of the up and coming guys sign with the UFC because they know its their best opportunity. Sure they could fight at regional shows 6-8 times a year and pull a little more money in that way, but your sponsors arent paying you as much as they would for a UFC appearance.

    This is the life they choose and they know it will be difficult at first but a lot of them know the bigger paydays will be ahead. It just takes opening that door to the UFC, get a few wins and then the pay will be there.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Maybe some of you are right about a fighter’s union. After all, it’s working so well for the automotive industry right now.

  • Carm says:

    Yeah, that’s peanuts compared to other professional sports. Obviously they don’t do it for the money. I’m in no way a Lesnar fan but he did walk away from a huge contract with WWE to get punched in the face for real. You also can’t compare the Auto union to a Players union. The players union has done a lot for professional sports.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Chris C

    Whining? Sherdog? WTF are you talking about?

  • dice says:

    Mike Wolfe
    “Maybe some of you are right about a fighter’s union. After all, it’s working so well for the automotive industry right now.”

    You think unionization is the reason the American auto industry is suffering? Really? I mean do you really believe this?

    Amazing.

    MMAstation
    “I am tired of hearing how much a fighter makes and everyone bitching about it otherwise. Leave the fighters paydays to them, if they wanted more money or needed more money they should have signed a better contract. If my job offered me 25k a year for a job I should be making 40k for I wouldnt work for them, fighters always have the option of not signing.”

    First off, nobody here is “bitching”. There are much bigger fish to fry than for me to dwell on what MMA fighters make. I (and others) merely point out how asinine some of the comments that the “mikes” of this world make.

    I don’t even know where to begin with your statement. Its sounds like something a kid who just got done with Econ 101 and thinks Ayn Rand is a major philosopher would say. By your logic we should abandon all labor laws.

    For those of you who still believe that unions are a bad thing; do a little research and look at countries that have strong unions vs countries that have a low unionization rate. Compare the average wages of workers and get back to me. There are countries that put on the “golden straight jacket” and obey Milton’s laws; they are called third world.

  • MMAStation says:

    dice:

    I am not against a union at all, I am all for it. I would love to one day see fighters making as much as guys in the NBA or NFL. I do also agree that they need to make more money.

    The current state of MMA just couldnt contain that. Each fighter just needs to find that sweet spot that the UFC is willing to pay them and not jump at the first offer ( dont know if thats what happens ).

    There is a obvious need by the UFC for fighters, and an obvious need for the fighters by the UFC etc.. this does not mean that the UFC should pay its undercard fighters a ton of money to fight.

    These guys chose to fight for a living, they chose the contract that they sign, they chose their sponsors, endorsment deals etc.. that was the point I was trying to make about the signing of a low grade contract. I do find it wrong that a guy could potentially get 3-4 fights a year at a max of 8k per fight, but again this is something they knew going into their chosen profession.

    At some point at the rate this sport (UFC) is growing there will eventually be an established pay rate for fighters hitting the UFC and there will be a time when there will be a union, but the sport as it sits cant contain that. It took the NFL decades to get a union together, its not going to happen for the UFC overnight, and until there is a multi billion dollar tv deal on the table like the NFL you wont see very many fighters getting their own episode of cribs.

  • MMAStation says:

    dice:

    sorry thought i put this in there.

    generally this place is very good about keeping the bitching to a minimum, i was referring to sherdog and other forums where this is a daily topic.

  • mike wolfe says:

    What? no hugs and kisses for me? I feel so left out. I guess I’ll just go off somewhere and reminisce about the glory days of the I.W.W. and maybe hum some Woody Guthrie songs.

  • dice says:

    Don’t get cynical now Mikey just because you made a moronic statement about why you needed to be reminded why fighters need a union.

    Do you know any full time fighters? Or are you just some fan boy who thinks people are always their worth?

    My guess is the latter.

    PS I like the I.W.W. reference; so there is your hug and kiss from me.

  • mike wolfe says:

    Dice:

    The choice is both unintelligible and a non sequiter. I learned that one in a philosophy class. It was really cool. We learned about all kinds of smart people including Ayn Rand. It was right after my Econ 101 class. I really enjoyed that one, too. Lots of really interesting graphs about supply and demand. I wonder if they apply to fighters and fighter salaries?

  • j. says:

    I’m not an autoworker, but my union treats me great, 80-100K (Canadian$’s) a year for being a concrete worker. Also Mike, the problem with Detroit has nothing to do with the people make the vehicles but with the management, who are not union. Maybe if the white collars took pay cut or got fired instead of receiving multi-million $ severance checks for poor buisness decisions the situation wouldn’t be so bad. Really, what kind of idiot came up with the idea of relying on almost exclusively on fuel inefficient vehicles in this time and age as a buisness model? The guys on the assembly line or the corporate big wigs, figure it out.

  • j. says:

    My bad Mike, I made some grammatical errors while typing, please don’t consider me a troglodyte. the people making…relying on almost, get rid of that on. Please feel free to point any other ones out after all i don’t have you’re education.

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    I have no personal agenda for or against unions. I was a steelworker many years ago, and a member of some other unions here and there. The auto workers and management have cut their own throats, imo. The wages and benefits in the union contracts are not sustainable, and management decisions about their product lines were, as you point out, flawed. I don’t think the feds are going to bail them out, so reps from the union and management will have to make some major concessions or they’re going into bankruptcy, probably a ch. 11, where the decisions could be a lot more painful for both sides. Work together or die together.

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