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Final payroll total for WEC 37 comes in at $219,000

On Thursday, obtained disclosed salary figures for last night’s WEC 37 event from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

According to the public records, Zuffa spent a total of $219,000 on documented fighter salary last night (the figures do not include an additional $30,000 paid in the form of publicly announced “Fight Night” bonuses) with WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Torres clocking in as the highest earner with a total of $44,000.

In addition to receiving a guarantee of $22,000, Torres doubled his pay after receiving a $22,000 win bonus following his second round TKO over Manny Tapia.

Despite headlining, Tapia earned just $6,000 in the losing effort. With a win, he could have doubled his pay.

Complete salary totals for the 20 fighters that competed at WEC 37 are available below. All numbers are according to NSAC.

  • Miguel Torres: $44,000 ($22,000 to show and $22,000 to win)
  • Wagnney Fabiano: $22,000 ($11,000 to show and $11,000 to win)
  • Mark Munoz: $20,000 ($10,000 to show and $10,000 to win)
  • Joseph R. Benavidez: $17,000 ($8,500 to show and $8,500 to win)
  • Johny Hendricks: $16,000 ($8,000 to win and $8,000 to show)
  • Shane Roller: $16,000 ($8,000 to win and $8,000 to show)
  • Brian Bowles: $12,000 ($6,000 to show and $6,000 to win)
  • Kevin “Cub” Swanson: $10,000 ($5,000 to show and $5,000 to win)
  • Bart Palaszewski: $8,000 ($4,000 to show and $4,000 to win)
  • Alex Karalexis: $8,000 (would have earned an additional $8,000 had he won)
  • Akitoshi Tamura: $6,000 (would had earned an additional $12,000 had he won)
  • Manny Tapia: $6,000 (would had earned an additional $12,000 had he won)
  • Diego Nunes: $6,000 ($3,000 to show and $3,000 to win)
  • Hiroyuki Takaya: $5,000 (would have earned an additional $5,000 had he won)
  • Will Ribeiro: $4,000 (would have earned an additional $4,000 had he won)
  • Mike Budnik: $4,000 (would have earned an additional $4,000 had he won)
  • Dustin Province: $3,000 (would have earned an additional $3,000 had he won)
  • Justin Haskins: $3,000 (would have earned an additional $3,000 had he won)
  • Ricardo Barros: $3,000 (would have earned an additional $3,000 had he won)
  • Daniel Martinez: $2,000 (would have earned an additional $2,000 had he won)

Not included in the official NSAC figures was Bowles earning an additional $7,500 for “Submission of the Night” bonus against Will Ribeiro, bringing his total to $19,500.

Palaszewski’s also won a $7,500 bonus for “Knockout of the Night” following his TKO over Karalexis. The former IFL competitor walked with $15,500 in documented pay.

“Fight of the Night” honors went out to Swanson and Takaya. Swanson’s final total was $17,500 while Takaya left with $12,5000.

It is also imperative to note that the NSAC figures above may or may not be the final total each fighter was compensated for his performance at WEC 37. The figures above do not include sponsorship bonuses, signing bonuses, or incentive bonuses.

  • Ian says:

    Miguel Torres: $44,000 ($22,000 to show and $22,000 to win)

    One of the top 5 pound for pound fighters in the world, makes about as much as a manager at a retail chain.

    (If he wins)

  • GoofyMonkey says:

    Manny Tapia: $6,000 (would had earned an additional $12,000 had he won)

    Co-headliner… WTF?

  • Bryan M says:

    I don’t get the big uproar about low salaries. Miguel Torres made $44,000 in his fight salary. He has fought 3 times this year, winning each time, that is a total of $132,000. That is the top end of pay for engineers in most fields, it’s also comparable to a mid-level Architect. Bottom line is, that those numbers only reflect between 40-60% of his salary for the year. Lets go low and say his sponsor pay was 40% of his total yearly salary. That means he made $88,000 in sponsor money over 3 fights (based on the interviews I’ve read with agents, $25,000 is about the average for one non main/co-main event fight on a UFC card). So all told Miguel cleaned up with somewhere in the range of $200,000-250,000 in 2008 (without any other bonuses Zuffa might have paid him). Seems like little old Miguel is doing okay to me.

    As far as Manny goes, he has almost no name value and he signed the contract. And you’re forgetting that he also made some sponsor money…I assure you he still made more than 80% of the fighters on the upcoming De La Hoya / Pacquiao card.

  • tyler says:

    Bryan M are you completely out of your mind?

  • Bryan M says:

    Maybe…but that is irrelevant to my argument. I make a decent amount of money doing something that I’m merely content doing (I wish I was good at fighting so I could do it for a living), and I make half of what Torres does in a year. MMA pay scales are not to far removed from the model of the American workforce. Pay is earned based on merit. If you train hard, you win fights…if you win fights you get on television…if you get on television your celebrity rises…your celebrity rises you have leverage in negotiations and more sponsorship opportunities.

    I would love to see all fighters earn $10 million a fight. However, the bottom line is that these guys get to do what they love for a living. If they are unsatisfied with their compensation then they need to pursue a different career. In fact, there are quite a few bigger name fighters who carry both a day job and an MMA career.

    I guess I just don’t get why people on the internet need to fight the battles for these guys.

  • goodguy says:

    Excellent diatribe Bryan M.

  • goodguy says:

    well, diatribe without venom. Maybe I should just say that I enjoyed your intelligent opinion.

  • G-DUB says:

    Giving you credit as well Bryan for a well-conceived arguement. Though my opinion falls somewhere further to the side of the underpaid fighters, you make some very good points. I think we (fans) have just learned to accept the truly outrageous salaries of professional athletes. In comparison to the salaries of the major sports, MMA athletes are grossly underpaid. Compared to the average “professional”, the top tier fighter makes a pretty decent living doing something they love doing.


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