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Machida and Shogun top UFC 104 Fighter Salaries

Mauricio-Shogun-RuaThe two fighters in the main event during UFC 104 were appropriately the highest paid competitors of the event, with Lyoto Machida bringing $200,000 back to Brazil with him, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua raking in a cool $155K for his “losing” effort.

Anthony Johnson was docked a mere 20% of his purse to show up, but allowed the full $15,000 win bonus.

A full list of disclosed the fighter payouts for UFC 104 are listed below:

Lyoto Machida $200,000 def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua $155,000

Cain Velasquez $70,000 (includes $35,000 win bonus) def. Ben Rothwell $50,000

Gleison Tibau $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus) def. Josh Neer $14,000

Joe Stevenson $94,000 (includes $47,000 win bonus) def. Spencer Fisher $26,000

Anthony Johnson $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. Yoshiyuki Yoshida $12,000
(Johnson was docked 20-percent of his $15,000 show money for missing weight)

Ryan Bader $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus) def. Eric Schafer $13,000

Pat Barry $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus) def. Antoni Hardonk $16,000

Chael Sonnen $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus) def. Yushin Okami $18,000

Jorge Rivera $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus) def. Rob Kimmons $9,000

Kyle Kingsbury $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) def. Razak Al-Hassan $3,000

Stefan Struve $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus) def. Chase Gormley $10,000

  • Makington says:

    Pat Barry deserves more than that now, which I thought he was worth more before the fight.

    I would also say Okami should earn much more than that, but we all know how things go with Okami when it comes to the UFC. Did he have an affair with Dana’s wife or what? Maybe kick his dog, I don’t get it.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    Sucks for Johnson but at leas he got a kwick KO and could fight very soon

    I like to see Koscheck vs Johnson

  • edbuzz says:

    Ok, so the total payroll for the fighters was $922,000. That’s less than $1 million dollars to pay the fighters. Now the UFC took in almost $2million at the arena. So how much did the UFC make from pay per view purchases and how come the fighters don’t get a piece of that?

    These fighters are getting paid a very small percentage of the revenue they are generating and I think it’s criminal. If Don King were running the UFC the fans would be outraged by the lowball salaries these fighters are getting paid.

    Anthony Johnson got paid only $30,000. I mean we all know how awesome this kid is and he’s been around a while. Why the small pay day?

    If I were a fighter I would choke the life out of Dana White and both Fertitta brothers.

    I hope other fighters follow Dan Henderson’s lead and demand more money. I want to see the sports top fighters hold out for more money much like NFL players do.

    I love the product the UFC puts out but as a fan of the fighters it makes me very angry to see the fighters get such a small cut of the revenue they are generating. I like Dana but I think it’s really a crime that these fighters are getting such a small percentage of the revenue they bring in to Luffa, Inc.

    The NFL, NBA and MLB split the revenue pot with the players on a 55% to 45% basis where the players union gets the bigger share. I think if the UFC paid there fighers 25% of total revenue I’d think that’s fair.


  • David Andrest says:

    Makington: Pat Barry deserves more than that now, which I thought he was worth more before the fight.I would also say Okami should earn much more than that, but we all know how things go with Okami when it comes to the UFC. Did he have an affair with Dana’s wife or what? Maybe kick his dog, I don’t get it.

    Pat Barry took home an additional 120,000 dollars for Ko of the night and Fight of the night bonuses.

  • Sykotick says:



    I read here all the time, from my phone, and im sick of all of these crybabies whining about how much fighters are getting paid.

    Answer me this, would Frank Mir REALLY be fighting for the UFC if he was only getting 40K a fight?

    HAHAHAHA right

    Rumble only gets 30K for this fight of course he was also docked, that means that if he hadnt gotten docked, he would be making around the same money as Mir, and thats just not going to happen.

    Fighters get their money for taking the fight, showing up, and winning. Now thats just the money from the company. Plus they get signing bonuses, PPV percentage, and why do you think they wear those shirts when they are walking to the cage, and when they win? Cuz they look cool?

    Fighters all over the place are dying to fight in the UFC, and I’ll tell you this much, they arent jumping at the chance to fight in the octogon because they are getting stiffed on pay day.

  • Pajamashark says:


    UFC, from what I understand it, is a lot like a musician style of compensation? The really top top guys get contracts that are lucrative, but most rely on sales of ancillary products. Endorsements, sponsorships, videogame/media appearances, ads on trunks/banners, apparel licensing, official merchandise, and then their marketability to investors when they found gyms and fight schools.

    I’m not saying that UFC guys are NOT criminally underpaid, but unlike the NFL, NBA, and MLB the UFC is not an established league with a 50-year pedigree. No one is buying season tickets to the UFC- hell, the sport is not even allowed to exist in all states. All of the stuff surrounding a PPV event comes out of Zuffa’s pocket: Joe Rogan is not cheap, Stitch Duran makes six figures, refs, judges, all of those fancy cameras… There are no commercials in PPV either.

    So, I’m not saying the fighters don’t deserve to get paid more, but it was I think here on this website that I read an article about how the UFC’s tightwad ways allow it to even exist because they didn’t make the mistake of throwing money at their fighters to the exclusion of having a sustainable bottomline. If you really want to support a fighter, go to his website and buy a shirt with his face on it. LOL Dana White gets no cut then. Chances are you aren’t going to do that, so until then we (and they) are at the mercy of how Zuffa does business.

  • diceman says:

    @ Pajamashark

    “There are no commercials in PPV either.”

    Um, nope…. there are in the world of Zuffa. Not every PPV has them but the UFC has had full scale commercials before on PPV (Like watching the trailer of Saw V or Crank 2) not to mention the spots that are sold on the mat (Bud light, etc.) or when Goldberg says “Fights stats brought to you tonight by Xyience”. The UFC PPV’s are heavily commercialized and provide them with a significant revenue stream.

    The payments for refs and Judges is negligible to an outfit like the UFC and barely warrant mention when talking about expenses (Stitch makes six figures- could you please provide a link. Not that I don’t believe you but I would like to read about this). You are correct that Rogan and Goldberg arent’ cheap, I have never seen any info on Rogan’s salary but I think Goldberg clears a half a million a year.

    Also of note is that because of the relatively weak bargaining power of fighters, they have to sign away their ancillary rights to the UFC. Remember this was a big issue in the Couture debacle (hence the UFC can use their “personality” for promotional reasons without compensating them, something that other major sports athletes would consider criminal). The companies that can sponsor them is (indirectly) controlled by the UFC. So almost all fighters have to heavily supplement their fight purses with sponsors, but even this is somewhat controlled by the UFC.

    The 2 main reasons the UFC has been able to hold down fighters salaries is because 1)there is no fighters union 2) They lack the competition that other major sports have which drive up athlete’s salaries (the structure of the NFL, NBA, MLB, etc. is completely different with teams competing against each other for talent). Although fighters salaries at the bottom have increased somewhat (remember the 2 g’s to fight and 2 g’s to win days?) , fighters salaries at the top appear to have stagnated.

    I know it seems ridiculous to talk about fighters pay when there are millions of people who are in dire need of jobs/income in this country. But the truth is that these guys take serious risks with their health, something that shouldn’t be overlooked when discussing these matters.

    PS a side note, I never trust what Dana says when he makes comments like “we take care of our guys” or “Rampage is an idiot, he just literally gave up millions of dollars”. Did Rampage stand to really make “millions of dollars” or is Dana embellishing a little?

  • Makington says:

    The fact that he pulled both bonuses home proves he deserves more than 7000 to show. One of the best technical strikers the UFC has seen in a while deserves more than that I believe. But then again he was coming off a tough loss with his second appearance. I think the UFC will start to slowly increase it.

  • shotokai_ says:

    They’re not paying Cain enough, he barely made more than Rothwell despite completely outclassing him. And who the f*ck is Rothwells agent? He manage to get a fighter with titties on a 50/50 contract?! Nice work. Didn’t realise Rua was on so much either, is that 155k complete package? Or would he have made 300k+ had he won?

    Also some unrelated news, Koscheck and Rumble Johnson have reportedly verbally agreed to fight each other at as a co-main event at UFC 106. Not too bad!

  • RU486 says:

    Shogun gets 155K to show. You have to think though, that when he signed his 6 fight deal back in 2006, he was 16 – 2, with one of those being a freak collar fracture in the Mark Coleman fight he would have dominated. He was also unanimously considered to be the best 205 pound fighter in the world, and the Pride Middleweight Grand Prix winner, knocking off Rampage Jackson, Little Nog, Allistair Overeem, and Ricardo Arona all in the first round except for Nogueira, which he won by decision.

    His career merits his salary. Go back and watch his Pride career, and you will understand. The Machida fight is the first time UFC viewers have even caught a glimpse of the real Shogun. When he is healthy no one can beat him.

    I eagerly await Shogun to dismantle Machida in the rematch at UFC 108, and for Anderson Silva (Shogun’s former teammate at Chute boxe) to step in and try to take a shot for the LHW crown. Would be fight of the century. Anderson would be all pissed off if Shogun beat his boy Machida.

  • Beau Fury says:


    That is just what the company has to report publicly. A lot of these big name fighters such as Machida and Rua make much more than what is made public. I am guessing that both fighters got a nice little percentage of the PPV buys. Hell, even 1% of the total PPV buys would be a ridiculous amount of money. I’m tired of everyone complaining that fighters don’t make enough money. The bigger your name is the bigger the payday. The UFC would be stupid to pay all their fighters top dollar. If you were running a business would you pay every employee what he or she was really worth??? Maybe and you’d also be outta business. The fact of the matter is this is a business and that is why the UFC is so big and is also the reason why these fighters are making the money they are… If if wasn’t for the UFC then they would be making significantly less.

  • shotokai_ says:

    RU486 you pretentious little muppet, you think I’ve only just started watching this weird sport called MMA? I followed Shogun religiously in Pride, the same as I did for most of their fighters, and events. I remember specifically jumping around my study watching him stomp a mudhole in Rampages’ ass. I never expressed any confusion at the amount in terms of his ability, I had just thought he was on a 100/100, not a 155/155. Is that not a reasonable question to ask? A f*cking year ago I could have posted that comment on this site and got a helpful, friendly response, probably provoking more intelligent comment sharing on this sport we love. Now I appreciate all the changes Corey has made to this site but in doing so, and inadvertently I suspect, he has drawn MMA meatheads from all the over the world that think because they used to prefer Pride over UFC it gives them a right to talk to casual and/or hardcore fans like they are pieces of sh*t with legs. I’ve been watching MMA since around UFC 13. “Go back and watch his Pride career” Shutup moron.

    And take Shoguns balls out of your mouth before speaking, its rude. Now, he won the fight, but in no way did he outclass or “dismantle” Machida, and there is no way that will happen second time around. It will be another tight affair that could go either way, in fact I think Machida may have underestimated Shogun and got away with it; I doubt he will do second time around.

  • Pajamashark says:


    Oh, I never meant to imply that the UFC is not commercialized- the ads on mats, the announcers pimping “Xyience”, the “tale of the tape brought to you by Bud Light”. I see all that yeah as revenue for the UFC, not the fighters. When I was thinking of commercials I was thinking about how the action in football and baseball is broken up so much specifically to accommodate commercials on TV (and it’s annoying if you are watching the game live in the stadium). That type I’ve never seen on a PPV event. I remember the Saw and Crank trailers too.

    Here’s the link for Stitch btw from an interview with ESPN magazine:

    When I look at fighters salaries too I don’t see it as $20,000 for twenty minutes of work, I know that preparation begins months in advance and consumes their whole lives. Plus, they have to pay for their training, medical bills, and coaching themselves- its not a very good salary when you factor everything in, and a very precarious way to make a living. I too would like to see them get more, and also some of the stability and consistancy that unions can offer.

    I would say too that should this happen Dana White will probably not be taking the extra money out of his pocket, but ours instead. PPVs go up to $79.99, tickets become even more ridiculous, maybe less free Fight Nights on TV, or more online fights for $1.99 a shitty streaming video copy. Dana understands that you have to spend money to make money and since I agree with you that the UFC has no meaningful competition Zuffa is going to grow this sport on the backs of the fighters and keep salaries down as long as they can.

    But I honestly believe as fans we are reaping the benefits of Zuffa’s monopoly. Fans have a huge say right now in match ups, and the fighters know they are not going to get rich so they fight for other reasons like love of the sport and their fans. I do not look forward to the day where the diva like behavior of some baseball/basketball/football players infests the UFC and players get millions for sitting on the bench. I like the accessibility the UFC has as an up and coming sport. The fighters should get more, but I can’t change the way Zuffa does business, so I show my support by buying a hoodie every now and then.

  • diceman says:


    Re-read Shotokai’s post, your rant was unnecessary as addressed none of his questions or points.

    @ Shotokai

    Shogun did not stand to receive an extra 155 g’s if he won. He signed a flat rate contract which is what a lot of the top guys want now (e.g. Hendo). Notice the win bonuses for the top guys are starting to be less than 100% of the guaranteed money (100g to show with 50 g’s win bonus instead of 75g to show and 75g win bonus). Fighters are much more interested in guaranteed money even if it is slightly less than what they could earn on an incentive based contract. The reasons for this are pretty obvious.

    @Beau fury

    “I am guessing that both fighters got a nice little percentage of the PPV buys.”

    Probably not a good guess. I bet neither of these fighters have PPV bonus structures written into their contracts (remember that Shogun signed when nobody in the states knew him and Machida signed before becoming the top LHW in the sport). The UFC has been trying to get away from these PPV bonus contracts and they are reserved for only the very top guys who have been around awhile (couture, hughes, liddell, and currently Anderson Silva).


    Thank you for the link. You are correct that he earns 6 figures but I read your initial post incorrectly. I was thinking the UFC provided most if not all that income. It looks like he is still making his bread and butter off of big name boxers (2% of their purse? thats a lot of coin).

    I agree with most of what you write except for I don’t believe that we are reaping the benefit’s of Zuffa’s monopoly. For every big fight that happens b/c of them there is another that doesn’t (e.g. Fedor v. Brock, Liddell v. Silva in their primes, the list goes on). Their refusal to co-promote is good for them (well this could be debated actually) and bad for us. I am not saying we go to a complete boxing model, but the truth is that boxing does put together the big money fights that fans want to see (thought experiment- if lesnar was not in an exclusive contract would we be seeing him fight Fedor instead of Carwin? Probably). Its not perfect that’s for sure, but because of the incentive structure of boxing, it is always in the best interests of fighters (and their promoters) to put together the fights that fans want to see the most. The UFC model distorts this a little in that sometimes it is in the fighters best interest to want a couple easy fights to end a contract out on a couple of wins instead of fighting in big fights where they lose (and have little to no stake in PPV buys or gate revenue).

    In the VERY short term the UFC could have the capacity to put together the biggest fights only if they have all the top fighters under contract. But this is a pipe dream. People who think that the best thing for the sport would be for UFC competitors to die off (well pretty much only Strikeforce now) don’t understand basic economics. The closer the UFC gets to a monopoly on the market the worse off the sport is. Once fighters have no other promoters bidding for their services then the UFC can drive down salaries which in turn will eventually lead to top athletes not wanting to get into the sport.

    The sport is very young in the states so the branding of the UFC carries a lot of water. But over time the focus will shift onto top fighters who will become big enough to headline a non-UFC PPV.


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