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Donald Cerrone, Joseph Benavidez Among Top Earners at WEC 45

WEC-45Assisted by “Fight of the Night” honors and an additional bonus from a win featuring more than one controversial moment, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone made out like a bandit at WEC 45 by earning a cool $34,000 for his exciting three-round victory over Ed Ratcliff. However, while the total sum may have exceeded that of any other participant on the highly praised card, it was in fact Joseph Benavidez who took home the most flat pay by depositing a “…of the Night”-free $25,000 check at the end of the evening. The event’s salary information was made available by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and reported by MMAJunkie.

Here is a complete rundown of WEC 45 payment information made available to the public including event-specific bonuses:

Erik Koch: $4,000 ($2,000 win bonus) def. Jameel Massouh: $3,000

Brad Pickett: $16,000 ($3,000 win bonus / $10,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus) def. Kyle Dietz: $2,000

Brandon Visher: $6,000 ($3,000 win bonus) def. Courtney Buck: $3,000

Chad George: $5,000 ($2,000 win bonus) def. John Hosman: $3,000

Zach Micklewright: $4,000 ($2,000 win bonus) def. Muhsin Corbbrey: $4,000

Bart Palaszewski: $10,000 ($5,000 win bonus) def. Anthony Pettis: $3,000

Scott Jorgensen: $24,000 ($7,000 win bonus / $10,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus) def. Takeya Mizugaki: $18,000 ($10,000 “Fight of the Night bonus)

Joseph Benavidez: $25,000 ($12,500 win bonus) def. Rani Yahya: $9,000

Anthony Njokuani: $18,000 ($4,000 win bonus / $10,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus) def. Chris Horodecki: $12,000

Donald Cerrone: $34,000 ($12,000 win bonus / $10,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus) def. Ed Ratcliff: $19,000 ($10,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus)

16 COMMENTS
  • Yikes. It’s crazy how much more money is to be made fighting in the UFC than the WEC. Cowboy is one of their top stars and would have only made $24k without the FoTN bonus. This was a great night of fights, I’d like to see these fighters get some more money for their efforts.

  • Makington says:

    The easiest way is for them to be on PPV, which is kind of troubling. I mean, there’s no doubt in my mind that they deserve to be on PPV, and I would like to see them earn more, but it adds up. I love the WEC but I have to admit I would definitely slow down watching it if I had to pay everytime. I already do 1 and sometimes 2 PPV’s a month for the UFC and I’m bitter enough about that.

    I would rather see the Cowboy earn his bread in the UFC, since I know he’s good enough to hang with any of them and make it exciting. WEC probably will be on PPV eventually which will be good for the fighters that deserve it, but I definitely won’t be getting every card.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    Donald Cerrone if focus and mentally prepared can pose a legitamate treat to BJ Penn

    hopefully they can merge the companies, make the fight happen, and give these guys some more money.

  • edub says:

    xtreme_machine: Donald Cerrone if focus and mentally prepared can pose a legitamate treat to BJ Pennhopefully they can merge the companies, make the fight happen, and give these guys some more money.

    No, No, No, No, What? No God No.

  • GassedOut says:

    I had no idea these guys were paid SO much less. PPV is making sense as a business model just to boost these guys salaries if nothing else. Damn. I mean I’m sure this info has been released before, it’s just the first time I’ve looked at it.

    These guys really must love fighting. I know I love watching them. Damn. That’s poverty-level wages right there for a fighter.

  • Nick Havok says:

    GassedOut: I had no idea these guys were paid SO much less. PPV is making sense as a business model just to boost these guys salaries if nothing else. Damn. I mean I’m sure this info has been released before, it’s just the first time I’ve looked at it.These guys really must love fighting. I know I love watching them. Damn. That’s poverty-level wages right there for a fighter.

    Agreed.

    They don’t make sh*t.

    $3,000??? Spread that out over a 3 month period and it equals out to be about a $9.00 per hour job. Hell, I make more than that and I all I do is post on 5 oz. all day long.

  • GassedOut says:

    I don’t know how much of a fan I am of this, but it really does make a bit of an argument for uniting the WEC and UFC under one operational banner. Maybe at least the guys would get paid.

  • Scott H. says:

    I’d love to see a $8000/$8000 or $10,000/10,000 minimum show/win contract, to help out the fighters on the bottom of the cards.

    WEC just isn’t a big money generator in general I guess… $500,000 gates on a good night, plus whatever they get from Versus, which I’d guess isn’t alot.

  • Nick Havok says:

    I most certainly would combine the WEC and UFC if I was in control…and I would do away with the WEC name altogether.

    Just have all the different weight classes together, under one banner.

    I think this would solve all the problems.

    1. This would get the WEC guys on PPVs. That way Zuffa can actually profit off the big names (Aldo, Faber, Brown, Cerrone, Varner, etc.). And also make huge stars out of them as well. Not to mention having these guys on PPV should also increase their pay days as well.

    2. Instead of running WEC shows with all small guys (which obviously might not draw as well), Zuffa could start running more diverse shows that mixed the small guys with the big ones. Think about it, how cool would a card be that had Mir-Carwin and Aldo-Faber? I know I’d want to see it!

    3. And finally, this would eliminate any confusion of what promotion is what. Which I know still baffles the average MMA viewer. If Zuffa combined everything into the UFC than they could really focus on that and make UFC synonymous with MMA…instead of trying to market two seperate brands. And although I don’t like this simplistic way of thinking I think it would be smart business for Zuffa to do it.

    Thats my 2 cents anyway.

  • Scott H. says:

    Nick Havok: Thats my 2 cents anyway.

    For a change, I actually like the way you are thinking Nick.

    While I don’t want to speak for the UFC, I think one of the concerns is the adding of championship weight classes. I am all for good fighters, and good fights, regardless of the weight class, but I think the UFC belives one of the things that differentiates themselves from boxing is that they only have 5 wieght classes (and champions) that you need to keep track of.

    Just to play devil’s advocate, if you add more champions, and more contenders to keep track of, do you make it more difficult for casual fan’s to follow the sport?

    This would also tie in with the disccusions on adding more weight classes to the UFC, which has been argued at length elsewhere, so no need to get into here.

  • Rece Rock says:

    I lost all respect for Cerrone- I think he’s a punk.
    Who knees a guy 3x, incidental or not. Then taunts the other opponent and tells the guy to bring it on like he’s the man… sorry partner, you need to show respect to a man whom could have took a seat and said hey I can’t go on and you would have took a DQ and where would you be in the title picture after that huh? Respect is continuing the fight with integrity after getting kneed 3x w/ low blows… disrespect is taunting the fighter whom came back out to fight you after you crippled the guy. Cowboy is a immature punk, who looks like one of the village ppl when he’s coming down to the ring … nice hat there, tex your last 2 fights look like you forgot how to finish an opponent.

  • mohawk009 says:

    which has been argued at length elsewhere, so no need to get into here.

    I think this will really do good for the casual viewer. More quality fights is good for everyone. More contenders true, but they will be fighting on the undercard as usual which only the die hard fans usually watch anyway. Cerrone is definately ufc caliber and could be a legitimate contender. What has me more exicted is the possibility of more ufc cards like we had last december ufc 92. Two title fights and the ppv card opened with rampage vs wanderlei!!! I for one would love to see both organizations merge. Plus if this actually happens then there should be no reason why we can’t have a championship fight every ppv card

  • Rece Rock says:

    mohawk009- I hear you …I think the merger would be a good thing but with all the details of the VS contact being re-upped and the other deals with canadian networks and what not, it seems WEC is going to be on it’s own for a while but maybe some dual brand shows will be an option ofr Zuffa in the future??

  • Allow me to point back to Dana White: We are ‘absolutely’ looking at UFC co-promotion to get the WEC on Pay-Per-View where everyone and their mom was railing against WEC pay-per-views.

    These fighters are getting paid peanuts when the WEC consistently provides the best shows, top to bottom.

    Faber, arguably the WEC’s biggest star, made less than Marcus Davis made at UFC 106.

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    The money may be peanuts in comparison to what fighters get paid in the UFC but keep in mind a few things. First, the WEC is a fairly small promotion and pays more than most small promotions do. I believe Faber-free events only sell a few thousand tickets so it isn’t like they have a ton of cash to work with. Secondly, take into account the fact WEC fighters are able to earn a little more than some of their peers because of they’re on Versus and sponsors like that kind of exposure. Thirdly, even if it only averages $10.00/hour for the work they put in, you’re missing the point of why most fighters get into the sport. It’s about testing yourself in a competitive format unlike any other. It’s not like most of the dudes on this list don’t have normal jobs back in the “real world” where they’re getting paid. Fighting is their passion. A lot of them would do it for free.

  • I agree Brendhan but at the same time, I want nothing more than to see these guys not have to have 9-5 jobs and be able to train full time.

    Fighting is their passion and it’s possible that they would do it for free but they are no doubt sacrificing a lot to compete at the level that WEC offers and as a fan of the sport, I would like to see those sacrifices pay off.

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