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Tears for Torres

Low pay for MMA competition makes perfect sense given its current state, but that is a hard thing for a lot of fans (and fighters) to accept. There seems to be a resurgent outrage over published salaries like UFC lightweight Ronys Torres’ $4000 payout for UFC 110. But fact is, despite being the greatest sport in existence, MMA is not established enough for fighters to be paid big bucks.

Part of the problem behind this empathy-in-overdrive is the skewed perception of professional athlete’s salaries. American major league sports have some ludicrously overpaid players–from the NBA’s $5 million average to A-Rods $100 million contract with the Yankees. Surrounded by such excess, it is easy to forget that those activities have a healthy hundred-years-plus head start on being accepted as legitimate sports; whereas kicking people in the face or forcing a sign of submission by squeezing the trachea are traditionally considered criminal offenses.

MMA–in its current form– has only existed since the advent of proper rules and regulations. That shortens the origins to around UFC 28 in 2000–the first to adopt the “unified rules” set out by the New Jersey Athletic Board. (Ok, there were smaller promotions that came first, and Pride FC started in 1997, but UFC 28 established the first mainstream event with the specific rules that are becoming universal in MMA’s biggest promotions.) Extreme youth for a sport is enough of a burden, but there are still legal hurdles to overcome. Only two provinces in Canada allow professional MMA, despite a huge fanbase in places like Ontario. It’s encouraging that MMA events are now legal and regulated in all but four U.S. states, but most still have not hosted a major event.

MMA as a whole is stuck right in the middle of an emerging-process. There is a lot of red tape to clear for a governing body to permit people to hurt each other in a new and exciting way. For a municipal government to host a professional MMA event, it has to indemnify itself against being sued by an injured competitor. Ridiculous as it may sound, a sore loser can sue cities for permitting him to compete in a high-intensity sport.

If a city has never hosted an MMA event before, there’s no precedent for what cautionary measures need to be taken. Also, promotions need clear guidelines from the city to keep the event legal–all of which needs to be overseen by a higher regulatory authority. Over time, the process becomes smooth and systematic, but the first attempt can be dragged down by bureaucratic regulations and become incredibly time-consuming.

In order for fighters to be paid more, the whole sport needs to grow. MMA promotions need to keep expanding their scope to bigger and better places to increase profits– which is happening, but slowly. While inevitability doomed in the long-term, prohibition of MMA in places like Ontario and New York is seriously hampering cash-flow (hence the recent schmoozing blitz by the UFC in both cities.) The point is that MMA, while awesome, is still small beans in the world of sports.

Presently, rookie fighter’s have a disturbing similarity to struggling actors. It’s as if there is a credit line attached to their name and image that determines a pay-grade. Whether it’s waiting tables, or engineering (see: Shane Carwin, the UFC’s resident Dilbert) athletes trying to break into MMA will likely find a day-job necessary. However, while MMA training is grueling, it’s not outrageous to expect fighters to work in between fights. UFC middleweight Chael Sonnen for example, is even campaigning for public office while training and working in real-estate.

Furthermore, fighters are not necessarily wallowing in poverty between events as the published payouts may suggest. They stay afloat by way of sponsors –as many that fit on their shorts, walk-in T-shirt, hat and mouth guard. A decent sponsor provides free equipment and nutritional supplements; a great sponsor provides steady paycheques for endorsements.

MMA is a viciously top-heavy sport. Fighters like Randy Couture and GSP compete 2-3 times per year and pull in a quarter-million per fight, plus a percentage of the pay-per-view revenues, sponsorship money and commercial endorsements. Conversely, even with mountains of skill and dedication, a promising young career can be derailed by a single inconvenient injury.

MMA will always have a stigma that keeps it from becoming ingrained like American football is to high school and college and hockey is to…well, everyone in Canada. But rest assured, someday the sport will grow to the point where MMA competitors will no longer struggle, but enjoy all the luxuries reserved for a NBA or even PGA champion.

Then after a few years, the fighters union will become corrupt and shiftless. It will declare arbitrary strikes that anger the fans and delay exciting fights. Meanwhile, fighters will remain indifferent; snorting coke and sleeping on piles of money with porn stars. Then one day, after MMA gets its first sex scandal–the revelation that GSP has had consensual relations with every woman in the western hemisphere–fans will know that MMA has finally made the big leagues. All in good time.

18 COMMENTS
  • mikefab says:

    For comparison, an under card MMA fighter is making similar to what an under card boxer is making. Since you don’t see the under card payout for a big PPV boxing event it tends to get lost. Yeah the top guys are making multimillions of dollars, but little guy is not. There are many boxers who have “second jobs” until they get to main card status. As MMA grows the payouts for the under card fighters will grow, but the promotions are running a business. Affliction, IFL, and EliteXC are all examples of organizations that paid well but could not sustain themselves.

  • Nice job, Chris. It’s easy to forget how young MMA is when all we see is the flash of a UFC PPV and Dana White cruising around in luxury SUVs while wearing $700 jeans and $3000 suits. If the Fertittas were struggling promoters and not casino billionaires it would be easier to accept the meager wage a lot of fighters earn. One point you make is inaccurate though, MMA is legal in more than just two provinces in Canada. BC, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have all hosted pro events (although NB has faced a few issues of late).

  • Hustleman42 says:

    Thanks 5ozs…

    Now I can’t shake the image of Carwin sporting tie that points upward…

  • Dufresne says:

    Another way that many fighters make a living is by teaching in the same gym that they themselves train in. Sometimes they get paid for their services, sometimes they just get their own training fees waved. If they can get a paycheck this allows them to essentially get payed to train MMA on a daily basis. I’m not saying that every fighter has these opportunities, but just like minor league baseball players that coach competitive little league or even high school teams, many up and comers find ways to both train and get paid while they await their hopeful breakout into the big leagues.

  • crane_style says:

    I understand that in business, you try to keep costs down. If you lose control, you can end up like other big sports that pay too much.

    But $4k for a fight in aUFC PPV event, even on the undercard?

    Lets say that an average fight card brings 400,000 ppv buys at $40, grosses 16 million dollars. I don’t know about what kind of distribution agreement the UFC has, but in most media businesses, you split 50/50. If someone knows the actual split, I’d love to hear.

    So then the UFC’s cut is 8 million. As it stands, they pay out between 500k to 1m, and you could imagine the same outlay for overhead. So lets say, including advertising, their total costs per event is around 2m. They’d still be netting 6 million per event, per month.

    So if this is the case, with 12-15 events per year, your netting close to 100 million. This is, of course, with out all the extra cash from merchandising ect.

    And if that’s true, then it’s very short-sighted to pay your fighters that little. Guys work for years and many will never even smell a UFC ppv card. So I don’t think it’s unreasonable, that if you get there, to expect a minimum pay out of something like 25-50k for a fight.

    Historically, other sports have tried to strangle the payroll, based on the idea that if you give an inch, you have to keep giving more inches. But on the flip side, if you hold on to the cash flow too tightly, you can create labor/union issues, then there’s some form of free agency, and the salaries do get ridiculous.

    If you have 20 fighters on a card, and each is making a guaranteed 25k, yes our costs will go up and short term it will reduce your profit margin. But then it might also head of a lot of labor issues down the road.

    No one wants to see a bunch of different smaller competing organizations where you almost never see the best fighting the best, but if UFC keeps the purse strings too tight, this could be a very real threat to the future of the sport.

  • @crane_style While I see your point and follow your logic, your argument is full of many assumptions that I don’t think anybody can confirm or deny except for UFC upper management. I have no idea how much it costs them to advertise each PPV event. You’re arbitrarily saying it’s $1M, but what if it’s $5M? Again, I have no clue about what the real number is. You also fail to take into account the millions that the Fertittas shelled out initially (and the risk) associated with purchasing the UFC.

    As a business owner myself, I constantly have my employees questioning their salaries. They have no idea what my overhead is. Your argument would be similar to walking into Foot Locker and saying, “Well, the Air Jordans cost $3 to make in China and I guess you spend $10 to advertise each sneaker so I should only have to pay $20, taking into account Foot Locker’s profit”. I’m not saying that Air Jordans aren’t overpriced (because they are), but I have no idea what the real profit is.

    Great article, though, and hopefully these “lower-tier” fighters do start making more and more. Maybe somebody can put an article together with salaries across the board today versus salary progression over the past few years. I would guess that from top to bottom, salaries have been growing steadily (at least in the UFC).

  • crane_style says:

    @biggmoney21. As I said, I am making some assumptions, but I’m in the entertainment business and do have an idea of how distribution and advertising works in this field.

    I actually would be very surprised if the UFC spent even 1 million of advertising, as most of what I see them spend comes from self-advertising built into their own programming. But then I live in Europe, so maybe they spend more state-side that I’m not aware of.

    I don’t buy your shoe analogy, because this subject has nothing to do with how much I pay to watch the UFC/buy shoes. We’d have to be talking about how much the people designing/making the shoes, so maybe bringing China into the comparison would be accurate, since it seems lower tier UFC fighters are getting paid in a similar fashion.

    The guys at Zuffa deserve to make as much as they can, as they did take a risk and invest a bunch of money to bring the UFC back to life. But don’t kid yourself about how much money they’re making, because it’s a lot.

    The example I used was for an average ppv event. What about a big event, where they go over a million buys and net over 40 million? I do know that their events costs do not go up that much, in relation to the profit.

    If they’re getting rich, good for them. They took a risk, they deserve the reward. But underpaying the fighters who provide your content is also a big risk, and the kind that seldom pays off in the long run.

  • MMASwami says:

    Lets say that an average fight card brings 400,000 ppv buys at $40, grosses 16 million dollars. I don’t know about what kind of distribution agreement the UFC has, but in most media businesses, you split 50/50. If someone knows the actual split, I’d love to hear.So then the UFC’s cut is 8 million. As it stands, they pay out between 500k to 1m, and you could imagine the same outlay for overhead. So lets say, including advertising, their total costs per event is around 2m. They’d still be netting 6 million per event, per month.So if this is the case, with 12-15 events per year, your netting close to 100 million.

    Dude, your break down of costs is a little short sighted. You never included the headliners ppv cut to start with… which in a lot of cases exceeds 7 figures… secondly, the cost of advertising is huge… How much do you think it costs to put up huge billboards all around the country… A place like Times Square in NY costs a lot of money… as does putting spots on TV. And thirdly, and most important imho.. they have this little thing called taxes… so saying that they rake in a possible 6mil out of 8 is absurd.

    And btw, I’ve heard their split of ppv revenue is 60/40… with the 60 going to the cable companies.

  • crane_style says:

    Dude, your break down of costs is a little short sighted. You never included the headliners ppv cut to start with… which in a lot of cases exceeds 7 figures… secondly, the cost of advertising is huge… How much do you think it costs to put up huge billboards all around the country… A place like Times Square in NY costs a lot of money… as does putting spots on TV. And thirdly, and most important imho.. they have this little thing called taxes… so saying that they rake in a possible 6mil out of 8 is absurd.And btw, I’ve heard their split of ppv revenue is 60/40… with the 60 going to the cable companies.  

    7 figures? I don’t think so.They announce the numbers that fighters make, and I’ve haven’t seen anyone in the UFC pull in more than 500k before bonuses, and it’s usually around 100-200k unless it’s the big dogs. Which is still good money, I’m not arguing that. But I’ve never seen the total purse/payout exceed $1m for a UFC fight.

    Billboard advertising is actually relatively cheap, compared to TV advertising. Times square may be the exception to that. And as I said, they build a lot of advertising into their own programs, so I don’t think the cost is a big as you think.

    Taxes? Really? First, a big corporation can move money around and with a little creative accounting, not pay as much as you think. Next, if they did pay their fighters more, that would be a legit expense, which means less taxes to pay.

    Third, think about that poor bastard only making 4k on a fight. He has to pay taxes as well.

    60/40 could be right. We could argue numbers all day, but there are a couple of things that seem obvious to me.

    1) Zuffa is making huge bucks on the PPV. Recently, an Abu Dhabi company bought 10% of Zuffa and people have estimated it cost them 200-300 million. And Zuffa has already turned down an offer of more than 2 BILLION for the entire company.

    2) Paying the fighters more, even if it doubles the purse to 2 million per event, isn’t going to affect the bottom line profits that much.

    Yes, doing this means they make less in the short term, but I think it would stabilize the business overall, in the long term.

  • MCM says:

    crane_style, what part of the entertainment business do you work in? I ask because I don’t think your getting the full understanding of what it costs to put on an event. I would be surprised to find out the UFC only spent 1 to 2 million on each event. Advertising alone would run at least that much. Not just billboards or ads during TUF but all the commercials they put on during prime time television on cable and major networks. You said you live in Europe and perhaps they don’t show those there. I also wonder about the pay for employees at the actual events. Not every place they shoot is a “right to work” state. That means that if they are shooting in an arena that is union run they have to pay people not only to run the cameras but a people to plug in batteries, people to park the trucks for equipment, people to rig lights ect. It takes an army to put on one of these events and in a union arena there is literally one guy per camera operator who’s sole job is to plug in his camera. He makes a day pay plus Pension and Welfare benefits are paid to his union. A safer estimate would be to assume that each production of a PPV costs somewhere around 3 or 4 mil as opposed to 1 or 2.

    But let’s take a look at the $4k fighter.
    4k is his base pay. That pays him to show up at the weighins, make weight and fight.
    if he wins, he usually gets twice that. 8k
    If he wins by spectacular KO or Sub, or is in a great fight, he could make one of the FOTN bonuses. Those are anywhere between 30k and 100k. Let’s play conservative and say 40k.
    That means that the fighter may only be getting a base pay of 4k with a possibility of making 48k.
    $48,000 dollars for 4 months worth of work is pretty good money over here.
    Now let’s say he does make the 48k and makes it twice in one year. Now he’s not just on the undercard but gets promoted to the main card. With this comes the opportunity of getting more/better sponsors, and the ability to command a much higher base pay for his next contract.
    None of this takes into account the “back stage” bonuses that Dana and Co. routinely hand out to their more well known fighers.

    We like to complain about our favorite athletes getting crapped on by the UFC but I know that no one I know has a job that allows you the possibility of making %1200 of you starting salary in the first couple months.

  • MickeyC says:

    while i agree that 4k is a bit on the lean side & an increase is deserved. i would like to see larger win bonuses or extra money if you finish the fight.

  • doctormma says:

    Many holes in crane_styles euro argument..

    first of all the Fertitta’s Casino biz is leaking money like a sieve at the moment.. so besides the fact they can write-off some expenditures they have been hugely in debt.

    Yes the UFC makes money now.. but it is at last quote a 300 employee business so if they were going by gate alone they would’ve been shut down ages ago.. they nearly did.

    Now they do Q&A’s and special events days prior to this and of course all the staff in the building work for free over multiple days.

    You also didn’t read the fine print.. the UFC has never said what they claim to the commission is all the money paid to the fighters,, they are legally obligated to claim something. Actually Dana is on record stating that he pays way more and those numbers are just to suggest a base to confuse competitors.

    As for your statement about headliners not even making a million that is absurd considering they get a cut of the PPV.. even by your numbers puts even the weaker headliners closer to a million, and if more people bought. Guess what, the fighters would get more. All I hear is grumbling about the price of PPV’s but if people wanted the fighters to get paid more they would buy more.

    Staging events of this magnitude costs a lot of money.. security and insurance alone.. yes they have to insure the fighters.. costs large sums of money.. guys getting tomahawked with an axe kick to the cranium doesn’t help lower insurance rates surprisingly.

    Then you have medical bills which they pay to lower their rates.. add in hotel rooms for your employees & fighters.. a few meals and beverages.. wine and dine a few prospective politicians & diplomats to get your product in the door.. pay for some fat commission officials who get the easiest fight wrong but still demand to get paid.

    There are a lot of hidden expenditures we are unaware of.. including shipping.. tools, equipment, and of course talent.

    The NFL owners make vast fortunes.. and their players get a very brief career.. yet no one screams.. in boxing some of the under-cards get $500 yet I don’t hear anyone telling Money Mayweather to pass up on his millions so that some of those other dudes can feed their family.

    I for one appreciate that yes the UFC makes a profit.. finally.. and that growing their business exceptionally well over the last few years means that selling for billions in their infancy is not worth it. What do you think the NFL or any other professional league be worth if there was one owner?

    You couldn’t even buy the NY Rangers a lousy hockey team for that money yet you want them to sell their league (UFC) for less, hey while you are at it.. why not buy the Premier League in England with all the teams for 2 Billion.. that would be a great deal.. I want in on that.

    I know you will say the valuation of the Rangers is only at 500 mil, but you are also hoping the owner will part with all his future profits… the Rangers would make 500 mil in 5 years of operation why would you sell unless you had a huge cash crunch.

    Sure Man U was bought for in the neighbourhood of 800 mil a few years ago and the Glazers are still in debt.. but how much profit would they have if they weren’t paying interest and owned it outright?

    After having survived in this sport from the beginning and watching many organizations die, I am in no rush to see the UFC fold. Of course most athletes want more.. they are the entertainment..

    but to have a home to entertain others you have to be able to afford the roof, the UFC is the roof that the fighters can prosper with tenfold in sponsorship outside of the ring if they are good.

    Besides things are perfect now and getting better everyday..

    Strikeforce is a long second with Bellator a distant 3rd.. this is exceptional as they drive the prices into a fair range for the fighters without being too ridiculous..like some of the past failed groups.

    UFC is the main league and we get to see major league fights without all the bollocks that continually dogs boxing.. robbing us of fights the fans want to see.

    Hey Pac-man vs Moaney Mayweather would’ve happened two years ago if they were under the UFC banner.. in boxing they will probably meet 10 years later like Roy Jones… and Hopkins.. money there is the problem.. especially cause Moaney knows that getting carried out on a stretcher isn’t good for his bank book.

    Until then he can dodge the Pac-man and collect great pay while some poor African or South American collects $500 on the under-card.

    I am sure he has petitioned to cut his pay to pay the others on the card who deserve more especially those who are training and starting out.

    As the profit grows so will the pay because of the inherent ties to the rising sport.

    I love the fighters but like in NFL where the league is dominant we would never get the great events we do.. if the UFC didn’t have the control they do.. it would disintegrate under the weight of personal self-worth holding the league hostage..

    Hendo is prime example… with very little accomplished in the UFC he was demanding crazy money… so he was sent packing.. will he be missed..nope.. if anything he improves his stance and Strikeforce’s but would never win anything in the UFC at any weight.

  • crane_style says:

    crane_style, what part of the entertainment business do you work in?I ask because I don’t think your getting the full understanding of what it costs to put on an event.I would be surprised to find out the UFC only spent 1 to 2 million on each event.Advertising alone would run at least that much.Not just billboards or ads during TUF but all the commercials they put on during prime time television on cable and major networks.You said you live in Europe and perhaps they don’t show those there.I also wonder about the pay for employees at the actual events.Not every place they shoot is a “right to work” state.That means that if they are shooting in an arena that is union run they have to pay people not only to run the cameras but a people to plug in batteries, people to park the trucks for equipment, people to rig lights ect. It takes an army to put on one of these events and in a union arena there is literally one guy per camera operator who’s sole job is to plug in his camera.He makes a day pay plus Pension and Welfare benefits are paid to his union.A safer estimate would be to assume that each production of a PPV costs somewhere around 3 or 4 mil as opposed to 1 or 2.But let’s take a look at the $4k fighter.
    4k is his base pay.That pays him to show up at the weighins, make weight and fight.
    if he wins, he usually gets twice that. 8k
    If he wins by spectacular KO or Sub, or is in a great fight, he could make one of the FOTN bonuses.Those are anywhere between 30k and 100k.Let’s play conservative and say 40k.
    That means that the fighter may only be getting a base pay of 4k with a possibility of making 48k.
    $48,000 dollars for 4 months worth of work is pretty good money over here.
    Now let’s say he does make the 48k and makes it twice in one year.Now he’s not just on the undercard but gets promoted to the main card.With this comes the opportunity of getting more/better sponsors, and the ability to command a much higher base pay for his next contract.
    None of this takes into account the “back stage” bonuses that Dana and Co. routinely hand out to their more well known fighers.We like to complain about our favorite athletes getting crapped on by the UFC but I know that no one I know has a job that allows you the possibility of making %1200 of you starting salary in the first couple months.  

    I work in film and television industrty, so I do know about something about the costs. You are correct in making the point that the live events cost a significant amount to put on. I doubt that the cost is as high as 3-4 million, but lets say you’re correct.

    Don’t forget that the gate for these fights is usually in the neighborhood of $1 million. And then there’s all the sponsors. Bud. Harley. Tap Out. I don’t know if it cancels out the cost of actually holding the event, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    And your rationale for the salary depends a lot on winning, which only half the fighters do. Or getting a something “of the night” bonus, which only a few guys do. And what if you get hurt and only can fight once a year?

    The best in the UFC make good cash. I’m not saying the lower rungs guys should get paid the same, that would be silly. But if the event costs 4m to put on, adding another 5-10% to the costs isn’t going to kill their bottom line.

  • crane_style says:

    Many holes in crane_styles euro argument..first of all the Fertitta’s Casino biz is leaking money like a sieve at the moment.. so besides the fact they can write-off some expenditures they have been hugely in debt.Yes the UFC makes money now.. but it is at last quote a 300 employee business so if they were going by gate alone they would’ve been shut down ages ago..they nearly did.Now they do Q&A’s and special events days prior to this and of courseall the staff in the building work for free over multiple days.You also didn’t read the fine print.. the UFC has never said what they claim to the commission is all the money paid to the fighters,, they are legally obligated to claim something. Actually Dana is on record stating that he pays way more and those numbers are just to suggest a base to confuse competitors.As for your statement about headliners not even making a million that is absurd considering they get a cut of the PPV.. even by your numbers puts even the weaker headliners closer to a million, and if more people bought. Guess what, the fighters would get more. All I hear is grumbling about the price of PPV’s but if people wanted the fighters to get paid more they would buy more.Staging events of this magnitude costs a lot of money.. security and insurance alone.. yes they have to insure the fighters.. costs large sums of money.. guys getting tomahawked with an axe kick to the cranium doesn’t help lower insurance rates surprisingly.
    Then you have medical bills which they pay to lower their rates.. add in hotel rooms for your employees & fighters.. a few meals and beverages.. wine anddine a few prospective politicians & diplomats to get your product in the door.. pay for some fat commission officials who get the easiest fight wrong but still demand to get paid.There are a lot of hidden expenditures we are unaware of.. including shipping.. tools, equipment, and of course talent.The NFL owners make vast fortunes.. and their players get a very brief career.. yet no one screams.. in boxing some of the under-cards get $500 yet I don’t hear anyone telling Money Mayweather to pass up on his millions so that some of those other dudes can feed their family.I for one appreciate that yes the UFC makes a profit.. finally.. and that growing their business exceptionally well over the last few years means that selling for billions in their infancy is not worth it. What do you think the NFL or any other professional league be worth if there was one owner?You couldn’t even buy the NY Rangers a lousy hockey team for that money yet you want them to sell their league (UFC) for less, hey while you are at it.. why not buy the Premier League in England with all the teams for 2 Billion.. that would be a great deal.. I want in on that.I know you will say the valuation of the Rangers is only at 500 mil, but you are also hoping the owner will part with all his future profits… the Rangers would make 500 mil in 5 years of operation why would you sell unless you had a huge cash crunch.Sure Man U was bought for in the neighbourhood of 800 mil a few years ago and the Glazers are still in debt.. but how much profit would they have if they weren’t paying interest and owned it outright?After having survived in this sport from the beginning and watching many organizations die, I am in no rush to see the UFC fold. Of course most athletes want more.. they are the entertainment..
    but to have a home to entertain others you have to be able to afford the roof, the UFC is the roof that the fighters can prosper with tenfold in sponsorship outside of the ring if they are good.Besides things are perfect now and getting better everyday..
    Strikeforce is a long second with Bellator a distant 3rd.. this is exceptional as they drive the prices into a fair range for the fighters without being too ridiculous..like some of the past failed groups.
    UFC is the main league and we get to see major league fights without all the bollocks that continually dogs boxing.. robbing us of fights the fans want to see.
    Hey Pac-man vs Moaney Mayweather would’ve happened twoyears ago if they were under the UFC banner.. in boxing they will probably meet 10 years later like Roy Jones… and Hopkins.. money there is the problem.. especially cause Moaney knows that getting carried out on a stretcher isn’t good for his bank book.
    Until then he can dodge the Pac-man and collect great pay while some poor African or South American collects $500 on the under-card. I am sure he has petitioned to cut his pay to pay the others on the card who deserve more especially those who are training and starting out.As the profit grows so will the pay because of the inherent ties to the rising sport.I love the fighters but like in NFL where the league is dominant we would never get the great events we do.. if the UFC didn’t have the control they do.. it would disintegrate under the weight of personal self-worth holding the league hostage..Hendo is prime example… with very little accomplished in the UFC he was demanding crazy money… so he was sent packing.. will he be missed..nope.. if anything he improves his stance and Strikeforce’s but would never win anything in the UFC at any weight.  

    You are quite correct in saying the Ferritta’s other holdings are not doing well. I’ve read their 500 million in debt. Of course, when you turn down 2.5 billion for your business, there must be a good reason.

    But this doesn’t really factor into this discussion, it’s a separate business holding, so that’s their problem. It”s like saying a fighter should get paid more because he bigger personal debts.

    So you’re saying that the fighters get paid more than what the numbers ZUFFA releases? And they get a cut of the PPV? I have never heard anything like that and I’d like to know your sources.

    This whole article is based on this guy only being paid 4k, and if he was getting a cut of the PPV, or more than that, I’d be surprised if the guy’s here at 5oz of pain didn’t know that.

    Rich Franklin, who has been a top level guy at the UFC for a long time, and in an interview, recently talked about this subject. Have a look for it, it’s an eye opener.

    For the most part, I agree with what you say in the second half of the your comment. I think Dan Henderson probably asked for crazy money, relative to the UFC, but not for boxing. And yes, if you start giving out more money at the top, it can balloon very fast.

    However, as the only man to win a round from Anderson Silva, I wouldn’t count Dan out as a fighter. And this isn’t about what top guys get paid, but the bottom guys.

    I don’t want to see too many organizations watering down the talent pool. But the problem is, if you under pay your fighters, this is probably what will happen.

  • crane_style says:

    Wooops, note to self, don’t post first thing when you wake up. I meant to say I’ve never heard of anyone but the tops guys getting a cut of the ppv, because of course, it is mentioned in the article.

  • It seems like everybody is pretty much saying the same thing and that is that the lower-tier fighters should get paid more. I don’t think that anybody is disagreeing with that. In a perfect world, that would of course be the case. However, the majority of the arguments to that effect are all based on assumptions that nobody here can either confirm nor deny (unless somebody here that is posting is actually an employee of the UFC/Zuffa… and even then, I would question their knowledge. I’ve been on both sides of a business (as an employee and a business owner) and it always seemed that ownership wasn’t paying their employees enough. Being on the other side now, I see what the real overhead is and I know for a fact that my employees (especially the ones complaining) have absolutely no clue what my expenses are.

    Given what Zuffa acquired and where they’ve brought it, while there’s always room for improvement, how can anybody disagree with how they’re running their business. I know there are a lot of Dana haters but I remember hearing him once say that no matter what you do, there are always going to be people questioning your every move. What I would really love to see if somebody has access to it are the pay progressions over the past few years. I’m just guessing but I would imagine that there has been a pretty steady progression that will hopefully continue.

  • Dufresne says:

    One thing I’ve noticed that no one has mentioned are the legal fees that the UFC undoubtedly has. I’m sure they have an entire squad of high priced sharks on retainer at all times. Add that in to the legal battles over contracts, getting MMA legalized in more areas, and just everyday copyright/trademark crap that I’m sure they have to deal with and we’re talking a pretty sizable chunk of money that most of us never even see or hear about.

  • blue says:

    I don’t think anybody is holding a gun to Torres’ head and saying, “You can only fight for the UFC and when you do fight you cannot ask for anything more than $4,000 a fight.”

    * and I am sure he gets compensated more than what is distributed to the commissions.

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