UFC Disclosed Payout Analysis: 2006-2009
October 5, 2009
Summarized below are the statistical averages tracking the number of fights, disclosed payouts, and disclosed bonus money for most UFC events since 2006. Please keep in mind that disclosed salaries are not always available, nor are they a true representation of the total purse a fighter receives in the UFC.
|Year||2006||2007||2008||2009||Δ 2006 – 2009|
|All UFC Events||$376,406||$614,077||$735,000||$898,375||138.67%|
The disclosed payouts submitted to athletic commissions represent only a portion of the entire purse that UFC fighters receive for participating in a match. All fighters receive varying degrees of sponsorship money for endorsing certain clothing or company brands while fighting. Many of the fighters receive undisclosed bonuses from the UFC on a per fight basis. Some of the UFC’s top draws also have PPV bonuses written into their contract, which give them a cut of the buyrate they helped to generate.
What does this tell us?
- We are able to observe that disclosed fighter payouts are increasing.
- The rate at which disclosed payouts are increasing exceeds the growth of the number of fights per card.
- We can then extrapolate that disclosed payouts are also increasing per fighter.
- Finally, we may also loosely extrapolate that total payouts per fighter are increasing. If, that is, we can correctly assume that undisclosed bonuses, sponsorship money, and PPV cuts have also increased at a rate which matches the growth of the UFC/MMA in the last four years.
What doesn’t this tell us?
- Whether the growth in disclosed fighter pay is uniform or top-heavy (i.e., has everyone received a raise, or just the big money earners?).
- Whether the increase in fighters payouts equals, exceeds, or trails the change in UFC revenues over the corresponding period of time.
It’s tough to deny that the UFC is increasing the amount which it pays its fighters; whether those increases are enough for some people is an entirely different matter.
I would certainly advocate that we lack too much information to make an accurate assessment one way or another. However, I do believe it’s fair to point out that the above evidence would suggest that, as the UFC continues to grow, so too will the financial prospects of its current and former fighters.