UFC Can’t Afford 200 Millionaires

January 26, 2010

In an article published by Esquire magazine a few weeks ago, Dana White revealed that nearly 18 fighters in the UFC are making more than $1 million a year. Since then a debate has been raging as to whether that’s a sign of progress or a sign of how far the UFC still has to go.

Zak Woods of WatchKalibRun is one who argues that the UFC still has a very long way to go, and even goes as far as to compare the number of millionaires in the UFC to that of other professional sports leagues like the NHL and NBA.

Currently there are 219 fighters on the UFC’s roster, if only 18 are making over a million per year that means 8.2% of the roster is making over a million.

WKR used HoopsHype.com to count how many NBA players are making over a million dollars a year. The final tally: 378 players out of 452 make over a million dollars per year for a whopping 83.6% of the total NBA roster. Only 74 players make under a million and only eight, or 1.8% of the total NBA players, makes under a hundred thousand dollars a year.

WKR followed a similar methodology with the NHLsalaries for 2009-10; with 700 hundred active hockey players, 403 or 57.6% make over a million dollars a year leaving only 297 or 42.4% that make under a million (Note: the lowest salary is $475,000 per year).

  Size Total Roster

% of Roster paid

over $1million per/year

% of Roster paid

under $1million per/year

UFC 219 8.2% 91.8%
NBA 452 83.6% 16.4%
NHL 700 57.6% 42.4%

Why is this kind of analysis important? It is important to understand the tremendous chasm that exists between athlete pay between the major sport leagues and the UFC. If Dana White truly believes that MMA and the UFC will achieve a position of dominance within the sporting world in the next ten years these numbers will have to be dramatically different in that time.

Obviously the UFC’s business model is different than the NBA’s or the NHL’s but when one sets such lofty goals such comparisons are warranted if not vital.

Payout Perspective:

I can appreciate the point Zak and WKR are trying to make, but I disagree with the avenue they chose to pursue in doing so. The difference in athlete pay between the sports is complicated, and comparing industry revenues would have been far more effective to illustrate the divergence between the current state of the UFC and its goals.

However, seeing as a comparison of athlete salaries was introduced, I feel compelled to respond.

I understand the fighter pay bandwagon: the desire to reward fighters for their sacrifice is admirable. But to me, the entire movement represents a distinct lack of comprehension of the MMA business model.

Zuffa has dumped tens of millions of dollars into this sport and literally created an industry that can support thousands of people – all in the last 10 years. This is often ignored, as are most of Zuffa’s accomplishments, in favor of looking at what might or should be in all of our wildest dreams. (Note: that’s not an indictment of Zak and WKR as much as it is a general, blanket statement as to the prevailing sentiment within the hardcore community.)

The growth of any business or industry takes time; it doesn’t happen overnight, especially when you consider the broader, macro perspective. The UFC didn’t just appear out of thin air in 2005, but rather was conceived in the form of an idea in the 70s and 80s, took shape in the 90s, entered into the introductory stage of its product life cycle in the decade of the 2000s, and has now arguably hit the growth stage of that same cycle.

Fans can’t have their cake and eat it too. They can’t have industry growth and 200 millionaire fighters. The economics of the industry will not support that model – and that’s why organizations like EliteXC and Affliction have failed.

The UFC likely earned somewhere in the range of $300-$350 million last year, which absolutely pales in comparison to the estimated $2.7 billion the NHL will have made or the $3.8 billion of the NBA. It’s far easier to pay your personnel 50~% when you’re left with $1-2 billion in company coffers to cover expenses and provide some modicum of return. Even then it can be difficult to earn a profit, just ask the Phoenix Coyotes that have lost over $30 million since the year-long lockout that was supposed to deliver a miracle cure for the NHL’s business model ails.

Standard & Poor’s credit reports have indicated that the UFC’s operating margin hovers around 30%, which means that even in the best case scenario of $350 million in revenue, the UFC could only afford to pay roughly 100 fighters $1 million each. But if that were the case, the company would no funds left with which to grow the company, push for increased regulation, and expand into new markets.

Sure, the UFC could start milking this thing for every penny it’s worth, but there would be nothing left in five years.

It takes time and sacrifice to build something worthwhile – something truly enduring – and relative to the NHL, NBA, or any of the other sports leagues, the UFC is still very much an infant. To illustrate, the UFC just celebrated 100 shows (which is great), but the Montreal Canadiens just celebrated 100 years of hockey. Big difference.

The growth of the sport – and fighter pay – will come in time.

——–

The flipside of the equation is that Dana White and the UFC have set the bar of expectations so high that people are bound to start making comparisons of this nature, because as Zak correctly points out, they’ve pretty much asked for it. If you want to play under the bright lights, you better be prepared to get hit.

Then, again, I think there’s a certain balance that needs to be maintained. The MMA community is starving for business details, but every time the UFC divulges information, it’s immediately spun and crammed back down the UFC’s throat. There’s not a lot of incentive to reveal information there.

I’m not advocating that the media should serve up softballs on the UFC’s behalf – in fact I argued quite the opposite recently – but there’s a fair balance here that needs to be respected. I can, to a point, understand Dana’s apprehension when talking to the media in certain circumstances.

37 Responses to “UFC Can’t Afford 200 Millionaires”

  1. Scottyd on January 26th, 2010 11:52 AM

    The comparison of professional boxing would have been interesting. It would seem to me that professional boxing would be close if not lower.

  2. Jeremy on January 26th, 2010 12:38 PM

    Excellent article.

  3. Rick on January 26th, 2010 12:58 PM

    No shit the UFC can’t afford 200 millionaires that’s the whole point.

  4. Matt C. on January 26th, 2010 12:59 PM

    Jeremy done said it but I’ll say it again. Very nice article.

  5. Adam Swift on January 26th, 2010 1:11 PM

    Great work

  6. John S. on January 26th, 2010 1:26 PM

    A couple of things,

    -If we are going to go by revenue, then Zuffa’s payroll looks terrible compared to the other major leagues. At $400 million in revenue, I am willing to conjecture they have no more than $80 million in total payroll, with the majority of it going to the top 20 fighters. Compare that to the 50-60% of revenue that the players in MLB, NBA, NHL, and the NFL get. In addition each of those leagues provide insurance, and pay for the training of their athletes, a luxury mma fighters don’t have.
    – The UFC is new and growth takes time, fair enough. But isn’t it a lot to ask that fighters sacrifice now so that future fighters and the current owners make massive profits down the road.
    Take Dana White for example. Not only is he thought to make a $2 million dollar a year salary, but he has seen his net worth grow from $200,000 when Zuffa purchased the UFC to $125 million now. In addition he has received millions in dividends, and probably another $10 million or more from Flash Entertainment. If the fighters have to wait for the maturity of the sport, shouldn’t we ask the same of the owners.
    – You wrote “The growth of the sport – and fighter pay – will come in time.” What guarantee is there of that? If the UFC accomplishes what Zuffa plans, to become the sole major league in mma, then what reason will there be for a greater share of the spoils being giving to the fighters? In capitalism pay is based on supply and demand and competition. If there is no other promotion even close to the UFC, then how will there be anyone competing for fighters and thereby driving up their wages? They will be a monopoly without a collective bargaining agreement. They will in effect be a monopsony – an imperfect market where many sellers only have one buyer. In this case, numerous fighters and only one major mma promotion.

  7. JJ on January 26th, 2010 2:00 PM

    It would be a lot easier for me to accept lower fighter pay if the UFC brass wasn’t constantly tooting their own horn about the money they’re making.

    It’s also a low blow for the UFC to introduce their sponsorship fee’s or just outright ban advertisers for often trivial reasons, of course it’s their right, but that money is coming straight out of the fighters pocket.

    Maybe rather than analyze the difference between the UFC and other sports maybe we should look at the UFC’s pay scale of their own fighters and compare the top earners to the bottom rung.

    I would like to see is the guys at the top make a little bit less and the guys at the bottom make a lot more. Does it really make a difference to Brock if he gets paid $1M a fight or $950000?

    The guys at the bottom are making big sacrifices too and that $50000 could go a long way split amongst the lowest paid fighters. How many young talents are scrambling between a 9-5 job and training on the side with whatever time is left. Talent prospers much more fruitfully when its properly nurtured.

    UFC is the big league and even the bottom guys deserve a good paycheck, even if it isn’t a million dollars.

  8. Brain Smasher on January 26th, 2010 4:36 PM

    When will people learn that money ruins the sport for the fans once it gets to a curtain point. Yet the internet is full of mma fan boys who want their “heros” to make all the money even at the expense of the sport and their own entertainment. Some are so infatuated with other men(fighters) that they put the fighters best interest over their own. There is a curtain point where the athletes make to much. I dont think any fighters should get above 1-3 million per fight let alone all fighters.

    Lets look at other sports. Why isnt the biggest boxing matches happening? Because the fighters make so much money that its not worth losing for the sake of being the best.

    Baseball had a strike in the 1990’s because players make to much money and didnt want to give it up. It almost killed baseball. Who got punished? THe fans who didnt get to see baseball for almost an entire year.

    Baseball players are refusing to play in the All Star game and MLB is trying to get them to play but making the winner get home field in the world serious. But it still dont work. What can you offer a guy who makes 15 million per season to make him play this game? 20K isnt going to do it.

    Football has incresing rookie contracts that continue to get out of hand. The NFl is looking at a uncapped year that will lead to a strike the following year.

    NBA cant get their players to participate in their other activities either. The big stars wont enter the slam dunk contest. Many dont play in the all star game. The very best wont play for the Olympic team. They make so much money the few thousand for an all star game isnt worth giving up your week vacation or your entire summer to play in the Olympics. There is nothing anyone can do. The fans and the sport is hurt because tbhey athletes make just to much money.

    So when you root for the fighter in every contract dispute and want fighters to make 10 million per fight. Be careful what you wish for. You are only hurting yourself and the sport.

  9. Brain Smasher on January 26th, 2010 4:52 PM

    JJ

    THe UFC does things to further the sport. THey didnt cut out sponsers for the hell of it. They do it to raise the prestige of the UFC which leads to more money for the fighters.

    Look back at when the UFC banned MMA websites from getting press creds to cover their events. They did so because there were to many mom and pop sites and a different snot nose kid was opening one every day and the mainstream press like the LA Times and NY times are not going to sit in press row with some kid who isnt qualified to be a reporter. So to bring in mainstream press and further the sport and pay of fighters they had to limit these MMA sites. It sucks but it had to be dont if you want MMA to grow.

    Same way with advertisers. No fortune 500 company is going to pay millions to put their name on a fighter when you got Joe Blow from Kansas coming to the ring with the local truck stop diner on their shorts for $300. It makes the sport look low class and runs off the high dollar sponcers. The decision the UFC makes are hard but will always lead to the sport growing and fighters getting more in the long run. THe fighters who lose a sponser will piss and moan for a year or so because they lost a little money. But later when ALL sponcers are giving the fighters huge deals they will realise it was worth it. The fighters and fans have no vision and dont know whats best.

    There is a reason why big companies pay big money for billboards in time square and not staple flyers to trees and telephone poles. Its about class. You dont want to be scene on the same level as a yard sale.

  10. Brain Smasher on January 26th, 2010 5:00 PM

    John S

    The UFC will always have a reason to pay a reasonable amount. The UFC will never have a monopoly. It make sound all nice to be be dramatic and make fake reasons to hate the UFC. But if the UFC was the only show in town they woudls till ahve to pay very damn close to what fighters are worth. If they didnt the fighters would unionize then hold out. THe UFC wouldnt want that. Secondly the very best and most popular fighters could at anytime leave the UFC and go into the boxing mold and promote their own fight. Someone like Brock Lesnar could promote his own fight outside the UFC. He would get UFC level buys but he would make enough that the UFC cant low ball him to much. Fighters always have options. There is no need for another big promotion.

  11. John S. on January 26th, 2010 5:18 PM

    Brian Smasher,

    All you have to do is keep the top 20 fighters happy and they won’t unionize. Why? Because people tune in to see Brock, GSP, BJ and Liddell, not top 10 fighters Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. If the upper tier are happy they won’t strike. If the lower tier do, no one will notice. This is not a team sport where the 4th best player on a team can have a huge impact, and a striking lineman (who no one pays to see) can negatively affect your teams play. Mid tier and lower fighters have no leverage in any strike, and as such no ability to organize.

    And contrary to what you say I don’t hate the UFC. In fact it is the opposite. I just see a lot of room for improvement.

  12. Jeremy on January 26th, 2010 7:20 PM

    None of us truly know how much is being paid out. Vladimir Matyushenko just came out and said that he was paid his show fee for his cancelled fight and Esquire peice showed that Shogun was paid more, The UFC never made those public, nor do we know just how much is paid out backstage. We do know that extra bonuses based on the fights are not uncommon. I have read comments from guys like Karo, Kalib and Leben as well as hearing it from guys like Sherk.

    Maty on Punch Drunk:
    “PDG: So did the UFC take care of you in any way as far as compensation goes since you were able to fight and had no control over the fight being canceled?

    Vladimir Matyushenko: Yes they still paid me the show portion of my fight purse but I did not receive a win bonus since the fight didn’t take place. I would have to say that the whole fight game has greatly improved over the years and the UFC paying me just because I showed up ready to fight is a great example of that. They have also increased the pre-fight screenings that they do on fighters to protect everyone involved because even though I had my medicals done for my September fight I still had to redo them for this fight. It just goes to show you that they care a lot more about the fighters nowadays and that’s great because you don’t want to end up getting somebody else’s disease. The fights are getting better, the promotion is getting better and everything else seems to have improved over last couple of years.”

  13. ffe on January 26th, 2010 7:52 PM

    I TOLD all of YA its the DANA WHITE BUBBLE.,…theyres soooo far of everything else in sport but they market the ufc so high that people expect these things to happen and when it dosent then people get disapointed and the sport gets crushed….I am now congratulating mmapayout for releasing numbers(of other sport) in they’re website instead of just analyzing whatever the press release of Dana and his cohorts..so i guess the 10 year plan is more like 50 year plan lol
    i hope you would include the nfl numbers as well and golf…lol
    also include boxers income as well…and not just the u.s. based boxers because lots of its champs come from overseas like david haye,amir khan,arthur abraham, klitchko brothers etc….also to be fair why not show the ppv numbers of boxing in showtime network i know its not released publicly unlike hbo but the ufc does not list it publicly as well…
    .il be reading more mmapayout more from now on!!….

  14. John Black on January 26th, 2010 8:33 PM

    Fighters need transparency in all things financial. They need an independent CPA firm auditing promoters’ financial statements, a percentage based revenue sharing formula which provides performance incentives and applies to ALL sources of revenue. They should receive royalties and residuals.

    Fighters need a system which gives them the advantages of open free market forces, free agency self-matchmaking enabling them to make their own fights and sell their made fights to promoters and venues in an auction type marketplace..

  15. Jason Harris on January 26th, 2010 10:52 PM

    I always find it funny when people talk about the people on the bottom of the food chain needing to make more…the guys making 3+3, or 5+5…you know what they probably made in their last fight in Gladiator Challenge or whatever? The headliners on those shows are lucky to make 1-2k. So you’ve got 5-10 fights under your belt, you headlined the local show for 1-2k, and UFC offers you 5+5 to fight in the undercard? That’s a pretty big fucking raise. And if you do well, your pay rate quickly goes up.

    Like any other business, you work your way up the ladder and make more as you go along….if you guys think UFC isn’t paying out, look at their pay compared to everyone else in the biz. There’s a reason guys are thrilled to fight in UFC.

    @ the original author, glad to see a well written and thought out post on the pay matters. Most of the MMA Blogs I’ve been reading are a thinly veiled “I LOVE MMA SO I WANT ALL OF THEM TO MAKE MILLIONS!!!”

  16. Alex Davis on January 27th, 2010 4:45 PM

    Very interesting insights. Would like to add mine, since this is a subject that I get to deal with daily!
    The entry level fighters, and a lot of levels above, simply dont make enough money to do what they do. If you add it up, the different types of training, Supplements, and medical bills, all necessary to perform well enough to justify a slot in the UFC, are extremely expensive. Dont forget, this is a full time job, you want to win, you better be putting in most of your day on the different aspects of MMA, or you are not winning!
    I do think that the entry level guys should have some kind of mechanism in place to at least have enough per fight to foot the cost of what they do. Everyone wants to be a millionaire, but not everybody well be one, but to me, majority of fighters are selling there produce below cost. Not pointing fingers, but stating fact.

  17. goog on January 28th, 2010 12:47 AM

    news FLASH!! just read the business journal 3 boxers made it to the top 100 highest paid athletes in the world

  18. Jason Harris (A Different One) on January 28th, 2010 2:29 AM

    Imagine my surprise to read this article and find a response from a gentleman named ‘Jason Harris’ who wasn’t me. But, thankfully, he has proven more than worthy of the title as his post makes a point that everybody ignores: UFC pays MILES ahead of any other MMA organization on the planet.

    The fact of the matter is, not only does the UFC business model not support the type of payouts so many fans expect, but this entire SPORT can not sustain the payouts you guys expect. It’s ridiculous that UFC pays more for guys who will never get on TV and don’t sell a single ticket than they would make in the main-events of any other organization (save for a couple), and yet for some reason they are ‘underpaying’ their fighters.

    @ Alex Davis – In discussing this issue on another forum, I did some quick research on the payouts for UFC 106 and 108 that might interest you. The average undercard fighter (ones who didn’t get on PPV) made $13,700 just to SHOW UP at those events. That didn’t include any win bonuses, fight of the night bonuses, sponsorships, nothing.

    If you manged to land 3 fights with UFC in a year, making the average undercard pay, without ever winning, signing any sponsorship deals, or getting any other bonuses, you’d make $41,100. The average American over 25 in the workforce makes about $35,000 a year.

    Put simply, guys who are signed to fight regularly in the UFC generally make enough to focus on fighting.

  19. Zuffa operating at 30% margin, made roughly $400,000,000 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on January 28th, 2010 12:44 PM

    […] operating at 30% margin, made roughly $400,000,000 UFC Can’t Afford 200 Millionaires : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA All things appear and Dana White is not only a tool but a very rich […]

  20. Brain Smasher on January 28th, 2010 1:23 PM

    Nice post Mr Harris. A very good point. There are people i know who pay their bills and get by on minimium wage which is a little over 10K a year. Yet some unknown fighter can get by on that PER FIGHT for a year until they find out f they are UFC material? Hard to believe. The guys who make very little in the UFC are guys who are for al intent and purposes given a shot to prove themselves. They havent done anything to deserve to be in the UFC but win a few obscure fights noone scene.

    The real world ytou are only paid a percentage of what you make for your employer. But the UFC dont punish all the fighters by holding them to that standard. Some low lever fighters are paid very well for doing nothing. Tim Sylvia can make Hundreds of thousands despite not a single sole paying to see him.

    What people seem to be leaning towards is a minimium salary. These things are not always good. The NFL uses it and people lose their jobs because of it. They have a veteran minimium that is a few hundred thousand more than non vets. A vet can be a little better than a rookie but still be cut by the team because they have to pay him more. There have been cases where the vet would take less but isnt allowed. With a forced minimium salary fighters wil be put on a short leash. With a 30K starting pay the UFC isnt going to allow you to lose 3 fights in a row. You are not worth it anymore. They will not allow some to lose their first fight. By rasing the pay you might be lowing the amount of pay days they get in the sport they love.

    In this sport if you deserve more you will get more. Im not going to name drop but i used to train at the same gym with a current UFC fighter. He loves MMA and always has not for money. He drove an hour each day to get to his gym from his home. Trained while he went to college and just a couple years before the UFC he was fighting in KOTC for $200. Later the UFC gives him a chance to fight for them and pays him 3-5K starting. That chance has led to 3 fight bunus’ and 15-20K to fight. HE made about a quarter of a mill last year. I dont think he ever felt cheated. If someone doesnt make it then they still got a higher payday than anyone else would give them.

  21. Huffy on January 28th, 2010 2:03 PM

    I hate to sound like a douche and I can sympathize with the undercard fighters who are making under 6 grand, but lets be realistic: the guy who’s making his debut in the UFC doesn’t sell 6000 dollars worth of PPVs. In a perfect world every fighter would make enough to live comfortably, but this isn’t a perfect world. That’s what the IFL tried to do and look where it took them. Love it or hate it, that’s the way combat sports operate. Anyone who tried to make a living in them understands this. That isn’t to say that the UFC’s pay system is perfect. Working in some kinds of benefits for fighters world be nice, and waiving the sponsorship fees for lower-level fighters would help guys make more cash.
    And while I’m by no means a worshiper of the guy the Dana bashing is ridiculous. The guy gambled his money and put in god-knows how many hours to make the UFC what it is today. When it makes money, guess what? He gets quite a bit of it, not the guy fighting on the undercard who was in high school while White was busting his ass to keep the company from going under.

  22. George Ou on January 28th, 2010 3:23 PM

    This is an excellent article. It actually tries to reason with facts.

  23. Rob Maysey on January 28th, 2010 5:35 PM

    Isn’t gross margin calculated after cost of good sold?

    “Standard & Poor’s credit reports have indicated that the UFC’s gross margin hovers around 30%, which means that even in the best case scenario of $425 million in revenue, the UFC could only afford to pay roughly 125 fighters $1 million each.”

  24. RICK on January 28th, 2010 10:49 PM

    Zak Woods is an idiot and should be taken into the octagon and showed some love, MMA style! STFU dude!

  25. Alex Davis on January 29th, 2010 4:09 AM

    This is really a great subject, and at the core of this sport. Although there are very good points above, about other events paying less, fighters needing to prove their worth, etc. Although this is true, It is still fact that an athlete will improve depending on the $ he has to invest in himself. I still think that the lower level guys need more $, just to be able to survive in the UFC. I also think that UFCs recent sponsorship policy, although understandable from a business standpoint , is short sighted and actually hurts the UFC product for the long run, because it makes it more difficult for the fighter to obtain endorsements, and more expensive for the sponsor to endorse ( I have been having to face this in my guys last few fights). This is important $ that helps the athlete perform better, specially the kid thats coming in at 3+3….also needs to be remembered that an average fighter will probably fight 2 times in a year, but he will be training all year long. And we are not even adding the variables of the sport, like injury’s, which need to be taken into consideration because they will add to the cost of getting the fighter up into the octagon. This a tough sport, but some guys make it, even working through these difficultys, that doesnt change the fact that the majority of fighters are coming up way short and are taking a very risky investment when they decide to be pro fighters.

  26. Brain Smasher on January 29th, 2010 5:42 AM

    Alex Davis

    Fighters in the UFC seem to be getting by just fine before they made it to the UFC on even less than the UFC is giving them now. Asking them to prove themselves over their rookie 3 fight contract before getting more money doesnt seem to be much to ask.

    The UFC sponsorship policy isnt short sighted. The complete opposite actually. The fighters take a small hit NOW. But it will lead to bigger sponsors later. There is a reason you dont see your local supermaket advertise during the super bowl. Thats because it cost so much that only the elite companies can afford it and that time slot is the most valuable and the most respected.

    Right now you have fighters begging for a sponsor to give them $500. Some are lucky to get clothing and equipment. When all is said and done fighters will have fortune 500 companies paying them 20,000 and up. The ad space on fighters is of higher class. Bud Lite is no longer sharing space or competing against Bud’s BBQ Pit. Also Bud Lite isnt going to pay 20K to put their name on a fighter when there are 40 guys who would do it for 500.

    You may not think it wouks but it does. After the UFC denied press creds to MMA websites. All of a sudden every major media outlet was covering the UFC. The UFC raised the class of media covering them. NY times no longer had to be an equal to every tom dick and harry who started a MMA site who had little to no journalism experience. The amount of media coverage since then has boomed. The same will happen to fighter sponsorships. The UFC is cutting out mom and pop sponsors opening the door for big dog sponsors. This is not just for fighters either. Its very hard for the UFC to get a $1 million sponsor from Budlite and put their logo in the center of the octagon. When they can pay someone like Spenser Fisher 500 and get their name in their and get some of the same benifit. Cheap fighter sponsors is like a loophole around going through the UFC. If the UFC closes that loop hole. Then they are going to attract more Madison Ave sponsors and get bigger sponsors for the fighters as well.

  27. tyler on January 31st, 2010 2:04 PM

    I wonder how big a gun evil Dana is holding to these poor fighters heads to make them fight for peanuts. I do believe slavery was outlawed some time ago. Fighters are not forced to fight for UFC, they choose to knowing what they will make ahead of time.

    Fighters choose to fight for a number of reasons, I just don’t believe what they do entitles them to anything, and that is what we are talking about is entitlement.

    What is fair compensation, it means different things to everyone. is it x amount per fight, endorsements, sponsorships or a combination. Perhaps we should get on tapout for not paying fighters more sponsorship money. Affliction way overcharges for their crappy product, why do they not pony up more dough to fighters.

    At the end of the day, fighters need to make the same choices everyone else makes. If they do not like what they make, they have the freedom to choose something else. these guys often make more than the fans who pay for the product. But if I am wrong, then let’s see how everyone feels paying $100
    for a pay per view to see poor performing fighters makje six figures, or even seven figures or however much would make people stop crying for the poor disadvantaged fighters that are being exploited by the big bad Zuffa corp.

  28. Brain Smasher on January 31st, 2010 11:42 PM

    Great post tyler. Good point about the clothing companies.

  29. Brain Smasher on February 1st, 2010 12:08 AM

    When i read someone complaining fighters don’t make enough they come across as a 12 year old kid who still lives in a fantasy land where mommy and daddy take care of everything. I am far more worried about my own mediocre income and running my very small business to piss and moan that fighters, some i have trained with, don’t make 100 times more than me for doing something they want to do and only do it a few times per year. These guys are not doctors. So they should not be paid more than a doctor unless they are bringing that much money to the table. At this moment the ones who bring the most money in do very well.

    One thing people don’t realize is Zuffa runs the UFC and each event on a budget just like each person and each business do. IF fighters get more money and the UFC don’t get bigger revenue per fight then cards will become more and more watered down. When cost goes up its the consumer who pays for it not the business. The higher cost gets the more likely MMA starts to look like boxing where you have 1 fight that is good and the rest are fighters you never heard of. Yet the price of the PPV stays the same. I dont know about you guys but i love watching the UFC knowing that just about every guy on the card i have seen fight about a dozen times before, has a winning record, and all are top 20 level contenders.

  30. Bryan on February 2nd, 2010 10:56 AM

    Excellent article. I think you’ve really hit it on the head here. The UFC is building the closest thing that can be referred to as “The League” for this sport. It is what it is and there’s a reason why money is spent or not spent.

  31. Boxer's Earnings - Page 2 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on March 9th, 2010 2:59 PM

    […] foolish investments later on. Buster has done a little of that. Not according to Dana White UFC Can’t Afford 200 Millionaires : MMAPayout.com: The Business of MMA though ftr, I seriously doubt those claims, but just to put that out […]

  32. Boxer's Earnings - Page 3 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on March 11th, 2010 9:14 AM

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  33. eDDie on March 22nd, 2010 9:41 AM

    ufc is a fad.

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    […] Check out another MMA Payout piece detailing the real financial structure of the UFC HERE. […]

  35. Dana - 'This is the BIG LEAGUES! Here's your $2000 paycheck...' - Page 7 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on November 24th, 2010 1:54 PM

    […] Posted by spankdaddy Where have you come across that profit margin figure? Here's the link. If you're interested in MMA economics like I am, this is the […]

  36. Dana - 'This is the BIG LEAGUES! Here's your $2000 paycheck...' - Page 10 - Sherdog Mixed Martial Arts Forums on November 24th, 2010 2:20 PM

    […] Posted by Nissl Here's the link. If you're interested in MMA economics like I am, this is the site. Thanks. Very interesting. […]

  37. Ultimate Fighting Championship’s First Stadium Event Is Huge Success - Mike Ozanian - SportsMoney - Forbes on May 11th, 2011 6:04 PM

    […] Toronto showed that UFC has far from peaked because it will generate revenue growth from more stadium events. This, in turn, will help UFC in the one area that could stunt its growth: a shortage of fighters. Higher gate revenue from stadiums versus more intimate arenas will help UFC increase pay, one area where the MMA league drastically falls short of other sports. […]

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