Does GSP make $12M a year?

November 21, 2013

Forbes.com ran an article last week on Georges St. Pierre and how he makes $12 million per year.  The article gives a rundown of all of GSPs revenue streams including salary, PPV and sponsorships.

According to Forbes, GSP made “roughly $9 million combined from his past two fights” and another $3 million from “endorsements, memorabilia and licensing.”

If we are to parse out his past two fights, which would be UFC 158 (against Nick Diaz) and UFC 154 (against Carlos Condit) he would have made $870,000 in reported salary and bonuses and an additional $8,130,000.

GSP’s payday for UFC 158 was $400,000 total.  The buy rate was a reported 950,000 PPV buys.

GSP’s payday for UFC 154 was $200,000show/$200,000 win plus $70,000 for Fight of the Night for a total of $470,000.  The buy rate was a reported 700,000 PPV buys.

If GSP received the rest of his pay via PPV revenue for the past two events, he received around $5 per PPV buy. While his $9 million in pay has been reported from sources close to GSP according to the article, extrapolating the numbers from the pay sources (i.e., salary, bonuses, PPV), it’s debatable whether his earnings were $9 million for the past 2 fights. He may have received another lump sum bonus, but once again, this seems like a hefty amount of money to give GSP.

The $3 million in sponsorships is believable as GSP has blue chip sponsors in Under Armour, Coca Cola, Google and MMA brands Affliction and Hayabusa.

Next year, GSP’s earnings will also include his part in a Captain America movie which will open in 2014.

Payout Perspective:

As Dana White told and retold reporters on Saturday night, GSP is rich.  GSPs salary/bonuses and PPV upside has to be the biggest in the company if he could make over $8 million in PPV earnings alone. But making $5 per PPV buy would seem very high for just one fighter.  Whether or not GSP has made $9 million in his last two fights, it’s clear that he’s the highest paid fighter in the company.  The TMZ rumors are bad for business for GSP’s personal brand but should not affect his UFC earnings.  At this point, GSP does not need to fight so long as he’s invested his money wisely.  But knowing that he’s a big draw, the UFC will try to keep him (despite his hefty salary) from taking too long of an absence.

16 Responses to “Does GSP make $12M a year?”

  1. ironbuddha on November 21st, 2013 3:11 PM

    His PPV rate may not be a flat rate. It wouldn’t make sense to pay him $5 for the first 250,000 buys, a number most PPVs can reach, I wouldn’t be surprised if he was scaled, hypothetically, for $2 for the first 250,000, $4 for 250,000 to 500,000, $6 for 500,000 to 750,000, and $8 for everything above 750,000.

    Again, just pulling numbers out of my butt, However, if I was going to give my cashcow a cut of PPV, that’s the way I’d set it up. That gives him every incentive to promote his ass off for those bigger cuts.

  2. Sampson Simpson on November 21st, 2013 6:18 PM

    Hahahaha! $4.5 million per fight?

    Boxers where making that in the 80s.

  3. mmaguru on November 21st, 2013 6:20 PM

    Revenue must be from other sources. I do not believe that GSP or any fighter for that matter takes that big of a chunk out of PPV buys – more likely the highest portion for any fighter might be close to $2/ppv buy. Anyway, how the $5/ppv was derived seems correct though. So something is not right.

  4. Sherm on November 21st, 2013 7:45 PM

    Still not enough.

  5. dfdfdfdf on November 21st, 2013 8:54 PM

    Write an article about pay for dealers at Station Casinos… I heard its like 10000 a YEAR plus tips and no benefits.

    Lorenzo treats their employees like sh*t and Labor issues follow him to every
    business is he a part of…

    This impacts MMA b/c the Culinary Union wants to unionize Station Casinos and is blocking MMA in NY until ZUffa folds..

  6. Jeremy on November 21st, 2013 9:49 PM

    MMAGuru,

    Years ago, Randy Couture’s PPV cut topped out at $3 a buy. I have no problem accepting the idea that Silva and GSP, the two top guys, get 4-5 per buy. GSP is the company’s top draw.

  7. BrainSmasher on November 21st, 2013 9:57 PM

    I think the $5 per PPV is very possible. The standard rate we know of from contract talks is $2. But we also have to remember that we only know of guys who really had no leverage. Overeem was coming from very lo0w pay in SF. I was actually surprised the UFC even gave him a PPV cut. He had no leverage and no one was bidding against them. Then we have Eddie Alverez who was in the same boat but brought less to the table. After that you have to do back to Couture’s contract which was 6 years ago. That was the only fighter with leverage and star power and value to the UFC. Even he was paid more than $2 at specific sales milestones way bck then. Salaries have went up drastically since then. Also Couture was coming off of loses when he signed that contract. So even that doesn’t really represent a huge star even for the time.

    Skip ahead 6 years with a champion who is top 2 MMA fighter of all time and on a long streak who sales. I don’t think there is much doubt he is getting more than $2 per Buy. When you consider there has never even been a hold out of even any discussion about contract issues with GSP. I cant even remember hearing about him ever being on a last fight of a contract. This shows the UFC is taking care of him to the point GSP has never really had to play hardball. I believe he is making well over $4 million per fight just from the UFC.

  8. Tops of on November 22nd, 2013 1:22 AM

    Brandon rios would be getting 4million against pacman…..gsp is way way popular compared to Brandon rios…..lol

  9. Machiel Van on November 22nd, 2013 9:40 AM

    It’s all about what you can negotiate.

    “He may have received another lump sum bonus, but once again, this seems like a hefty amount of money to give GSP.”
    “But making $5 per PPV buy would seem very high for just one fighter.”

    I don’t understand what this statement is based on. We have no real knowledge of how the PPV points work in the UFC outside of a few tiny windows (like the Randy Couture contract dispute way back in 2007-2008, and the Alvarez situation), we don’t really know how the undisclosed bonuses work, and we certainly have zero knowledge of the closed-door negotiations that go on between Zuffa and various managers.

  10. Machiel Van on November 22nd, 2013 9:49 AM

    And good lord, MMA IS NOT BOXING. Do you really think that boxing promoters would pay those salaries if they didn’t feel that they had to? They would LOVE to be able to pay their top fighters UFC money if they could get away with it.

    If Golden Boy or Top Rank folded all of a sudden, you’d see those payouts fall back to Earth very quickly. No such competition exists in the MMA space; there is a #1 and a DISTANT #2 in terms of pay. Both Bellator and the UFC have large discrepancies between the pay of fighters who draw and those who don’t, but the top tier fighters in the UFC are paid FAR better than their Bellator counterparts. No comparable The current landscape of MMA just isn’t conducive to the same type of bidding war that exists with the Top Rank/Golden Boy dynamic.

    Boxing is also subject to the Ali Act. There is nothing comparable when it comes to MMA. But no, let’s just continue to make nonsensical comparisons of two completely different sports as if they’re the same. That’ll certainly lead to informed and constructive discourse.

  11. Machiel Van on November 22nd, 2013 9:53 AM

    When Eddie Alvarez, who’s not a proven PPV draw in any way, shape, or form (since he’s NEVER been on PPV), was offered a contract that would’ve given him $2.50 per buy above 600,000 buys, it confuses me as to why people would question that the top PPV draw in the sport, proven across years and years worth of events, would be able to negotiate twice that amount.

  12. Machiel Van on November 22nd, 2013 9:54 AM

    It is, however, an example of how competition can significantly drive a fighter’s value up, JUST LIKE IT DOES IN BOXING.

  13. Tops of on November 23rd, 2013 1:55 AM

    Mv is upset hahaha…

  14. mmaguru on November 23rd, 2013 9:18 PM

    Anything is possible, but we know with Couture’s scale, the UFC revealed as follows:
    *Less than 100,000 buys: No money
    *100,000-175,000 buys: $1.00/buy
    *175,000-300,000 buys: $1.50/buy
    *300,000-330,000 buys: $2.00/buy
    *Over 330,000 buys: $3.00/buy
    According to the documents, the UFC claimed to have paid Randy $787,000 for UFC 74, with an estimated 485K buys (p.s. not sure where this site’s blue book number came from but it’s higher than what the UFC revealed in their release). The math works out to an average 1.62 per buy, obviously the more his events sold, the higher the average would be.

    GSP would have a similar scale, maybe he has an additional few levels, say a $4 level from 500K to 650K buys and a $5 level from 650+ (which i doubt), he still will be averaging less than $5/buy, probably something closer to $3 if the ppv sold 700K.

    Think about that, and try to make a logical assumption as Jason has. Anything is possible, but in this case it’s highly unlikely.

  15. Saintanic on November 24th, 2013 12:03 AM

    Machial:

    I believe Alvarez was offered the PPV buyrate bonus IF he got onto PPV. I seem to remember that he wasn’t even offered an immediate title shot, but was given a “win and your in” type of deal such as given to Rampage, Crocop, and Shogun when they transferred into the UFC.

    So yeah, the 2.50 was only ever hypothetical as far as i can tell.

  16. Diego on November 25th, 2013 9:51 AM

    “It is, however, an example of how competition can significantly drive a fighter’s value up, JUST LIKE IT DOES IN BOXING.”

    Agree 100%.

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