The Economist article states UFC median fight pay is $24,500

August 31, 2015

The Economist wrote a brief opinion piece, entitled, “Truckin’ On,” in this week’s addition which focuses on the UFC and the potential of a fighter union.  The highlighted fact out of the piece is that it states that the median pay-per-fight is $24,500.

It’s not clear where the Economist drew its median number as it does not cite a source. It does cite Conor McGregor’s pay of $500,000 at UFC 189 and that the event drew $7.2 million for 1 million PPV buys.  It also writes about the possibility of a union which might improve fighter pay as it notes the Teamsters partnering with the culinary union.

The Economist article offers a couple short paragraphs about the Teamsters and its history which mentions its issues with corruption within the organization.  It also notes that the Teamsters membership is down which has led it to diversify in ranks and tying in the possibility that MMA could be next.

Payout Perspective:

It’s a very short (less than 500 words) piece which does not take a hard position pro or con as to whether fighters should unionize.  Thus, a sharp contrast to the recent Las Vegas Journal Review op-ed which slammed the union.  Obviously, the median pay of $24,500 is the most memorable thing that will be discussed in this piece.  The piece notes that a fighter usually fights just “a couple times a year.”  Thus, you may make the assumption that median fighter salary for a year is at least $49,000 per year without the added Reebok sponsorship payouts.  Note that there are a number of UFC fighters that would earn below the $49,000 median.

21 Responses to “The Economist article states UFC median fight pay is $24,500”

  1. mmaguru on August 31st, 2015 12:10 PM

    I think that median value might go up with the imminent signing of Fedor by the UFC.

  2. Pink Pig on August 31st, 2015 1:16 PM





  3. saldathief on August 31st, 2015 1:25 PM

    But wait there is a boxer who fought last right who only made $50 pesos bahahahhahaha Those silly ufc girls will say!

  4. saldathief on August 31st, 2015 1:27 PM

    We need to stop comparing a womens sport to mens sport!!!

  5. c on August 31st, 2015 1:33 PM

    mmaguru the median is not an average. It is the middle, as in half the fighters make less and half make more.

  6. Fight Fan on August 31st, 2015 1:51 PM

    may as well be peanuts, by the time the trainers get their cut and all their living expenses are paid they are practically working for free. Dana is a clown who thinks he knows everything. I’d love to hear his spin on this.

  7. d on August 31st, 2015 2:52 PM

    Come on MMAPAYOUT, you guys are better than this. This was a joke of an article that did zero fact checking and just completely pulled a low ball number totally out of their ass. Anyone who takes that article seriously has no credibility.

    Not to mention, what is the median income for banner promoted boxers? Probably around $5,000. Not even close to what UFC fighters make. Why isn’t everyone screaming for a union in boxing?

  8. d on August 31st, 2015 2:53 PM

    Fag Fan, ufc fighters even on a prelim level still make some money- ppv boxers that fight on prelims often pay to fight.

    I bet they didn’t tell you that at your local Buffalo Wild Wings.

  9. BrainSmasher on August 31st, 2015 3:31 PM

    Why do people who know jack shit abut a topic wrote articles as if they are an authority? There is no way they included any bonus money, PPV cut, or undisclosed pay, or sponsors. They have no access to that info which makes their article useless and misleading!

    The numbers is closer to 100,000 per year as their income and that’s pretty damn good for the 300th paid fighter!

  10. Pink Pig on August 31st, 2015 4:06 PM

    Mayweather makes more than all UFC fighters combined for the history of MMA.

    Isn’t that embarrassing?



  11. d on August 31st, 2015 4:08 PM

    And the Fertittas/White make more money than every promotion in boxing combined including Mayweather. Isn’t that embarrassing?

  12. saldathief on August 31st, 2015 6:54 PM

    24k a year is more than any mma fighter will make working at 7 eleven or sweeping up at the gym. D is on another planet with his joy stick and x box, UFC is in a spiral down and using some twat to try to rejuvenate a dying promotion wont work wait and see haha big miscalculation!

  13. saldathief on August 31st, 2015 6:58 PM
  14. The Greatest on September 1st, 2015 12:18 AM


  15. tops E on September 1st, 2015 4:08 AM


  16. d on September 1st, 2015 5:38 AM

    The Gayest desperately squirming again along with Sal. Must be killing them that this is the biggest year for the UFC/MMA ever and they are once again destroying boxing’s numbers. Haha.

  17. Captain Obvious on September 1st, 2015 6:29 AM

    For the dumb people on this post.

    “It’s not clear where the Economist drew its median number as it does not cite a source.”

    This should be obvious, but then again….

  18. Captain Obvious on September 1st, 2015 6:45 AM

    Context is everything when comparing things. Take this example.


    NFL league revenues – $12 billion
    Players in the league – 1,696
    Players Pct Share of Revenues – 26.8%
    Minimum NFL player salary – $435,000
    Average NFL player salary: $1.9 million
    Median NFL player salary: $770,000
    Average NFL career length: 3.5 years

    If you wish to call the UFC cheap, or compare it to boxing, what one needs to do is find out the above numbers for the MMA and boxing industry. Put things into ‘better’ context. But until you can find the said numbers, … any and all posts (which include 90% of the above) tossing around opinions based on no accurate (or available) information, is just dumb. And further cements the title this website owns, as being host to some of the dumbest followers on the internet.

  19. No shit! on September 1st, 2015 10:50 AM

    No shit!

  20. The Greatest on September 1st, 2015 11:36 AM

    Santa Cruz-Mares averaged 1.217m. Probably peaked at 1.6-1.8m.

    Best ratings of the 3 PBC shows on ESPN.
    Thurman-Collazo averaged 799k, peaked 1.1m
    Garcia-Malignaggi averaged 1.073m, peaked 1.5m
    Santa Cruz-Mares averaged 1.217m peaked ???

    D u said the ratings would be goin down but they’ve been going up.

  21. d on September 1st, 2015 2:07 PM

    The ratings have been going down, you are too stupid to even realize you are cherry picking numbers you fucking idiot.

    PBC…..500m in the shitter.

    How can your business last when you lose hundreds of millions, genius?

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