September 19, 2016
Al Iaquinta is off of the UFC 205 card in New York due to a dispute over fighter pay according to FoxSports.com.
Iaquinta (7-2 in the UFC) was going to make $26,000 to show and the potential to double that with a win. In addition, he would receive $5,000 as part of the Reebok deal. Thus, without any unknown locker room bonuses, he would have made a low of $31,000 and a high of $59,000. According to the FoxSports.com report, the UFC has deemed him not eligible to receive a post-fight bonus due to infractions which included missing a fighter summit last year.
Iaquinta was scheduled to face Thiago Alves in the organization’s debut in New York. The native New Yorker decided to turn down his “dream fight” because of a contract dispute. According to Iaquinta, he signed a four-fight deal with the UFC prior to the Reebok deal. He stated that he made more from one sponsor in his previous fights than the $5,000 (the amount he would receive based on the number of fights with the company) he would make in his next fight.
Iaquinta has been out of action for over a year due to a knee injury.
In an interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Iaquinta stated that he is a real estate agent out of the Octagon. He also stated that he never signed the bout agreement as he would likely be fighting for free after paying taxes and his team. Iaquinta did not have nice things to say about Joe Silva who apparently was angered at Iaquinta for backing out of the bout due to money demands. Iaquinta learned of Silva’s comments through his manager.
Iaquinta has a legitimate issue with fighter pay but since he signed the contract with the company there’s not much he can do. If there’s anything that can be learned from this situation, it would be for fighters to learn about their worth and market value. Realistically, Iaquinta may have discovered that his worth is $26K and $26K. But, he could have made more in Bellator. This situation is another argument for a fighter association or union to assist lower-to-mid-level fighters.
September 12, 2016
MMA Fighting reports the salaries from this past weekend’s UFC 203. CM Punk led the list of fighter earnings with $500,000.
Punk would have received no win bonus if he had defeated Mickey Gall in his first professional fight. Gall made $15,000 and $15,000 for his 1st round submission of the former pro wrestler.
Making his first title defense in his hometown, Stipe Miocic earned $600,000 with no win bonus while his opponent, Alistair Overeem, earned $800,000.
Via MMA Fighting:
Stipe Miocic ($600,000 + no win bonus = $600,000) def. Alistair Overeem ($800,000)
Fabricio Werdum ($250,000 + $125,000 = $375,000) def. Travis Browne ($120,000)
Mickey Gall ($15,000 + $15,000 = $30,000) def. CM Punk ($500,000)
Jimmie Rivera ($24,000 + $24,000 = $48,000) def. Urijah Faber ($160,000)
Jessica Andrade ($23,000 + $23,000 = $46,000) def. Joanne Calderwood ($25,000)
Bethe Correia ($25,000 + $25,000 = $50,000) def. Jessica Eye ($25,000)
Brad Tavares ($28,000 + $28,000 = $56,000) def. Caio Magalhaes ($20,000)
Nik Lentz ($38,000 + $38,000 = $76,000) def. Michael McBride ($12,000)
Drew Dober ($19,000 + $19,000 = $38,000) def. Jason Gonzales ($10,000)
Yancy Medeiros ($24,000 + $24,000 = $48,000) def. Sean Spencer ($17,000)
The $500,000 payout for Punk does not include any other ancillary money he might receive from the event. This amount will likely be criticized by fighters. Even those at the top of the pay scale would have to be surprised by this. Of course, there is precedence for Punk’s pay as James Toney made $500,000 in his fight with Randy Couture at UFC 118 back in August 2010. But, the $600,000 for Miocic shows that the champs are getting boosts in pay. Overeem getting paid more than the champ is likely due to his seniority with the company.
September 7, 2016
MMA Fighting reports that UFC 202 is currently estimated at doing 1.65 million PPV buys. The number puts it ahead of UFC 196 in PPV buys.
Prior to this year, the top PPV event for the UFC was UFC 100 which posted 1.6M buys on July 11, 2009. In the main event Brock Lesnar faced Shane Carwin. GSP was also a co-main event on the card.
UFC 202 featured Conor McGregor versus Nate Diaz II. McGregor won a majority decision.
Not only did the PPV buys generated from the satellite and cable distributors reflect strong viewership but the direct buys on UFC Fight Pass were strong as well. The buys from the UFC site are not factored into the buys.
The news is better than the estimated 1.2-1.5M PPV buys as previously reported.
Although the buzz might not have been as strong overall, the buys show that people knew about the event. The buys confirm that Conor is valuable commodity for the UFC and likely worth his reported $3M per fight. He’s drawn over 1.2M PPV buys in his last 3 PPV events.
September 3, 2016
The event drew 11,763 for a live gate of $913,428 U.S. dollars. The UFC announced that the event was a sell-out with 30 percent of ticket sales coming from outside Germany. It was the first time the UFC has visited Hamburg.
Josh Barnett doubled up on the bonuses as he scored with a Performance Bonus and Fight of the Night along with Andrei Arlovski. Ryan Bader received the other Performance Bonus. All received $50,000 each.
August 29, 2016
MMA Fighting reports the salaries from Friday’s Bellator 160. Benson Henderson was the top paid fighter making $75,000 as disclosed by the California State Athletic Commission.
Via MMA Fighting:
Benson Henderson ($75,000 + no win bonus = $75,000) def. Patricio Freire ($50,000)
Derek Anderson ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Saad Award ($18,000)
Georgi Karakhanyan ($17,000 + $17,000 = $34,000) def. Bubba Jenkins ($14,000)
A.J. McKee ($10,000 + $10,000 = $20,000) def. Cody Walker ($8,000)
David Duran ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Kyle Estrada ($1,500)
Steve Ramirez ($1,750 + $1,750 = $3,500) def. Ron Henderson ($2,000)
Joey Davis ($5,000 + no win bonus = $5,000) def. Keith Cutrone ($1,500)
Gabriel Green ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Alex Trinidad ($1,500)
Andy Murad ($2,000 + $2,000 = $4,000) def. Johnny Cisneros ($2,000)
Jake Roberts ($5,000 + $5,000 = $10,000) def. Stephen Martinez ($2,500)
Chinzo Machida ($8,000 + $8,000 = $16,000) def. Mario Navarro Jr. ($2,500)
Jacob Rosales ($1,500 + $1,500 = $3,000) def. Mike Segura ($1,500)
Henderson’s last reported UFC payout was in January 2015 when he made $48,000 in a loss to Donald Cerrone. He did make more as the lightweight champion. At UFC 164, when he lost his belt to Anthony Pettis, he made $110,000. The $75,000 with no win bonus is a likely step up from his UFC pay at the time he left in November 2015.
August 23, 2016
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective for UFC 202. This time we take a look at Diaz-McGregor II at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
McGregor gains revenge on Diaz
It was a majority decision for Conor McGregor as 2 judges scored the bout for McGregor while the third judge determined it a draw. It was a solid back and forth fight with McGregor coming out with a solid game plan but despite a crimson mask, Diaz came back and was able to score a 10-8 round (according to 1 judge). McGregor seemed to tire after round 2 as he attempted to run from exchanges. However, he was able to muster enough to narrowly escape a second loss to Diaz.
Here’s the scorecard for McGregor-Diaz 2. pic.twitter.com/zJTErk9NzZ
— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) August 21, 2016
The question of when the third fight shall happen will likely depend on when McGregor will be available as an injured leg may keep him out until 2017. Could we see Diaz-McGregor III in Vegas in July 2017?
Conor McGregor and Nate Diaz represented 82 percent of the reported salary payouts which we detail below. A definite money fight.
Anrhony Johnson drops Glover
It took one uppercut for Anthony Johnson to end the night for Glover Teixeira. Johnson should get Daniel Cormier next. Johnson is on a roll and it looks like Cormier will need to rely on his wrestling to stop Rumble’s power. This could be one of the main events for the UFC’s debut in New York this November.
Attendance and gate
Although there were reports that the event had trouble selling tickets, it still was a big gate for the UFC. It drew 15,539 for a live gate of $7,692,010 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. A typical McGregor draw.
UFC 196: 14,697 for $8.1M
UFC 194: 16,516 for $10.1M
UFC 189: 16,019 for $7.2M
Ticket prices were slashed for the event per ESPN. There were still tickets available the day of the event.
The $50,000 bonuses went to Conor McGregor, Nate Diaz, Anthony Johnson and Donald Cerrone. Diaz-McGregor earned FOTN while Johnson and Cerrone drew POTN. There were a lot of stoppages to choose from and there could have been several fighters that could have drawn the bonuses.
Conor McGregor made history by making the most of any reported payout for an MMA fighter when the NSAC disclosed he would receive $3 million for the fight. Diaz came in second in payouts with $2 million. The two drew over 80% of the reported overall payouts.
The full list is here.
Promotion of the Fight
The Pre-Fight Press Conference was a spectacle with bottle throwing and middle fingers everywhere. With McGregor showing up late, it seemed to make Diaz mad as he got up and left and that’s when the presser went off the rails.
Things just got real between Diaz and McGregor at the UFC 202 press conference. pic.twitter.com/cxD8yYBl4W
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 17, 2016
Also of note, Nate Diaz appeared on Conan and Jimmy Kimmel.
Conor McGregor did not do as many appearances but did another CNBC interview.
He also did an ESPN interview post-water bottle throwing and the censors were too slow to catch up with some profanity.
There was also a GQ profile on McGregor.
The promotion of the fight included twitter emojis for Diaz and McGregor when you used their hashtags. Other fighters and famous folks did videos on twitter holding up the hashtag of they believed would win the fight.
— UFC (@ufc) August 16, 2016
The UFC 196 replay featuring Diaz-McGregor I was shown on FS1 Thursday night before the fight and drew over 200,000 viewers despite Olympics and NFL Preseason on the same night. The first fight was available for free online too.
The UFC weigh-ins drew 173,000 viewers on Friday night and was followed by a replay of the “Bad Blood” special on Diaz-Conor which drew 162,000 viewers.
The regular UFC sponsors were in the octagon including MetroPCS, Toyo Tires, Harley Davidson, Bud Light, 7-Eleven, UFC Fight Pass and Monster Energy Drink had the center of the octagon. The movie “Hands of Stone,” which is about the Roberto Duran-Sugar Ray Leonard fight. Bud Light had the fighter prep point.
The octagon also included the twitter hashtags for Nate Diaz and Conor McGregor.
Conor McGregor, who has an individual sponsorship with Reebok, did posts and a video for Reebok promoting himself and UFC 202.
Donald Cerrone had a Monster Energy Drink logo and Bud Light sponsorship on his shorts. He also held the Monster can post-fight after his stoppage of Rick Story.
Odds and Ends
No “Face the Pain” music intro to the PPV. Perhaps a call by the new owners.
Conor McGregor claimed that he spent $300,000 on his training camp in preparation for Nate Diaz. That’s 10% of his reported payout for his fight with Diaz.
Cerrone said that it was his last fight on his contract but his reps stated otherwise. Regardless, he seemed set on re-signing with the UFC instead of testing free agency.
Despite the payout for Nate, Nick remains suspended due to the fact he has yet to pay his fine from the settlement with the commission. As a result, he was banned from the arena and precluded from cornering Nate.
We’ll probably talk about Nate and his post-fight vaping later this week.
The Dominick Cruz-Alpha Male feud continues as Cody Carbrandt stopped Takeya Mizugaki in the first round. Cruz stopped Mizugaki in the first round in his return from injury. Post-fight Carbrandt turned his attention to Cruz who was in the FS1 booth.
Was that Eva Marie or Rando Markos with the red hair?
New thing for fighters. They get to see tweets in the locker rooms:
— Shanda (@UFC_Shanda) August 20, 2016
Mike Perry may be the most-hated UFC fighter already. Not only did he fake a handshake with his opponent at the televised weigh-ins. There is audio of his corner possibly using racial slurs. This, in addition to having a long fingernail going into the Octagon and then, without a clipper in site, he attempted to chew it off.
Gordon Ramsey, Skip Bayless, Dwight Howard and Kanye West were all in attendance at UFC 202.
It was Neil Magny’s last fight on his contract but his upset loss to Lorenz Larking probably does not help his cause when negotiating with the UFC.
No post-fight press conference as fighters had individual scrums. A sign of the times for the new ownership?
The Pro Fighter’s Association held a press conference in Vegas during fight week to establish its potential roll in a fighter’s union for the UFC. It will be a long, hard road for this to happen but we shall see.
5 million google searches on Saturday for UFC 202 might infer that the PPV buy rate will soar over 1M buys. Certainly, the lack of tickets sales may be a concern but realize that the UFC moved into T-Mobile Arena versus most of their other big events taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. T-Mobile holds more people so maybe the UFC overestimated the attendance. While the event seemed to lack the buzz of a typical McGregor fight, it will still produce PPV buy rates. I would expect this event to hit 1M buys.
August 22, 2016
MMA Junkie reports the full roster of disclosed payouts from Saturday’s UFC 202. The main event accounted for 82% of the reported payouts from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
As previously reported, Conor McGregor earned $3 million (no bonus) and Nate Diaz earned $2 million (no bonus). While there was no bonus associated with their purse, the two won a $50,000 bonus for their epic fight.
The rest of the card is as follows:
Conor McGregor: $3 million (no win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $2 million
Anthony Johnson: $270,000 (includes $135,000 win bonus)
def. Glover Teixeira: $65,000
Donald Cerrone: $170,000 (includes $85,000 win bonus)
def. Rick Story: $41,000
Mike Perry: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Hyun Gyu Lim: $18,000
Tim Means: $62,000 (includes $31,000 win bonus)
def. Sabah Homasi: $12,000
Cody Garbrandt: $54,000 (includes $27,000 win bonus)
def. Takeya Mizugaki: $39,000
Raquel Pennington: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
def. Elizabeth Phillips: $12,000
Artem Lobov: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Avila: $10,000
Cortney Casey: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Randa Markos: $14,000
Lorenz Larkin: $78,000 (includes $39,000 win bonus)
def. Neil Magny: $47,000
Colby Covington: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. Max Griffin: $10,000
Marvin Vettori: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Alberto Uda: $10,000
The biggest disclosed payday for an MMA fighter goes to McGregor. Of course, this does not include any discretionary bonuses or PPV points he may receive from the PPV. It’s estimated that 202 likely hit 1M PPV buys (unconfirmed) so it was a good return for McGregor. Anthony Johnson earned third highest on the card including his Performance of the Night Bonus and Donald Cerrone (at the end of his fight contract) earned $220,000 including his Performance of the Night Bonus.
August 20, 2016
The Nevada State Athletic Commission has disclosed that main event participants will receive $5 million for their fight tonight at UFC 202. Conor McGregor will receive a UFC record $3 million and Nate Diaz will earn $2 million.
The $3 million will be the highest-reported amount given to a UFC fighter in the company’s history. Yes, we know about the undisclosed payouts fighters receive but this is the highest amount disclosed to the commission.
Anthony Johnson is reported to make $135,000 to show and another $135,000 as a win bonus. Glover Teixeira will make $65,000 and another $65,000 if he wins. Donald Cerrone is set to make $85,000 and $85,000 win bonus.
As for the rest of the card, this:
Five of the 22 fighters get the minimum $10k/$10k win bonus — all purse info came from Nevada athletic commission.
— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) August 20, 2016
McGregor made a reported $1M at UFC 196 and the $3M payout (no win bonus) out-earns Brock Lesnar. The WWE pro-wrestler made $2.5M at UFC 200. Diaz earns a raise of at least $1.5M from his win this past March. Despite his loss, the UFC still believes that McGregor is a top-of-the-card draw.
August 3, 2016
MMA Fighting reports the salaries from WSOF 32 this past Saturday in Everett, Washington. WSOF headliner Marlon Moraes topped the salaries with $180,000.
The salaries were disclosed by the Washington State Department of Licensing.
Via MMA Fighting:
Marlon Moraes ($90,000 + $90,000 = $180,000) def. Josh Hill ($10,000)
Lance Palmer ($28,000 + $28,000 = $56,000) def. Alexandre Almeida ($12,000)
Caros Fodor* ($18,000 + $15,000 = $33,000) def. Phoenix Jones* ($12,000)
Louis Taylor ($6,000 + $6,000 = $12,000) def. Phil Hawes ($5,000)
Hakeem Dawodu ($6,000 + $6,000 = $12,000) def. Marat Magomedov ($3,000)
Rex Harris ($3,000 + $3,000 = $6,000) def. Nicolai Salchow ($3,000)
Andrews Nakahara ($4,000 + $4,000 = $8,000) def. Travis Doerge ($1,500)
Matt Kovacs ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Bill Widler ($1,500)
Brett Malone ($750 + $750 = $1,500) def. Patrick Benson ($750)
Matt Coble ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Colt Hausauer ($700)
Tycen Lynn ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Justin Hugo ($1,000)
Joe Elzea ($1,000 + $1,000 = $2,000) def. Marcos Lopez ($1,000)
*Fodor received 20-percent of Jones’ purses due to Jones missing weight
The payouts reflect the issue with pay among fighters. Moraes, who the WSOF will want to keep to help attract fans is at the top of the company pay scale making $90K/$90K. Two fighters (Benson and Hausauer) made $750 and $700 respectively. It was Benson’s second pro fight. It was Hausauer’s eighth pro fight although the first with a major organization. I am not sure what to make of these payouts. Either WSOF does not have the capital to pay all of its fighters or we should not consider WSOF a major MMA organization.
August 1, 2016
MMA Junkie reports the payouts from this past Saturday’s UFC 201. The headliners drew the top pay for the card.
The payouts were disclosed by the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission.
Tyron Woodley: $340,000 (includes $70,000 win bonus)
def. Robbie Lawler: $500,000
Karolina Kowalkiewicz: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus)
def. Rose Namajunas: $46,000
Jake Ellenberger: $150,000 (includes $75,000 win bonus)
def. Matt Brown: $73,000
Erik Perez: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Francisco Rivera: $23,000
Ryan Benoit: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
def. Fredy Serrano: $12,000
Nikita Krylov: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Ed Herman: $51,000
Jorge Masvidal: $114,000 (includes $57,000 win bonus)
def. Ross Pearson: $54,000
Anthony Hamilton: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Damian Grabowski: $18,000
Wilson Reis: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Hector Sandoval: $12,000
Michael Graves: $12,000
vs. Bojan Velickovic: $14,000 (fight was declared a majority draw)
Damien Brown: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Cesar Arzamendia: $10,000
As always, the payouts do not include the Reebok Outfitting Policy Payouts, fight night bonuses as well as other undisclosed bonuses.
The payouts do not include Ian McCall and his show and win bonus despite not fighting. Notably, Jake Ellenberger made $75K/$75K plus an extra $50K for his stoppage of Matt Brown. A nice $200K for a guy that was going to be out of a job in the UFC.