September 10, 2013
MMA Junkie reports the payouts from UFC Fight Night 26 which took place in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite losses, Alistair Overeem and Shogun Rua came out as financial winners topping the official salary report.
Via MMA Junkie:
Chael Sonnen: $100,000 (no win bonus)
def. Mauricio Rua: $175,000
Travis Browne: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Alistair Overeem: $285,714.29
Urijah Faber: $120,000 (includes $60,000 win bonus)
def. Yuri Alcantara: $16,000
Matt Brown: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Pyle: $45,000
John Howard: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Uriah Hall: $10,000
Michael Johnson: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Lauzon: $27,000
Michael McDonald: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Brad Pickett: $23,000
Conor McGregor: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Max Holloway: $14,000
Steven Siler: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Brown: $30,000
Diego Brandao: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Daniel Pineda: $15,000
Manny Gamburyan: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Cole Miller: $26,000
Ovince St. Preux: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
def. Cody Donovan: $8,000
James Vick: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Ramsey Nijem: $14,000
The total payroll for its debut on FS1 was $1,302,714.29.
Hefty salaries for the ‘Reem and Rua might make them expendable when their fight contracts end. Overeem would have made an additional $142K plus and Rua would have made an extra $75K with wins. It looks like the UFC signing of Overeem may be the equivalent of a free agent bust.
Notably, Sonnen made $100K with no win bonus. Sonnen made just $50K in his fight against Jon Jones at UFC 159. Other notables, Conor McGregor had a base of $12K and won for another $12K. Former TUF star Uriah Hall made just $10K and Cody Donovan made just $8K, lowest on the payroll, in his second fight in the UFC.
August 12, 2013
MMA Junkie reports the salaries for this past Saturday’s World Series of Fighting 4 event held in Ontario, California. Tyrone Spong, Gerald Harris and Ray Sefo headed the list of top earners for the night.
The total payroll for the night was $225,000
Via MMA Junkie:
Tyrone Spong: $31,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
def. Angel DeAnda: $4,000
Marlon Moraes: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Hempleman: $3,000
Nick Newell: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Keon Caldwell: $2,000
Dave Huckaba: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Ray Sefo: $30,000
Gesias Cavalcante: $18,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
def. Tyson Griffin: $8,000
Gerald Harris: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Jorge Santiago: $13,000
Lewis Gonzales: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Antonio McKee: $6,000
Jared Papazian: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. John Robles: $2,000
Victor Valenzuela: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Isaac Gutierrez: $2,000
A look at the payroll reveals that Sefo had the top base salary at $30,000. Not sure what that says about fighter pay if the guy who is president pays himself the most. Perhaps that’s coming out of his salary. Its obvious that WSOF has a smaller budget than the UFC and for guys like Harris, Jared Papazian, Tyson Griffin and Antonio McKee the paydays are smaller.
As an example, the last official reported payout in the UFC for Jared Papazian was $6,000 in a loss to Dustin Pague at UFC on FX3 in June 2012. Saturday he made $4,000 total ($2K/$2K).
July 30, 2013
The Washington State Department of Licensing has released the purse information from Saturday’s UFC on Fox 8 show. Notably, Robbie Lawler led the roster with a total of $156,000 ($78K win/$78K show) while Flyweight Champ Demetrious Johnson was sixth on the roster in terms of base salary.
In addition, the DOL released the total attendance and comps. Total attendance 8,967 and total gate $700,081. Total paid tickets 6,619. Total comps 2,348 tickets.
Via MMA Junkie:
Demetrious Johnson: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. John Moraga: $17,000
Rory MacDonald: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Jake Ellenberger: $52,000
Robbie Lawler: $156,000 (includes $78,000 win bonus)
def. Bobby Voelker: $12,000
Liz Carmouche: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Jessica Andrade: $8,000
Jorge Masvidal: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)
def. Michael Chiesa: $15,000
Danny Castillo: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Means: $12,000
Melvin Guillard: $84,000 (includes $42,000 win bonus)
def. Mac Danzig: $30,000
Daron Cruickshank: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Yves Edwards: $21,000
Ed Herman: $74,000 (includes $37,000 win bonus)
def. Trevor Smith: $8,000
Germaine de Randamie: $18,000 (includes $9000 win bonus)
def. Julie Kedzie: $9,000
Justin Salas: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Aaron Riley: $14,000
Yaotzin Meza: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. John Albert: $10,000
The total payroll for this event was $850,000. Lawler, Ellenberger, Guillard, Herman, Danzig and Masvidal all had higher base salaries than Demetrious Johnson. In fact, Johnson tied for sixth on the list with Danny Castillo. Rory MacDonald was low on the pay scale with a $24K/$24K payout here.
As for the reported gate, it was $35K lower than what was originally reported. Also, over 2,300 comps shows that the UFC tried to fill up a rather sparse KeyArena.
July 23, 2013
In an interview with South Korean MMA web site, CorMMA, Featherweight challenger Chan Sung Jung said he will be making $20,000 to show and $20,000 to win in his upcoming fight with Jose Aldo on Saturday, August 3rd. Jung aka The Korean Zombie was a replacement for Anthony Pettis who was injured.
The Korean Zombie’s pay highlights the issue of pay which has been a popular trend. In comparison, Featherweight champion Jose Aldo made $120,000 to win and $120,000 to show in his last event at UFC 156. Its expected that Aldo will make as much for the event.
KZ also stated that he would not be making any PPV points despite being in the main event.
How much fight money are you receiving for this fight?
I will be making 20,000 dollars to show, and another 20,000 dollars if I win. I do not get any PPV points. After 2 more fights, I will be able to negotiate my contract. Hopefully, I will be in a good position when that happens.
KZ’s pay actually represents an increase in his fight pay. At UFC 140, he received only $5K/$5K but did win a $75K KO of the night bonus. In his last fight, he made $17K/$17K as he beat Dustin Poirer on May 15, 2012.
The one interesting note from KZ’s interview is that he said he let his girlfriend borrow $11,000 and jokingly said he “wasn’t nervous at all” in doing it. At least KZ has a sense of humor. He was very honest in the interview and the fact that KZ is getting outpaid by his opponent by at least $100,000 is eye-opening but not surprising. KZ was a replacement for Anthony Pettis. The last official reported payout for Anthony Pettis was at UFC 136 where he made $10K and $10K in October 2011. There were no official salaries released for his last two fights against Joe Lauzon (Feb. 2012) or Donald Cerrone (Jan. 2013). So, we may have seen the same discrepancy as well.
July 8, 2013
MMA Junkie reports the full slate of reported salaries from the Nevada State Athletic Commission from UFC 162 this past weekend. As reported earlier, Anderson Silva tops the list at $600,000 with the new champion, Chris Weidman receiving a total of $48,000.
Via MMA Junkie
Chris Weidman: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Anderson Silva: $600,000
Frankie Edgar: $240,000 (includes $120,000 win bonus)
def. Charles Oliveira: $21,000
Tim Kennedy: $90,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
def. Roger Gracie: $50,000
Mark Munoz: $84,000 (includes $42,000 win bonus)
def. Tim Boetsch: $37,000
Cub Swanson: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. Dennis Siver: $33,000
Andrew Craig: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Leben: $51,000
Norman Parke: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Kazuki Tokudome: $8,000
Gabriel Gonzaga: $58,000 (includes $29,000 win bonus)
def. Dave Herman: $23,000
Edson Barboza: $46,000 (includes $23,000 win bonus)
def. Rafaello Oliveira: $14,000
Brian Melancon: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Seth Baczynski: $16,000
Mike Pierce: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus)
def. David Mitchell: $10,000
Notably, Tim Kennedy made $60,000 with a $30,000 win bonus for a total of $90,000 which is not what he stated in pre-fight interviews in which he said he would be making a reported $70,000 but taking home only $20,000.
No surprises from the list. Silva was scheduled to make an additional $200K if he had not clowned around and beat Weidman. Brian Melancon and Kazuki Tokudume made the least amount on the fight roster ($8K) although Melancon picked up a win bonus for a total of $16K. Frankie Edgar made the second most on the night with $240K ($120K/$120K).
July 7, 2013
Welcome to another edition of Payout Perspective. This time we take a look at the unusual end to the title reign of Anderson Silva at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Silva kisses title reign goodbye
- “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown.” – Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part II
It was relief, not disappointment that seemed to be the emotion from Anderson Silva after his loss to Chris Weidman. It was an unfortunate end to a great reign for The Spider. He elevated the UFC by his complete dominance over a division. Unlike GSP post-Serra, Silva put on some memorable highlight reel finishes. But with his impressive wins came an heir of invincibility and arrogance. This was highlighted by an irritating grandstanding performance at UFC 112 where he denigrated the talents of Demian Maia. Despite threats of cutting Silva after his antics in Abu Dhabi, Dana White did nothing. The Spider was just that good. He added an occasional showboat move here and there since 112 to add a degree of difficulty to his fights. Last July he gave away the first round in his highly anticipated rematch with Chael Sonnen but proceeded to end him in the second.
But Saturday was something Silva’s legacy did not need. A foolish end to what should be a respected title reign. One has to wonder if Silva, who always appears to be in control in the Octagon, chose his own demise. His immediate response to questions of a rematch was that he didn’t want one. While we have to believe he will change his mind, maybe the pressures of being considered the GOAT have weighed him down. Then again, would the GOAT ever do such a stupid thing in the Octagon and actually be a “goat”.
It’s perplexing to understand Silva. He’s a martial artist but shouldn’t a martial artist not disrespect his opponent let alone underestimate him? Moreover, his antics disrespected the event and platform he was given. Yes, the idea was to intimidate Weidman on Saturday. And to a certain extent, I understand the “no sell” of punches and smiling at Weidman. It was part of Silva’s game plan – have Weidman melt under the pressure. But, unlike others, Weidman stayed the course and did not fall into too much of a trap (although he did attempt to no sell punches too).
Weidman’s game plan was not tricky when it came to what to do if Silva clowned him: Punch him in the face. Or in his chest as his corner told him. Not too hard to understand.
The UFC immediate plans go out the window here. Superfights against Jones or GSP are out of the question. An immediate rematch appears to be the only choice for Silva. The Super Bowl card in New Jersey in 2014 appears to be the most practicable time for a rematch. It will be coupled with Fox’s plan for a weekend of events to accompany its rights to the big game.
Looking at it with the glass half full, the UFC gets an American champion from New York with a great backstory. Weidman’s story of having no home after Hurricane Sandy will be eaten up by mainstream media outlets. He can also be the poster boy for another run at legalizing MMA in New York. The UFC will have to build up the Weidman brand in order for him to get at or near the Anderson Silva level. Yet, it can build from the ground up with Weidman although this will take multiple PPVs to get him a following.
Edgar gets needed win against Oliveira
In one of the Fight of the Nights, Frankie Edgar had one of the best performances of the night against a game Charles Oliveira. Both fighters constantly moved through the match and despite losing, Oliveira showed that he’s a threat in the Featherweight division.
Frankie looked sharp and I would suggest a meeting with Cub Swanson to see who gets to face the Featherweight champion.
Munoz transformation complete
“I ate because I was sad, sad because I ate.” Mark Munoz paraphrased from the character Fat Bastard of the Austin Powers movie series in an interview earlier in the week to underscore his battle with depression which caused him to balloon up in weight. Munoz lost over 60 pounds and looked phenomenal at the weigh-ins. Moreover, he dominated a tough Tim Boetsch.
Maybe added motivation for Munoz was the fact that Chris Weidman, the guy who destroyed him about a year earlier, was in the main event.
Attendance and gate
MMA Junkie reports that the attendance for the event was 12,399 for a gate of $4.862 million. These numbers were announced at the post-UFC162 press conference. The numbers are unofficial but White had indicated similar numbers earlier in the week. UFC 160 had attendance of 12,380 for a gate of $2.9 million
Bonuses awarded were given $50,000 each. With no submission of the night, the UFC decided to award two Fight of the Nights. Thus, it paid out an extra $50,000.
FOTN: Edgar v. Oliveira, Swanson v. Dennis Siver
KO of the Night: Chris Weidman
Weidman was the obvious choice, but I would have liked to see Gabriel Gonzaga here too.
Promotion of the Fight
It was interesting that the UFC decided to utilize other fighters to establish the credibility of Chris Weidman by using other fighters to speak about how good he is. The fact that so many fighters picked Weidman (and the UFC sent out a press release stating this) told you that he may be something special. But, the UFC marketing was probably needed considering Weidman had been out for a year and although the Munoz KO was impressive, Munoz was heavy and battling injuries.
Speaking of Munoz, it was interesting how much press Munoz received with his “Husky Boy” pictures. He spoke out about his depression and how he overcame it. Certainly a good story and it almost trumped Chris Weidman during fight week.
Weidman appeared on the Jim Rome Show but there seemed to be little, if any, other national media for Weidman or Silva for that matter.
Octagon sponsors included MetroPCS, TapouT, Ultimate Poker, Xyience, Dodge, Alienware, the 20th Century Fox release of The Wolverine and Bud Light in the center and at the prep point. Dodge had a new logo for the Octagon, its Dodge “Ram” and its signature tag line, “Guts, Glory, Ram” on one of the corner posts. Bud Light also did something new with its logo.
Tyron Woodley introduced The Wolverine clip which was shown right before the main event. Interesting the UFC chose Woodley to do this intro.
Anderson Silva was sponsored by Burger King, Wizard, Nike, Axe Body Spray and Vicks. The Vicks sponsorship is interesting but perhaps he could use it on his chin after being knocked out by Weidman. The Axe Body Spray may explain the weigh-in “kiss”. Silva also had new Nike t-shirts as well as ads for Nike Pro Combat.
Chris Weidman was sponsored by Bad Boy Clothing, Muscle Milk, Profile Performance, Air Force Reserve and American Ethanol.
Other notable sponsorships:
Chris Leben was sponsored by Sisu Mouthgards. Tim Kennedy had RangerUp and RevGear.
It appeared that Frankie Edgar was sponsored by the UFC as his corner wore UFC hats and the UFC was the biggest logo on his fight banner. In addition, he had Alienware and Affliction.
Among his sponsors, Cub Swanson was sponsored by PowerBuilt Golf.
Mark Munoz was sponsored by Lunarpages. The same sponsor for Jake Ellenberger, his training partner. He also donned the Oklahoma State colors. A nice added touch. He was also sponsored by Triumph United, Osiris Shoes and Virus Action Sports Performance clothing.
Post UFC 162 Headlines
Chris Weidman, Frankie Edgar, Charles Oliveira, Mark Munoz and Cub Swanson all had impressive nights. Despite Oliveira’s loss, the UFC found a gem and he’s only 23. Edgar and Swanson add some spice to a Featherweight division that just got harder for Jose Aldo.
Munoz has a great story and its a likely “wait and see” on how his path to a title shot occurs (or does not occur). He’ll have to string together a couple more wins before he can be in the picture. And at 35, the window of opportunity may be slight.
Weidman was the star of the night. Regardless of how it was accomplished, he proved the fighters that sung his praises. Now, its up to the UFC to make him a star.
On the flip side, the more compelling story may be what happens with Anderson Silva. The fight will be analyzed and overanalyzed by all of us but whether it was overconfidence, stupidity or boredom with fighting, Silva’s performance was inexcusable. With a 10 fight contract still in place, it will be interesting to see what Silva does from here on out. Its likely that there will be a rematch and we’ll see a more focused, serious Anderson Silva, but he’ll be facing a more confident and experienced Chris Weidman.
Odds and Ends
- Silva was paid $600K with a $200K win bonus if he would have defeated Weidman. Weidman earned $24K and $24K for a total of $48K.
- What would happen to your shin if you tried to check an Edson Barboza leg kick?.
- Fitting that Munoz wore a “Keep Olympic Wrestling” Shirt with his logo and he displayed the best wrestling in the Octagon of his career.
- For Dave Herman last night, BJJ does not exist if you get hit in the face first.
- With the craziness of the Weidman-Silva fight, Tim Kennedy must be happy to go through the night unscathed by scrutiny although Dave Meltzer indicated on The Figure Four podcast this morning that Dana White yelled at him in front of everyone at the fighter meeting.
- Steven Segal was sitting next to Mike Tyson last night. It would have been interesting to hear the conversation between the two.
- One of the better things that happened with Silva losing, the talk of him fighting Roy Jones, Jr. in a boxing match should go away.
- The UFC handed out 11,000 towels to fans attending UFC 162 and let them pick between a U.S. flag towel or Brazil. A good promo for the event and a way to highlight the main event.
As we indicated in our PPV History, the event was solely based on Anderson Silva. While Edgar-Oliveira was a great fight, Edgar is not a PPV draw. As Meltzer pointed out, and many logically will conclude, the PPV replay will likely boost PPV sales simply because people who originally passed on the PPV because of the lack of interest will now gladly spend it to see Silva’s knockout and the other exciting fights on the card. With that being said, its likely that the original live PPV buys will be around 600,000.
July 6, 2013
MMA Junkie reports the preliminary numbers released on gate, attendance and salaries of the main eventers. Notably, attendance numbers are strong and so is Anderson Silva’s reported purse.
Dana White reported that UFC 162 at the MGM Grand Garden has sold 12,400 tickets for a gate of $4.26 million. These numbers already eclipsed UFC 160 held at the same venue in which it received 12,380 tickets for $2.94 million.
White also reported payouts for main eventers Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman, Charles Oliveira and Frankie Edgar. Silva will receive $600,000 to show and a $200,000 win bonus. Weidman will earn $24,000 to show and $24,000 to win. Frankie Edgar will be making $120,000 to show and $120,000 to win. Oliveira will be making $21,000 to win and $21,000 to show.
Although there were rumors that ticket sales were sluggish, it appears that this may not be the case. The ticket price points may be more for this event based on comparing gates. As for the payouts, the Silva-Weidman salaries underscores the fight pay disparity. Yet, Silva is at the top of the roster and Weidman is still working his way up so while on paper it looks bad, Silva’s pay is one of the highest in the UFC.
July 2, 2013
MMA Junkie reports that Dana White’s solution to the complaints about UFC fighter pay is to eliminate fight bonuses. The Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night and KO of the Night would be done away with in order to compensate the lower tiered fighters.
Via MMA Junkie:
“You don’t like the structure? All right, we’ll pay the lower-level guys more money – no more f–king bonuses,” Dana White said. “You guys come in, you negotiate your contracts, and we do away with all bonuses. That’s what I’m thinking about doing.”
White has been in discussions with Lorenzo Fertitta about redistributing the salaries for its fight nights. As a result, the reported bonuses, which were made standard at $50K this year would be put back into the salary pool to compensate the preliminary fighters. This would give Zuffa another $200K to bolster salaries.
White’s comments sound more like a threat than a response to the complaints. Its also a way to divide the fighters, a tactic that can be used whenever workers think about unionizing. For example, a guy like James Krause, who made $100K in bonuses at UFC 161 would never have a chance to make that much again. Instead he’d probably take home $20K flat. A substantial difference that would absolutely be pointed out by Zuffa. The move is geared toward fighters that look for the bonus or have received it in the past. It would make them much more against people complaining in public about fighter pay.
One solution not talked about is Zuffa extending its budget to pay fighters more. There are obvious budgetary issues and the fact it is putting on more events would mean more payouts. But, White’s solution would cause an upheaval among fighters, which is probably what was intended.
June 18, 2013
MMA Junkie reports the disclosed payouts by the Nevada State Athletic Commision from Friday’s World Series of Fighting event. Josh Burkman and Jon Fitch topped the $200,000 payroll for the event.
The salary list is as follows:
Josh Burkman: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Jon Fitch: $30,000
Steve Carl: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Tyson Steele: $7,000
Jacob Volkmann: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
def. Lyle Beerbohm: $15,000
Justin Gaethje: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. Brian Cobb: $8,000
Jerrod Sanders: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
def. Jeff Smith: $4,000
Dan Lauzon: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. John Gunderson: $6,000
Carson Beebe: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
def. Joe Murphy: $4,000
Krasimir Mladenov: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
def. Kendrick Miree: $4,000
Branson Hansen: $5,000 (includes $2,500 win bonus)
def. Josh Montalvo: $1,000
Jon Fitch topped the card in terms of salary and likely topped the card in terms of disappointment. $30K for a minute of work before Josh Burkman submitted Fitch. Burkman had a $16K base and a $16K win bonus. Notably, Jacob Volkmann had a $7K base in his defeat of Lyle Beerbohm who made 2x more than Volkmann’s base salary. In only his third MMA pro fight, Josh Montalvo made $1,000.
May 28, 2013
MMA Junkie reports the salaries for UFC 160 held this past Saturday in Las Vegas. Not surprising, Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos topped the list with Mark Hunt getting a huge bump in pay.
The total payroll as disclosed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission totaled $1,533,000.
Via MMA Junkie:
Champ Cain Velasquez: $400,000 (no bonus)
def. Antonio Silva: $75,000
Junior dos Santos: $240,000 (includes $120,000 win bonus)
def. Mark Hunt: $160,000
Glover Teixeira: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. James Te Huna: $30,000
T.J. Grant: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
def. Gray Maynard: $45,000
Donald Cerrone: $82,000 (includes $41,000 win bonus)
def. K.J. Noons: $41,000
Mike Pyle: $84,000 (includes $42,000 win bonus)
def. Rick Story: $27,000
Dennis Bermudez: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Max Holloway: $14,000
Robert Whittaker: $30,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
def. Colton Smith: $15,000
Khabib Nurmagomedov: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Abel Trujillo: $8,000
Stephen Thompson: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Nah-Shon Burrell: $9,000
George Roop: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
def. Brian Bowles: $19,000
Jeremy Stephens: $48,000 (includes $24,000 win bonus)
def. Estevan Payan: $10,000
Mark Hunt’s last officially released payout was $6,000 to show and $6,000 to win. Thus, a huge bump in pay to receive $160,000 (no win bonus if he won). Maybe it makes up for the lack of sponsors. Velasquez gets a nice raise as well as his last payday he received a base of $100K with $100K to win at UFC 155. The $400K flat (no win bonus) puts him with Jon Jones as the highest paid UFC fighters in terms of base salary (this does not include PPV points or discretionary bonuses). Despite making $240K ($120K/$120K), JDS saw a pay decrease from his $400K at UFC 155.
Also, we should note that Khabib Nurmagomedov was docked 20% of his purse for not making weight.