How the UFC paid me
From: 's Stats">Sean McCorkle
Member Since: 5/29/05
I keep hearing so many things back and forth on the issue I thought I'd give the UG the real story on UFC pay. At least as it pertains to me.
During my 3 fight stint with the UFC the paid me exactly 150% what they were contractually obligated to pay me. That is without a KO/Sub/Fight of the night bonus of any kind. That is even though I lost 2 of my 3 fights.
I got a discretionary bonus after all 3 of my fights, even an amount equal to my what would have been my win bonus after my embarrassing performance against Stephan Struve. I was told that was given to me based strictly on the effort I put in to promoting the fight, and not because of how I performed.
I am currently unaware of any pro sports franchise that pays any player more money than they are obligated to do so.
Sponsorship wise during those 3 fights I made an average each fight of about 75% of what I was contracted to be paid by the UFC. So if my purse for fighting was $10,000 I made approximately $7,500 in sponsors on average.
Take an average fighter's reported pay for a televised fight, and double it, and you'll have a rough number of the amount he made on that fight. So if a guy is reported at $12,000 to show, and $12,000 to win, chances are he'll make around $50,000 by the time it's all said and done for that fight.
As far as the main event fighters and big stars like Brock, GSP, Anderson Silva, who share in the PPV revenue, the reported numbers are not even in the ballpark. GSP might be reported to make $250,000 when he in fact made $3-$4 million.
To give you some more perspective on how fighting in the UFC compares to other organizations, this is how my career pay breaks down ranked dollar wise.
1. Stefan Struve
2. Mark Hunt
3. My other 12 non UFC fights all combined
4. Christian Morecraft
So I made more in each of 2 of my 3 UFC fights than I did in all of my 12 non UFC fights combined. I made barely less against Christian Morecraft than I did in the other 12 combined.
I've owned my own business in the past and had over 130 employees at one point, so I've been on both sides of the coin. This is how I see it. The Fertittas risked millions of dollars of their own money on a sport that nobody would touch, and have turned it into a billion dollar business. Those who take the risk, deserve the reward no matter how astronomical it may become.
As an employee, you are only worth as much as someone is willing to pay you. If guys are unhappy in the UFC and someone is offering them more money, then by all means they should jump all over the opportunity. Affliction paid Tim Sylvia $800,000 to fight Fedor, when his contract at the time with the UFC was around $100k to show, and $100k to win. Who could blame him for taking the Affliction offer? I know that's what I would have done. Andrei Arlovski got $600,000 to fight Ben Rothwell so he left the UFC when he also was making approximately $100k/$100k.
Now I realize I'm going to get hit with "you're just kissing the UFC's ass because you want back in", and that's fine. Because if I said negative things about them, it'd be "you're just mad that they cut you, so you're trying to settle the score." I lose either way, so I might as well be honest.
After I was released from the UFC they have since began providing health insurance for their contracted fighters for injuries incurred during training, as well as twitter bonuses, so the money just keeps getting better.
On the issue of a fighter union, I've never really seen that as a positive thing. Unions are, it seems, always corrupt and normally, like everything else in life, are set up and ran for the benefit of a very few. Unions might mean higher fighter pay, but that in turn will result in higher PPV, merchandise, and ticket prices for the fans. Unions also mean the possibility of work stoppages, which are disastrous for any sport.
Part of the solution to the entire issue would be fighters fighting more often. I realize that time is needed between fights for a lot of the headlining guys in order to market and promote the fight, but under card and lower level guys could fight 5-6 times a year easily barring major injury. The beatings you take in the gym on a weekly basis are often times as bad or worse than what you endure during a fight. NFL players play once a week every week for 4-6 months straight. NBA players play 3x a week for 6 months straight.
As the sport continues to grow, the fighter pay will as well. Until the UFC has a complete monopoly on the industry and there literally is no other option, like the NFL has on football, then the discussion of fighter pay is irrelevant. If guys are worth more than they are being paid, then they should go out and get it. I always told that to my employees, and I never begrudged even one of them for taking a better job somewhere else. That's life.
THE END BITCHES
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