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UnderGround Forums >> John Cholish blasts UFC fighter pay


5/19/13 12:04 PM
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epwar
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Edited: 05/19/13 12:15 PM
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The relevant parts from MMA Junkie; last paragraph is the most significant (FYI he made $4,000/$4,000 in his debut; so he probably made $4,000 yesterday):

"I'm fortunate enough that I have a job that provides for me really well," Cholish said. "I give a lot of these guys credit that fight at this level. I think they could be compensated much better based on the income that the UFC takes in. Fortunately, I can just walk away and I'm OK with it. By no means do I mean it disrespectfully toward any other fighters because I think they do a great job. But hopefully Zuffa and the UFC will start paying them a little better."

"At the end of the day, it's hard," he said. "I have great coaches that take time off and travel. They deserve money, as well. To be completely honest, on a fight like this, I'm losing money to come down here. Flights, hotel rooms, food – and that doesn't even cover the cost of the time I have to pay for my coaches for training. It's funny because people talk about the fighters, but at the same time there's camps and coaches behind the fighters that you don't even see. So if a fighter is having a tough time making ends meet, how do you think his coaches are doing?"

"I don't know if there is one significant answer," he said. "And again, this is just my opinion, so there's no right or wrong. It's hard because you have top-level guys like Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones, Anderson Silva that have started off where we started and worked really hard to get there. So is it right for them to have to give up what they did to try and sacrifice for the greater good? It's an individual sport, at the end of the day. It's not like you have a whole team that can kind of step away, like in baseball, when the first union started. Only time will tell. (Zuffa is) a private company. Maybe when it goes public at one point?

"I know the Zuffa higher-ups probably aren't happy with what I'm saying, but I'd like to think I can speak for the lower portion of fighters. A lot of guys I'm sure would love to say the same thing but aren't in a position where they have another source of income."
5/19/13 12:08 PM
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Lobo8
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Look up his record. He was 1-3 in the ufc. He cant expect to be getting good pay with that kind of record. Sucks but this is a tough sport and not everyone can make it.
5/19/13 12:10 PM
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epwar
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Actually, he is 1-2.  

Regardless, his point is that this billion dollar company isn't even paying lower tier fighters a liveable wage.

5/19/13 12:12 PM
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meth wizard
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Regardless of his record, when you're fighting in the top org you should make a lot more than 4k. Phone Post
5/19/13 12:15 PM
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Lobo8
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Edited: 05/19/13 12:15 PM
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Oh my mistake. I think the pay for the low tier guys is decent and the ufc pays for hotel, tickets, and some food. They do plenty for these bottom guys. Ufc goes through a bunch of guys that dont make the cut. To get higher pay you need to prove yourshelf and show that you belong there.
5/19/13 12:15 PM
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perfy
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Do only top tier fighters have airfare and rooming accommodations paid for? Or do they only pay for the fighter's airfare and room and not the coaches?
5/19/13 12:16 PM
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MMALOGIC
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4k dollars to show? where was he when guys were making 600 to show and 600 to win?
5/19/13 12:18 PM
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BTT-RyannVonDoom
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Lobo8 - Oh my mistake. I think the pay for the low tier guys is decent and the ufc pays for hotel, tickets, and some food. They do plenty for these bottom guys. Ufc goes through a bunch of guys that dont make the cut. To get higher pay you need to prove yourshelf and show that you belong there.

lol @ that.. Dude.. If you're in the UFC you should be counted as Cream of the Crop. That's how they sell it and thats how all the fighters should be paid. Does he need to make 500k a fight? fuck no.. but a liveable wage is what is the right thing to be done. 

 

and MMAillogic. Brilliant statement. Just so refreshing to have you on here giving us all this wonderful insight on the MMA business. 

5/19/13 12:18 PM
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epwar
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perfy - Do only top tier fighters have airfare and rooming accommodations paid for? Or do they only pay for the fighter's airfare and room and not the coaches?

Eddie Alvarez's contract showed he got 2 airline tickets and 1 hotel room paid for.

5/19/13 12:19 PM
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Lobo8
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perfy - Do only top tier fighters have airfare and rooming accommodations paid for? Or do they only pay for the fighter's airfare and room and not the coaches?

The contract they sign covers them hotel, ticket for them and i believe 2 of their coaches, and also they get a food voucher of 50$ per day.
5/19/13 12:23 PM
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Lobo8
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BTT-RyannVonDoom - 
Lobo8 - Oh my mistake. I think the pay for the low tier guys is decent and the ufc pays for hotel, tickets, and some food. They do plenty for these bottom guys. Ufc goes through a bunch of guys that dont make the cut. To get higher pay you need to prove yourshelf and show that you belong there.

lol @ that.. Dude.. If you're in the UFC you should be counted as Cream of the Crop. That's how they sell it and thats how all the fighters should be paid. Does he need to make 500k a fight? fuck no.. but a liveable wage is what is the right thing to be done. 

 

and MMAillogic. Brilliant statement. Just so refreshing to have you on here giving us all this wonderful insight on the MMA business. 


What, give a guy a higher wage even though he is clearly struggling to compete against ufc competition. The ufc isn't some charity. They give more based on performance.
5/19/13 12:25 PM
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JetSetter
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When you start at a firm on Wall St you start in the mail room making 25k per year while your boss is making $50 million per year.
People act like the UFC is so out of line with the rest of society but its all relative.

The reality in life is Be the best and get the best pay or change professions Phone Post 3.0
5/19/13 12:29 PM
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BTT-RyannVonDoom
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JetSetter - When you start at a firm on Wall St you start in the mail room making 25k per year while your boss is making $50 million per year.
People act like the UFC is so out of line with the rest of society but its all relative.

The reality in life is Be the best and get the best pay or change professions Phone Post 3.0

When you make it to the UFC, you've proven to be the best according to them. They state they have all the best fighters.. and yet the monicker of U FIGHT CHEAP is stated by many behind the scenes. 

5/19/13 12:29 PM
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epwar
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JetSetter - When you start at a firm on Wall St you start in the mail room making 25k per year while your boss is making $50 million per year.
People act like the UFC is so out of line with the rest of society but its all relative.

The reality in life is Be the best and get the best pay or change professions Phone Post 3.0

You're not helping your point when you mention that mail room clerks on Wall Street make more than a UFC fighter.  Wage disparity isn't the issue - it is lower tier UFC fighters not even making a liveable wage.

5/19/13 12:32 PM
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Lobo8
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BTT-RyannVonDoom - 
JetSetter - When you start at a firm on Wall St you start in the mail room making 25k per year while your boss is making $50 million per year.
People act like the UFC is so out of line with the rest of society but its all relative.

The reality in life is Be the best and get the best pay or change professions Phone Post 3.0

When you make it to the UFC, you've proven to be the best according to them. They state they have all the best fighters.. and yet the monicker of U FIGHT CHEAP is stated by many behind the scenes. 


They certainly are the best outside of the ufc by by getting the call but once they come in they still have to do even more to show that they belong. Getting your foot in doesn't automatically mean your the best figher that deserves big pay days.
5/19/13 12:36 PM
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IGOTBELCHED
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Lobo8 - Look up his record. He was 1-3 in the ufc. He cant expect to be getting good pay with that kind of record. Sucks but this is a tough sport and not everyone can make it.

How much does a low level nba player get? Or NFl? I don't know american sports numbers well, i know lebron who's the best gets 20 something mil, so i'd imagine the low level guys get decent pay.
In premier league football in the uk, although its the most watched sports league in the world, they get at the lowest levels around $80/70000 a week.
The fact that the ufc pay like this is disgusting. Dana may give this bullshit argument of "Look at boxing, look at boxing, they get paid shit all", to try and take the spotlight off of himself, however if thats the case when you're government is driving you're economy to hell does the President or Prime minister say "Look at Africa, look at Africa, they're driving their economy to hell".
5/19/13 12:37 PM
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youarewhatiswrong
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epwar - 
JetSetter - When you start at a firm on Wall St you start in the mail room making 25k per year while your boss is making $50 million per year.
People act like the UFC is so out of line with the rest of society but its all relative.

The reality in life is Be the best and get the best pay or change professions Phone Post 3.0

You're not helping your point when you mention that mail room clerks on Wall Street make more than a UFC fighter.  Wage disparity isn't the issue - it is lower tier UFC fighters not even making a liveable wage.


Less than a living wage, Cholish asserts that he is going in the hole fighting for the UFC, after costs of training and travel. I don't think the lower tiered fighters should be breaking the bank, but if you've excelled enough in the sport to make it to the UFC then you should at least be able to feed yourself, rent an apartment and pay for training.

That said, I kind of have a problem with UFC level fighters paying for training, unless they are on a small team comprised of nothing but top level fighters. In any other scenario, having a UFC level fighter at your gym should be viewed as an asset and free advertising. Instruction and training should be provided in exchange for keeping that fighter at your gym.
5/19/13 12:39 PM
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Scoobie Doo
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For many of the lower tier fighters the UFC will only pay for the fighter and "1 corner" for expenses. So that means 1 coaches flight, hotel room (shared with the fighter), and some food money. Usual fighters want two guys in their corner so the have to pay out of pocket for the second guy.
5/19/13 12:47 PM
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Jack Brown
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Dana and the Fertitas took the financial risk and are now reaping the financial reward. That's as it should be given our economic system.
However, Cholish is in an excellent position to speak about this matter. He is a financial expert, no longer beholden to the UFC. What he says, we all should have already known.
You can not compare these fighters and other professional athletes to most other occupations. Their efforts and likenesses generate significant revenue. They have and will get a larger proportion of said revenue over time, but it will likely be a process that many of us on the outside will not be privy to and may misunderstand.
Nevertheless, we should appreciate that Cholish used his unique position to speak his truth and support his fellow fighters.
Nothing but respect for the quality of the UFC's product, and, above all, the quality of their fighters. Phone Post
5/19/13 12:48 PM
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Kick Boxe
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The ufc is a monopoly and therefore can do whatever the fuck they want. Anyone who says they are paying their fighters as much as they could/should is ignorant

5/19/13 12:49 PM
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caseharts
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I will be happy when a Union comes about. 4000 is a tad low imo. Minimum should be 25 k pet fight. Phone Post
5/19/13 12:52 PM
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Chris27
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Kick Boxe - 

The ufc is a monopoly and therefore can do whatever the fuck they want. Anyone who says they are paying their fighters as much as they could/should is ignorant


And anyone who says they are a monopoly is a fucking retard.

Bellator is on SPike and owned by Viacom

You have events like RFA, Legacy, MFC, you have orgs in UK like BAMMA, KSW, orgs like RoadFC, OneFC in Asia.

Bibi got a better offer from OneFC, Mamed makes more fighting in KSW.

There are plenty of other orgs out there with money, you dont like the UFC offer/pay go fight someone else. Anyone acting like they are the only place to fight is an idiot.


But there should be a set limit for even the lowest level fighter, 10/10. Everyone gets 10/10, even if you are just prelim filler. I think thats fair.

If they dont like that then sign somewhere else, cause there are other options.
5/19/13 12:53 PM
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Lobo8
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IGOTBELCHED - 
Lobo8 - Look up his record. He was 1-3 in the ufc. He cant expect to be getting good pay with that kind of record. Sucks but this is a tough sport and not everyone can make it.

How much does a low level nba player get? Or NFl? I don't know american sports numbers well, i know lebron who's the best gets 20 something mil, so i'd imagine the low level guys get decent pay.
In premier league football in the uk, although its the most watched sports league in the world, they get at the lowest levels around $80/70000 a week.
The fact that the ufc pay like this is disgusting. Dana may give this bullshit argument of "Look at boxing, look at boxing, they get paid shit all", to try and take the spotlight off of himself, however if thats the case when you're government is driving you're economy to hell does the President or Prime minister say "Look at Africa, look at Africa, they're driving their economy to hell".

The low level bench player argument doesn't apply to this. Bench players are still very important to teams for training practice, and substitutions. They help win games. These low level guys for the ufc aren't very important and are in a way filler for cards.But If they prove themselves and keep winning then they start to get the real perks of being a ufc fighter, recognition, pay and sponsorship. Just because you have few fight in the ufc doesn't automatically mean you deserve some perks. You have to win and be likeable by fans. You have to earn it. Look at connor mcgregor he came in with some hype and attention but was still put on the facebook prelims with low pay. He then proceeded to kick ass, immediately became a ufc fighter to watch out for, got 50k bonus. Oh and i bet he will get some awesome sponsors too. He didnt beg or cry for anything. He took what he wanted.
5/19/13 12:58 PM
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caseharts
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caseharts -  I will be happy when a Union comes about. 4000 is a tad low imo. Minimum should be 25 k pet fight. Phone Post

Be prepared to be blasted for that comment.

Why? No win bonuses 25 k and finish bonuses Phone Post
5/19/13 1:01 PM
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IGOTBELCHED
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Lobo8 - 
IGOTBELCHED - 
Lobo8 - Look up his record. He was 1-3 in the ufc. He cant expect to be getting good pay with that kind of record. Sucks but this is a tough sport and not everyone can make it.

How much does a low level nba player get? Or NFl? I don't know american sports numbers well, i know lebron who's the best gets 20 something mil, so i'd imagine the low level guys get decent pay.
In premier league football in the uk, although its the most watched sports league in the world, they get at the lowest levels around $80/70000 a week.
The fact that the ufc pay like this is disgusting. Dana may give this bullshit argument of "Look at boxing, look at boxing, they get paid shit all", to try and take the spotlight off of himself, however if thats the case when you're government is driving you're economy to hell does the President or Prime minister say "Look at Africa, look at Africa, they're driving their economy to hell".

The low level bench player argument doesn't apply to this. Bench players are still very important to teams for training practice, and substitutions. They help win games. These low level guys for the ufc aren't very important and are in a way filler for cards.But If they prove themselves and keep winning then they start to get the real perks of being a ufc fighter, recognition, pay and sponsorship. Just because you have few fight in the ufc doesn't automatically mean you deserve some perks. You have to win and be likeable by fans. You have to earn it. Look at connor mcgregor he came in with some hype and attention but was still put on the facebook prelims with low pay. He then proceeded to kick ass, immediately became a ufc fighter to watch out for, got 50k bonus. Oh and i bet he will get some awesome sponsors too. He didnt beg or cry for anything. He took what he wanted.

Fair point, however 4 grand to fight in the premier organisation in the world is disgusting however you look at it.

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