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UnderGround Forums >> John Cholish blasts UFC fighter pay


5/22/13 8:12 PM
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Chromium
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canuck34 - 
Chromium -

CindyO, if you're in the UFC, you should not have to work a day job to make ends meet period. Maybe if you're out a year-and-a-half or something (although if you're injured from training I would the UFC would still help you out a bit, let alone injured from a fight), but if you're healthy enough to fight the 2.4 fights a year the UFC offers on average, or even 2 (since a lot of guys can only get that), there should be _zero_ people in the UFC who are fighting 2-3 times a year and still making less than a living wage. Not entry-level guys, not outliers, zero. That John Cholish was actually taking a loss after extra expenses is straight-up embarassing, as is the fact that he's hardly alone. It doesn't matter that all the B-Leagues are worse about pay, that means nothing when the UFC is by far the top promotion in the world and supposed to be the standard-bearer for the sport in the first place. While these days it's the minority who have to supplement their income while in the UFC, it's hardly uncommon among the lower-tier fighters, and at this point it's no longer excusable and hasn't been for several years now. I love the UFC but this is one area which is a real eyesore to me.

You know what would be better than a Fighter's Union? Not having a need or reason for one in the first place. Dana and the Fertitas need to be pro-active here.

 

What? Why not? Just because you are in the UFC doesn't give you a pass on having a day job. Most boxers have day jobs.

You need to earn your way to being able to live off fighting. It isn't like there is a big amateur market where guys work their way up and get a following before going pro.

Sorry, but money is made as you win and become more popular. Phone Post

Why not? Because this isn't motherfucking boxing and even boxing is starting to change their pay structure to give the undercard more. This is the UFC, a sports league, the major leagues of MMA and there is no equivalent in boxing. If you make it to the UFC you are in the top 2-3% of your profession and should be able to fully support yourself on it.

5/22/13 10:50 PM
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Tomato Can
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"If you make it to the UFC you are in the top 2-3% of your profession"

Not true at all.
5/23/13 4:15 AM
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CindyO
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Macedawgg - 

The structure of MMA leads to the demise of other promotions, not the pay structure, which is intentionally deflated.

LOL at suggesting that the UFC simply can't afford to pay more.  That is hilarity.


Mace, who said they couldn't afford to pay more? I have no doubt they can but why pay a fighter more than market value again? Just to be a nice guy??? Isn't that what Affliction, Elite, etc did? And what happened to them?

How much can Viacom afford to pay their Bellator fighters? A hell of a lot more than Zuffa because they are worth CONSIDERABLY more, no? Either they feel their guys aren't worth more or they don't pay more because they don't have to in order to compete on the current landscape. Is that not hilarity?

 

Cindy

5/23/13 4:49 AM
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Chromium
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Tomato Can - "If you make it to the UFC you are in the top 2-3% of your profession"

Not true at all.

Okay, outside of Womens Bantamweight, the UFC represents 2-3% of the global population of active fighters in each division across the board. I realize this doesn't line-up succinctly with "best in the world" as there are still great fighters outside the UFC, but outside of a handful of outliers in each division (and honestly we don't always know who they are), you'd have to be in the Top 5% if you're in the UFC. You get to the UFC, the world's largest fight promotion with 80+% of the elite talent, the major leagues, because they think you're an excellent fighter. Once you get there you should be making a living wage after job-related expenses. You know, like you'd earn as a manager at McDonald's. Not a decent wage, not a $100,000, just a living wage. There should be no exceptions to this.

5/23/13 5:01 AM
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Chromium
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CindyO - 
Macedawgg - 

The structure of MMA leads to the demise of other promotions, not the pay structure, which is intentionally deflated.

LOL at suggesting that the UFC simply can't afford to pay more.  That is hilarity.


Mace, who said they couldn't afford to pay more? I have no doubt they can but why pay a fighter more than market value again? Just to be a nice guy??? Isn't that what Affliction, Elite, etc did? And what happened to them?

How much can Viacom afford to pay their Bellator fighters? A hell of a lot more than Zuffa because they are worth CONSIDERABLY more, no? Either they feel their guys aren't worth more or they don't pay more because they don't have to in order to compete on the current landscape. Is that not hilarity?

 

Cindy


EliteXC gambled all their money on a gimmick in Kimbo Slice.

Affliction didn't just overpay, they ridiculously overpaid in some cases. Andrei Arlovski is a nice guy but wasn't worth $1.5 million. Ben Rothwell wasn't worth $250,000. Co-promotion with M-1 Global had its own toll.

And when people are saying the UFC is making money hand over fist, they're not talking about some giant media conglomerate owner, they're talking about the UFC. As in, they're making way more money than Bellator, no matter who Bellator's giant owners are. It's a fallacious comparison. Bellator is a tiny part of Viacom's portfolio and works on whatever budget it is given. So no, they probably can't afford to pay their fighters more, and I'm a much bigger UFC fan than Bellator fan.

 

5/23/13 9:54 AM
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Tomato Can
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Chromium - 
Tomato Can - "If you make it to the UFC you are in the top 2-3% of your profession"

Not true at all.

Okay, outside of Womens Bantamweight, the UFC represents 2-3% of the global population of active fighters in each division across the board. I realize this doesn't line-up succinctly with "best in the world" as there are still great fighters outside the UFC, but outside of a handful of outliers in each division (and honestly we don't always know who they are), you'd have to be in the Top 5% if you're in the UFC. You get to the UFC, the world's largest fight promotion with 80+% of the elite talent, the major leagues, because they think you're an excellent fighter. Once you get there you should be making a living wage after job-related expenses. You know, like you'd earn as a manager at McDonald's. Not a decent wage, not a $100,000, just a living wage. There should be no exceptions to this.


I'd say the figure is probably closer to the 5-10% range, but that's kind of beside the point. What I've been trying to say all along is that just because the UFC signs you, doesn't inherently mean anything about your talent level. Using the pro team sports analogy, there are dozens of players who get drafted by a major league team every year who will never see a major league game or make more than $1500/month on a minor league contract. Players who work other jobs during the offseason.

I'd also just like to reiterate for the umpteenth time (so I don't come off like too much of a DW apologist) that my biggest problem with the UFC's pay structure is the win bonuses. I have really seen no rational justification for it and it seems completely unfair to me. I think if guys were making 10/2 rather than 6/6 it would go a long way towards alleviating their concerns.
5/23/13 1:20 PM
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5/23/13 1:26 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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sunderground - You cant be paid according to your market value when no market exists. To establish "market prices" you need more than one primary buyer (Zuffa) and one secondary (Viacom).

When some of you hit (community) college, sign up for an intro econ class. Might help.


Then what should you be paid?
5/23/13 1:27 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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This is getting a little ridiculous now. Does John really think the UFC isn't going to pay him? Zuffa is obviously late, but does he think they're just not going to pay the fighters??
5/23/13 1:28 PM
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UGSlapshot
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I just don't see them violating a country's laws to protest in defense of fighters, they probably wanted into the Brazilian market so bad they just agreed to it. Phone Post
5/23/13 1:43 PM
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UGSlapshot
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CindyO -
Macedawgg - 

The structure of MMA leads to the demise of other promotions, not the pay structure, which is intentionally deflated.

LOL at suggesting that the UFC simply can't afford to pay more.  That is hilarity.


Mace, who said they couldn't afford to pay more? I have no doubt they can but why pay a fighter more than market value again? Just to be a nice guy??? Isn't that what Affliction, Elite, etc did? And what happened to them?

How much can Viacom afford to pay their Bellator fighters? A hell of a lot more than Zuffa because they are worth CONSIDERABLY more, no? Either they feel their guys aren't worth more or they don't pay more because they don't have to in order to compete on the current landscape. Is that not hilarity?

 

Cindy

Because people aren't cattle, if as you imply they can afford a "cost of living" wage for the fighter then they should do it. Phone Post
5/23/13 4:10 PM
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CindyO
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sunderground - You cant be paid according to your market value when no market exists. To establish "market prices" you need more than one primary buyer (Zuffa) and one secondary (Viacom).

When some of you hit (community) college, sign up for an intro econ class. Might help.


So Cholish could actually be worth less than 5k-6k since two competing promotions have no interest in him (well, not even one now)? Didn't think of it that way! Thanks for the enlightenment=)

 

Cindy

5/23/13 4:15 PM
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HexRei
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This is getting a little ridiculous now. Does John really think the UFC isn't going to pay him? Zuffa is obviously late, but does he think they're just not going to pay the fighters??

Not necessarily, but I say keep on giving us info. So much of this stuff goes on behind the scenes, and the UFC claims they treat everyone great, and of course the fighters on the roster almost always parrot that (possibly because the ones that don't end up gone, bridges burnt) so it's interesting when actual documentation is made public, both good and bad.
5/23/13 4:15 PM
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CindyO
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This is getting a little ridiculous now. Does John really think the UFC isn't going to pay him? Zuffa is obviously late, but does he think they're just not going to pay the fighters??

Looks like he's just trying to throw a dart back because DW made the washouts comment. I guess he shhhhhowed them=) Hitting Ariel up on Twitter to whine sure will get the banks to do what they're suppose to do!

 

Cindy

5/23/13 4:21 PM
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HexRei
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This is getting a little ridiculous now. Does John really think the UFC isn't going to pay him? Zuffa is obviously late, but does he think they're just not going to pay the fighters??

Looks like he's just trying to throw a dart back because DW made the washouts comment. I guess he shhhhhowed them=) Hitting Ariel up on Twitter to whine sure will get the banks to do what they're suppose to do!

 

Cindy


So you have inside info suggesting that it's in fact the banks that are the cause of this delay?
5/23/13 4:23 PM
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Thacommish
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CindyO - 
sunderground - You cant be paid according to your market value when no market exists. To establish "market prices" you need more than one primary buyer (Zuffa) and one secondary (Viacom).

When some of you hit (community) college, sign up for an intro econ class. Might help.


So Cholish could actually be worth less than 5k-6k since two competing promotions have no interest in him (well, not even one now)? Didn't think of it that way! Thanks for the enlightenment=)

 

Cindy


You being so concerned about fighters making what they are worth i have a question. Where does the profit come from? are there fighters that bring in more than what zuffa is paying them? is this where the profits come from and how dana and lorenzo get paid? why are these people not being paid their value? Why is it ok to pay some guys less than what they are worth and also the go to reason why you cant pay a guy more ? Why does it instead go to dana? why does he have so many cars? who affords these cars? whats danas market value? is he being paid more than his value?
5/23/13 4:25 PM
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This is getting a little ridiculous now. Does John really think the UFC isn't going to pay him? Zuffa is obviously late, but does he think they're just not going to pay the fighters??

what does that have to do with it,the only thing thats ridiculous is that the ufc is late.

5/23/13 4:27 PM
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HexRei
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Also, I am far from knowledgeable about taxes except for my own personal experiences, but he will have to pay US taxes on this still too, right? Does he have to pay state?

It seems like taxes alone could eat up half his 6/6 easily (even worse if he loses). And if he really has to pay his own airfare, hotel, meals, transportation, etc... wow. There goes the whole paycheck.

Counting in paying coaches he *could* easily be losing money to fight down there.
5/23/13 4:29 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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CindyO - 
sunderground - You cant be paid according to your market value when no market exists. To establish "market prices" you need more than one primary buyer (Zuffa) and one secondary (Viacom).

When some of you hit (community) college, sign up for an intro econ class. Might help.


So Cholish could actually be worth less than 5k-6k since two competing promotions have no interest in him (well, not even one now)? Didn't think of it that way! Thanks for the enlightenment=)

 

Cindy


Good comment. It's too bad that Cholish has retired. It'd be very interesting to see how much he could command on the open market from other promotions. Bellator wouldn't sign him since Bjorn has stated in the past that he isn't interested in signing guys cut from the UFC.
5/23/13 4:30 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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This is getting a little ridiculous now. Does John really think the UFC isn't going to pay him? Zuffa is obviously late, but does he think they're just not going to pay the fighters??

what does that have to do with it,the only thing thats ridiculous is that the ufc is late.


I agree. Zuffa being late is no good. But I'm pretty sure at this point Cholish has an axe to grind and will do anything to make Zuffa and Dana look bad.
5/23/13 4:33 PM
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D241
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http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Bellator-Signs-Brits-Paul-Sass-Rob-Sinclair-Martin-Stapleton-52693

 

"Bellator wouldn't sign him since Bjorn has stated in the past that he isn't interested in signing guys cut from the UFC."

5/23/13 4:35 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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Also, I am far from knowledgeable about taxes except for my own personal experiences, but he will have to pay US taxes on this still too, right? Does he have to pay state?

It seems like taxes alone could eat up half his 6/6 easily (even worse if he loses). And if he really has to pay his own airfare, hotel, meals, transportation, etc... wow. There goes the whole paycheck.

Counting in paying coaches he *could* easily be losing money to fight down there.

A lot of your questions have already been answered in the "UFC Fighter John Colish Posts ZUFFA Hefty Taxes" thread.

And the airfare and accomodation for him and one corner is covered by Zuffa.

According to Cholish, he was losing to money to fight. Not everyone can make a living being a pro athlete. That's just reality.
5/23/13 4:39 PM
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TheKidAintMine
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D241 - 

http://www.sherdog.com/news/news/Bellator-Signs-Brits-Paul-Sass-Rob-Sinclair-Martin-Stapleton-52693

 

"Bellator wouldn't sign him since Bjorn has stated in the past that he isn't interested in signing guys cut from the UFC."


Thanks for the info. Man, Bellator is all over the map on this. Bjorn says he doesn't want to sign Fitch or Garcia, but then signs Sass. Let's see if Bjorn puts an offer for Cholish and Volkmann.
5/23/13 5:09 PM
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Tomato Can
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Vlady Matyushenko is now with Bellator as well, so it's obviously not a hard and fast rule.
5/23/13 5:45 PM
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Chromium
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Tomato Can - 
Chromium - 
Tomato Can - "If you make it to the UFC you are in the top 2-3% of your profession"

Not true at all.

Okay, outside of Womens Bantamweight, the UFC represents 2-3% of the global population of active fighters in each division across the board. I realize this doesn't line-up succinctly with "best in the world" as there are still great fighters outside the UFC, but outside of a handful of outliers in each division (and honestly we don't always know who they are), you'd have to be in the Top 5% if you're in the UFC. You get to the UFC, the world's largest fight promotion with 80+% of the elite talent, the major leagues, because they think you're an excellent fighter. Once you get there you should be making a living wage after job-related expenses. You know, like you'd earn as a manager at McDonald's. Not a decent wage, not a $100,000, just a living wage. There should be no exceptions to this.


I'd say the figure is probably closer to the 5-10% range, but that's kind of beside the point. What I've been trying to say all along is that just because the UFC signs you, doesn't inherently mean anything about your talent level. Using the pro team sports analogy, there are dozens of players who get drafted by a major league team every year who will never see a major league game or make more than $1500/month on a minor league contract. Players who work other jobs during the offseason.

I'd also just like to reiterate for the umpteenth time (so I don't come off like too much of a DW apologist) that my biggest problem with the UFC's pay structure is the win bonuses. I have really seen no rational justification for it and it seems completely unfair to me. I think if guys were making 10/2 rather than 6/6 it would go a long way towards alleviating their concerns.

According to a study JCS did at FightMatrix.com using the Sherdog database a little over a year ago, there were somwhere in the vicinity of 2500 active LWs globally (as in had a match in the last 450 days) and only slightly fewer Welterweights. There are 75 or so LWs on the UFC.com roster and 73 WWs (although that includes some people put on their for honorary purposes like Kenny Florian and Royce Gracie of all people. There were roughly 1500-1800 MWs and FWs at the time and the bell-curve continued at LHW and BW, dropping steeply at Flyweight at the time and actually plateauing at HW. The UFC more or less mirrors this. Flyweight has grown quite a bit over the last year or so internationally and is also the smallest male division in the UFC, with just 13 fighters, so they should no longer be overrepresented like they would have been when there were just 300 fighters or so in the study.

The UFC represents nor more than 3% of the global population in each division of professional fighters. Being in the UFC, unless you've gotten very lucky as an injury replacement (see: Ilir Lafiti) , or are in the Womens Bantamweight division, or somehow fooled them, you practically have to be in the top 5% of your division internationally.

Also, suggesting that people make 10/2 instead of 6/6 means that the total purse for that fight increases from $18,000 to $22,000 so ultimately the UFC is upping their payout under your suggestion too.

Anyway we're at a fundamental disagreement about whether or not you should make a living wage in the UFC or not. To me, the indies are the minors. There are a sea of indies out there, and they're increasingly all over the world. To me the UFC is the pinnacle of the sport, and they should act like it.


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