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UnderGround Forums >> Chuck Liddell: The UFC is not a welfare state


7/10/13 11:58 AM
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Jack Carter
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SonOfThePeepHole - Agreed.

BUT

the UFC is so much bigger now they can AFFORD to pay lower level guys better. Phone Post
This.

Why didn't Chuck mention this critical fact? Phone Post 3.0
7/10/13 12:00 PM
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Zed Wayne Zed
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Easy for Chuck to say when he's boy with the boss.

I like Liddell and all, but he seems like he's in the "cool kids club", while other guys who are not as connected end up fighting in small shows because they have to.

Point is, these guys deserve more money, and there's not a fucking argument against it.
7/10/13 12:03 PM
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Quickash1t
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Some of these people complaining are a joke.

Tim Kennedy bitched and moaned about making peanuts. He made 90k for that fight, which is before any performance bonus or sponsorship money is taken to account. That would put him a dencent mount over 100k per fight.

If you can't work out finances  where over 300k a year is a workable about of income then you need help. Don't go higher managers and gyms and promise them more money than you can afford to give them. The low tier guys make 8k and 8k, that is 48k a year if you win 3 fights. Once again before bonuses and sponsor money, which are only available because they are in the UFC.

Could they afford to pay more? Sure. But they are running a company. And they should do what is in their best interest. Fighters should manage money better.

7/10/13 12:08 PM
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InYoMommaCloset
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Meanwhile, on Chucks multi-million dollar estate....
7/10/13 12:08 PM
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Fan of fanboys
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JustTheTip -
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XIII -
Bellator Fan - "(Lower paid) guys have got to understand, this is a performance based sport, like all sports,"

Most other sports have unions and lower tier athletes get paid much better in comparison. These guys are taking similar risks to football players but not being compensated fairly. Phone Post 3.0

Most other sports have unions? I doubt it, especially individual sports.

I didn't do any research on this but do you have unions for snooker players, motocross riders, tennis players, bowlers or pole vault jumpers for instance?

Unions are probably rare in individual sports, I would guess, since the best guys with all the money and influence have little benefit from a union.

Good point Phone Post 3.0

Are those individual athletes locked into contracts, generally longer term? And in the case of a champ, forever as long as they are winning? Somehow I doubt if a pole vaulter wins at a meet, he she can never go to another meet and can only compete for that specific organization until they lose. If Federer wins the French Open, is he locked in contract with them and can no longer compete at Wimbleton?
I believe all those events are governed by the ITF. International Tennis Federation.

Most those individual sports have a governing body. And I believe most have qualifications to be apart of that are based on winning. Phone Post 3.0
7/10/13 12:14 PM
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TeamRenzo
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epwar - 

And another Zuffa mouthpiece trying to conflate two issues.  Yes, we know you started out small, Chuck.  But that was when the company was making no money.  Now the UFC is pulling in $500 million in revenue annually and you have guys who AREN'T making a livable wage.  Why do they always gloss over that?  


I have asked this question many times but no one seems to be able to answer me, please define or associate a number to "livable wage".

How much is enough and who gets to determine that number.
7/10/13 12:19 PM
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ophusker
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Dana and Chuck just dig a bigger and bigger hole for the UFC every time they open their mouths about this stuff. They are basically saying they only care about the top guys in the sport and that nobody else matters or deserves to make a living at MMA. I'm not a big Union guy but that is exactly what they exist for to help the common mid level worker that apparently the UFC feels is irrelevant to their business model.

Their attitude toward pay is good for the companies current bottom line but bad for the sport overall and the long term success of it. No top athletes are going to want to do MMA when Dana goes around and talks about how you have to be cheap in this sport and how only the top guys really matter to him. He flat out said they all should try and become Anderson Silva if they want to get rich. How realistic is that for a yong guy starting out? HOw disheartening is it for a figther to fight and scrap in small shoes for 5 plus years and finally make it to the top leel and get paid $5K or something stupid like that.

Then it is compounded when Dana goes around giving his buddies like Chuck and Matt Hughes high paying jobs to do nothing. Nobody is paying to watch them fight any more but they still get paid. It goes against the very message Dana and Chuck are spewing about why guys get paid.
7/10/13 12:25 PM
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epwar
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Edited: 07/10/13 12:26 PM
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TeamRenzo - 
epwar - 

And another Zuffa mouthpiece trying to conflate two issues.  Yes, we know you started out small, Chuck.  But that was when the company was making no money.  Now the UFC is pulling in $500 million in revenue annually and you have guys who AREN'T making a livable wage.  Why do they always gloss over that?  


I have asked this question many times but no one seems to be able to answer me, please define or associate a number to "livable wage".

How much is enough and who gets to determine that number.

Enough so that a guy like John Cholish doesn't earn $8,000 and publicly state that he went into the hole for a fight.  If you want an exact figure, a bare minimum should be $15,000 to show for a UFC fighter.

 

7/10/13 12:27 PM
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crowbar
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7/10/13 12:35 PM
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SonOfThePeepHole
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Jack Carter -
SonOfThePeepHole - Agreed.

BUT

the UFC is so much bigger now they can AFFORD to pay lower level guys better. Phone Post
This.

Why didn't Chuck mention this critical fact? Phone Post 3.0
Yep.

Back when he started mma wasn't even sanctioned in half the areas it is now Phone Post
7/10/13 12:36 PM
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rbl
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Quickash1t - 

Some of these people complaining are a joke.

Tim Kennedy bitched and moaned about making peanuts. He made 90k for that fight, which is before any performance bonus or sponsorship money is taken to account. That would put him a dencent mount over 100k per fight.

If you can't work out finances  where over 300k a year is a workable about of income then you need help. Don't go higher managers and gyms and promise them more money than you can afford to give them. The low tier guys make 8k and 8k, that is 48k a year if you win 3 fights. Once again before bonuses and sponsor money, which are only available because they are in the UFC.

Could they afford to pay more? Sure. But they are running a company. And they should do what is in their best interest. Fighters should manage money better.


It always surprises me that fans of MMA often don't want the fighters to make more money and are more interested in Zuffa's bottom line. For a professional sport to be viable it needs a base of professional athletes, ie people who make a living playing that sport. If you want to see fighters performing at their best then you should support them being able to train full time with the best facilities. I'm not talking about limousines and fur coats, just being able to dedicate yourself 100% to preparing for a fight. That's the way forward for MMA as a sport.

7/10/13 12:43 PM
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Silverball
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Deuce77 - ............says the guy who gets paid by the UFC to do an imaginary job.

Lol, zing!
7/10/13 12:47 PM
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XIII
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JustTheTip - 
Fan of fanboys - 
XIII -
Bellator Fan - "(Lower paid) guys have got to understand, this is a performance based sport, like all sports,"

Most other sports have unions and lower tier athletes get paid much better in comparison. These guys are taking similar risks to football players but not being compensated fairly. Phone Post 3.0

Most other sports have unions? I doubt it, especially individual sports.

I didn't do any research on this but do you have unions for snooker players, motocross riders, tennis players, bowlers or pole vault jumpers for instance?

Unions are probably rare in individual sports, I would guess, since the best guys with all the money and influence have little benefit from a union.

Good point Phone Post 3.0

Are those individual athletes locked into contracts, generally longer term? And in the case of a champ, forever as long as they are winning? Somehow I doubt if a pole vaulter wins at a meet, he she can never go to another meet and can only compete for that specific organization until they lose. If Federer wins the French Open, is he locked in contract with them and can no longer compete at Wimbleton?

I was answering a post where the author seemed to think that unions are the answer and that they will lead to better pay for fighter.

He stated that 'Most other sports have unions and lower tier athletes get paid much better in comparison.', which I disagreed with since most other sports probably don't have unions, especially not individual sports.

MMA is still a niche sport and a new sport so IMO it is very difficult to compare it to other sports. Now I was only comparing it to other individual sports when it comes to unions. So the comparison with tennis on other aspects is besides the point, I think.

Also, the fact that fighter contracts have some 'unfair' clauses in them has very little to do with fighter pay IMO.

I do think that lower tier fighters could use a little bump in pay though, in case you were wondering about that.

Let me ponder this for a moment.

7/10/13 1:07 PM
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RockyBullwinkle
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Fan of fanboys - 
JustTheTip -
Fan of fanboys - 
XIII -
Bellator Fan - "(Lower paid) guys have got to understand, this is a performance based sport, like all sports,"

Most other sports have unions and lower tier athletes get paid much better in comparison. These guys are taking similar risks to football players but not being compensated fairly. Phone Post 3.0

Most other sports have unions? I doubt it, especially individual sports.

I didn't do any research on this but do you have unions for snooker players, motocross riders, tennis players, bowlers or pole vault jumpers for instance?

Unions are probably rare in individual sports, I would guess, since the best guys with all the money and influence have little benefit from a union.

Good point Phone Post 3.0

Are those individual athletes locked into contracts, generally longer term? And in the case of a champ, forever as long as they are winning? Somehow I doubt if a pole vaulter wins at a meet, he she can never go to another meet and can only compete for that specific organization until they lose. If Federer wins the French Open, is he locked in contract with them and can no longer compete at Wimbleton?
I believe all those events are governed by the ITF. International Tennis Federation.

Most those individual sports have a governing body. And I believe most have qualifications to be apart of that are based on winning. Phone Post 3.0

Tennis players are in an association which actually just negotiated a huge increase in prize money from the 4 Grand Slam tournaments. Everyone of the 128 men and 128 women who make the tournament now get no less than $30,000 for the first round of a tournament. This will eventually go up to $50k over the next few years.

Fighters should take note, because not only did the bottom guys do better thanks to the association, but the top guys also now getting more.
7/10/13 1:08 PM
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BshMstr
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Deuce77 - ............says the guy who gets paid by the UFC to do an imaginary job.

hehe....



i do think comparing UFC/MMA pay to things like the NFL, NBA, etc simply isn't a good comparison. like another poster stated, there is a much different route to get to the top level... as it is right now, amateur MMA is highly unpredictable, and the experience level is drastically different as well (compared to kids who start little league all the way to the MLB, in MMA wrestlers are the few athletes with that level of competitive experience).

http://www.krem.com/home/Minimum-salaries-for-professional-athletes-101066044.html

with that being said, i would like to see MMA get better pay.... while it has been compared to boxing, i think the cost incurred by a top level MMA fighter is significantly higher than a boxer.

http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2011/3/15/2053137/examining-pay-structure-in-boxing-and-mma

http://www.theadrenalist.com/sports/boxing-vs-mma-a-side-by-side-comparison/
7/10/13 1:08 PM
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JeffersonDArcyChoke
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Chuck is right.

But why does the NBA pay 12th men so well?

Clearly the end of the bench doesn't sell tickets, pop TV ratings or sell merchandise. M

The Miami Heat benchwarmers did not win them the title.

Yet Norris Cole made 1.191 MILLION.

His playoff average?

6.1 points per game this season.

Did Norris Cole sell merchandise, draw TV ratings, sell ad time or put one butt in a seat?

No.

I understand the performance aspect where the top dog gets to eat more but when the NBA has a Norris Cole getting over a million to sit on the bench it's hard to listen to Dana tell me the UFC broke a gate record while the UFC bench players are struggling.

Pat Barry once lived on ketchup until his bonus check came.

I'll bet Norris Cole won't even use ketchup. Phone Post
7/10/13 1:09 PM
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epwar
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rbl - 
Quickash1t - 

Some of these people complaining are a joke.

Tim Kennedy bitched and moaned about making peanuts. He made 90k for that fight, which is before any performance bonus or sponsorship money is taken to account. That would put him a dencent mount over 100k per fight.

If you can't work out finances  where over 300k a year is a workable about of income then you need help. Don't go higher managers and gyms and promise them more money than you can afford to give them. The low tier guys make 8k and 8k, that is 48k a year if you win 3 fights. Once again before bonuses and sponsor money, which are only available because they are in the UFC.

Could they afford to pay more? Sure. But they are running a company. And they should do what is in their best interest. Fighters should manage money better.


It always surprises me that fans of MMA often don't want the fighters to make more money and are more interested in Zuffa's bottom line. For a professional sport to be viable it needs a base of professional athletes, ie people who make a living playing that sport. If you want to see fighters performing at their best then you should support them being able to train full time with the best facilities. I'm not talking about limousines and fur coats, just being able to dedicate yourself 100% to preparing for a fight. That's the way forward for MMA as a sport.


Voted up.

7/10/13 1:14 PM
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Mdson
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I agree with Chuck to a degree.

However, if UFC is where ALL THE BEST FIGHTERS in the world are, they should be compensated like they're amongst the elite in the world.

Just because someone doesn't bring in the value of what they're getting paid right at that moment, who says they can't do that in the future?

Wouldn't a bigger paycheck possibly help that under card guy rise to the next level and help him become a bigger star (=a draw)? And maybe eventually the 'investment' would be worth it?

I know there are lots of 'maybes', but I hope the minimum pay will get higher in the future for the under card guys. With bigger pay they can get better training etc. and get better as fighters and become bigger draws.
7/10/13 1:15 PM
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Wiggy
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SonOfThePeepHole - 
Jack Carter -
SonOfThePeepHole - Agreed.

BUT

the UFC is so much bigger now they can AFFORD to pay lower level guys better. Phone Post
This.

Why didn't Chuck mention this critical fact? Phone Post 3.0
Yep.

Back when he started mma wasn't even sanctioned in half the areas it is now Phone Post

This was the point I was going to bring up. Yeah, Chuck used to fight for 1&1, 2&2, and 3&3. However, the UFC also wasn't a $600 million/year revenue company then, either.

UFC higher-ups like to get mad when people compare the UFC to boxing. Case in point, Chuck's reference to undercard boxers making so little on PPV events.

However, if you're going to compare boxing to the UFC, you have to keep a few things in mind:

(NOTE - this is more about fans bitching about guys not being paid as much as it is the fighters themselves bitching, so keep that in mind)

First is that boxing has way more free and low-cost television coverage than the UFC does by a long shot. You can get a basic cable package for ESPN2 to get Friday Night Fights and/or pay a few extra bucks a month for Showtime and/or HBO to get those fights as well.

(Of course, you have to assign relative value to all of this too, as you're not just being provided with boxing coverage - but a complete cable package and premium movie package as well, with all the associated programming...whatever all that is/isn't "worth" to you. Point is that you're not just paying for the boxing alone.)

This would give you access to probably 90% of nationally televised boxing coverage without having to order a single PPV. If you wanted to order PPVs, that's fine, but you wouldn't have to order but a few each year. And there's really only a small handful of guys that you'd be required to have to buy a PPV in order to see. PPV boxing is the pinnacle - where you only (in theory) get access to the "best". ESPN and HBO/Showtime coverage is more "normal", where as PPV is the exception to the rule.

However, the UFC is the opposite. When they talk about free prelims, FB broadcasts, or events on FX/Fuel/Fox, they are telling us what a deal we're getting b/c the fights are "free" and we're not having to pay to watch them. With the UFC, PPV is "normal" and cable coverage is the exception to the rule.

In my mind, I think that's where a lot of the beef comes from. Yes, there are more "free" fights than ever. However, there are also more PPVs than ever, and they're also more expensive than ever. (This from a guy that still remembers paying $24.95 for a UFC.)

I think the bitching from a lot of fans (especially the long-time fans) stems from the fact that they see themselves laying out more $$ than they ever have, yet the guys they're paying to see aren't (seemingly) getting a commensurate increase in compensation.

Even if you take volume out of the equation (i.e. - there being a UFC PPV every few weeks now instead of every other month, meaning there is more revenue but more guys to pay), PPV prices alone have doubled, and PPV numbers are way higher than back when Chuck was making 1&1 and 2&2.

That sorta thing is what disgruntles people, IMO.
7/10/13 1:16 PM
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Phil999
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Deuce77 - ............says the guy who gets paid by the UFC to do an imaginary job.

7/10/13 1:19 PM
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Vader03
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I feel that if a fighter makes it to the UFC they should be paid more than what the lower level fighters currently get. They should be able to make a living doing thar imo Phone Post 3.0
7/10/13 1:22 PM
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BshMstr
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Mdson - I agree with Chuck to a degree.

However, if UFC is where ALL THE BEST FIGHTERS in the world are, they should be compensated like they're amongst the elite in the world.

Just because someone doesn't bring in the value of what they're getting paid right at that moment, who says they can't do that in the future?

Wouldn't a bigger paycheck possibly help that under card guy rise to the next level and help him become a bigger star (=a draw)? And maybe eventually the 'investment' would be worth it?

I know there are lots of 'maybes', but I hope the minimum pay will get higher in the future for the under card guys. With bigger pay they can get better training etc. and get better as fighters and become bigger draws.

good point.

the UFC is almost synonymous with MMA, yet while the pay for the top guys might be the best, that's not true for the lower guys...


everyone understands that it's a business, and there's no union and stuff, but Dana and the UFC need to quit complaining about the pay issue.... it just makes him look like a miserly old Scrooge.

7/10/13 1:23 PM
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Another Foob
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crowbar - 

I wonder how they determine how many viewers the preliminary guys bring in?


They ask each one of them how many moms they have, and then use that number.

j/k :)

They probably have a quant guy running all kinds of regression analysis and end up with a reliable picture of the revenue value of each guy on the roster within any particular slot (e.g. main event, co-main, prelim, facebook).
7/10/13 1:26 PM
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BshMstr
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Vader03 - I feel that if a fighter makes it to the UFC they should be paid more than what the lower level fighters currently get. They should be able to make a living doing thar imo Phone Post 3.0

agreed.

Dana wants to act like the UFC is so much better than Bellator, but the pay quite comparable (except Bellator guys prolly get MORE sponsor money)

http://www.mmajunkie.com/news/2012/04/bellator-66-salaries-alvarez-100k-aoki-60k-earn-top-fighter-paydays
7/10/13 1:27 PM
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XIII
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VTFU 4 Wiggy. Interesting point about there being more 'free' fights now.

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