John Cholish is doing fighters everywhere an important public service by burning his UFC bridges and talking about UFC pay – specifically, how shitty new guys have it and how you’re lucky to break even on an entry level fight contract. He was on the Great Debate podcast earlier this week to elaborate:
“This is just gym fees, travel expenses, making sure you’re eating the right stuff, and not talking day-to-day stuff like breakfast, lunch and dinner. More like supplements, training gear, all that top to bottom. I’d say roughly between $4,000 to $6,000 a month when you look at it,” Cholish revealed. “Again, I live in New York City so I understand costs may be a little bit higher than they are other places, but it’s expensive to train at top places and with individuals.”
“So, for example, when I had my fight in Toronto, you have to pay for two additional flights for two coaches. You have to pay for another hotel room, which they make you get there on Monday or Tuesday. So it’s usually for four or five nights so that adds up,” Cholish explained. “I choose to take care of my coaches’ meals while they are there. Again, I don’t think they should have to pay out of pocket to be there. For Brazil as well there was a $500 visa fee, that was included for coaches.
“You also have to pay for your corner licensing, you have to pay for your medicals before the fight, so it might not seem like a lot but when you start adding it together. Especially a flight to Brazil costs $1,500 or $1,600 a piece and you’re only making $8,000, it chips away pretty quickly.
Fighting in Brazil, Cholish explains that the tax is 27 percent of the take home pay. In his case his contracted rate to fight was $8,000 (he would have won an additional $8000 with a win). Before he receives any pay from the UFC, Brazil taxes take $2,160 from his $8,000 paycheck. “Brazil takes 27 percent before you even get the money. That comes right out,” Cholish said. “Same thing as Canada, they take their money before you leave.”
On top of the taxes taken by each individual country, the fighters are still responsible for paying taxes in their home country of origin as well.
Cholish can say all this without fear of reprisal because he announced he would be retiring after his fight in Brazil, mainly over the sucker financial situation he was stuck in. Jacob Volkmann is also getting in on the Zuffa pay shit talking now that he’s in the World Series of Fighting: