In trying to figure out if we’ve all been tricked into thinking Fedor was offered a massive contract when in fact he wasn’t, I’ve been looking into how much the UFC pays their other top guys. The best example of fighter pay that I’ve been able to find is Randy Couture’s situation. Because he got into a huge contractual tiff last year with the UFC, we know exactly how much he made before the walk out and from there we have a meter stick for how the UFC pays it’s top guys.
Back at the start of 2007, Randy Couture was paid a $500,000 signing bonus plus $250,000 flat per fight plus a percentage of PPV moneys. For his return fight he made $950,000 PPV percentage off a 500k show. So he was making over a million dollars per fight BEFORE he left the UFC over ‘respect’. May I remind you one of his sticky respect issues was how much more money the UFC offered Fedor to come into the organization at the time?
Randy returned to the UFC at UFC 91. According to the NSAC he was still making $250,000 flat, so let’s assume for the sake of argument that he went back to the original contract with the same pay and PPV share. Post-event estimates peg the event as having sold 850,000 buys. How much did that make Randy? 1.67 million dollars, bringing his total money off the Brock Lesnar fight to 2.2 million bucks.
These totals are still using the numbers the UFC agreed to pay Randy back in March 2007. By 2008 he was already feeling like he had gotten a raw deal, to the point that he left the UFC.
Let’s be clear (and this is something everyone should note when talking about these negotiations): There’s no way to tell for sure what Fedor was offered by the UFC. The ‘leaked’ offer states 5 million per fight. Randy Couture’s deal back in 2007 had him making between a million and two million bucks a fight. I’m not going to make any more assumptions on what this means – I’ll let you decide. How much more do you think they offered Fedor this week than what Randy got in 2007? And how much money do you think the contract would have made Fedor with fights against Brock, Randy, and Mirko?