The UFC is infamously secretive when it comes to how much they pay their guys. Sure, you have those government mandated disclosure rules in certain states that give us show and win amounts. But that doesn’t factor in mystery contract clauses, locker room bonuses, PPV sale cuts, sponsorship money, and who knows what else.
All in all it keeps us would be MMA Sherlocks largely in the dark on how much guys actually make. Fortunately, once in a while the curtain gets pushed aside and we get a glimpse, like when Randy Couture shared his bout agreement with the press during a contract dispute. Legal disclosure means we’re probably going to find out all the nitty gritty regarding Alistair Overeem’s deal now that he’s suing his management team Golden Glory (more on that later today). And now here’s Georges St Pierre letting slip his ballpark earnings:
St-Pierre, while talking with Agences France-Presse last week, disclosed the amount of money a PPV fight is worth to him, along with the city the event is held in.
“For me, a fight is (worth) $4-to-$5 million. And in the city where the UFC holds its events, there are economic benefits (to the city) of between $15-to-$20 million. It’s huge,” St-Pierre said.
As for being called the highest paid fighter in the UFC, GSP said he is unsure of that claim but added, “I learned that the UFC makes the most money on pay-per-view when I am fighting. That made me smile!”
Of course, that’s what we call a Dana Truth, not a ‘Real Truth.’ PPV numbers are reported on with a bit more certainty, and Brock Lesnar is the UFC’s top seller with over a million buys per show. Georges sits more around 700k – 800k buys. Maybe when you factor in how much they pay Brock, the UFC makes more money when Georges fights? Or maybe Dana White just likes to weave reality sometimes.
So in the tradition of Randy Math, let’s break down this 4 to 5 million Georges is making and see if we can figure out where it all comes from.
Based on his last fight in a state where the comission forces payout figures (Nevada, UFC 100), Georges makes 200k to show, 200k to win. We calculate PPV numbers off the only baseline we’ve ever seen, Randy Couture’s contract back in 2007. This obviously skews towards the low end of the scale but at least has some basis in reality. If Georges was making what Randy was making (roughly $2.50 per PPV buy), thats about 1.8 million for a total of 2.2 million.
That leaves 1.8 to 2.8 million coming in off fight specific sponsorship and advertising. Not an unthinkable number by any stretch of the imagination. And keep this in mind: Georges still has mega-deals with Gatorade and Under Armor that aren’t tied to any specific fight. Dude be ballin’!