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Sucks to be Josh Smith

WEC pay is out, courtesy of MMA on Tap:

Urijah Faber: $20,000
John Alessio: $18,000
Brock Larson: $16,000
Alex Karalexis: $10,000
Rani Yahya: $10,000
Cub Swanson: $8,000
Brian Stann: $8,000
Mark Hominick: $6,000
Alex Serdyukov: $6,000
Jeff Bedard: $6,000
Charlie Valencia: $6,000
Chance Farrar: $4,000
Brian Bowles: $4,000
Micah Miller: $4,000
Mike French: $3,000
Kevin Knabjian: $2,000
Craig Zellner: $2,000
Josh Smith: $1,000

For a second tier organization like the WEC, this isn’t too shabby overall. Again the pay for the middle and lower rung fighters is almost on par with the UFC, and the bigger names are already being paid a comfortable amount. There’s a few people who I think got short changed though:

Chance Farrar : The fact that a dude headlining a show is getting 4k/4k (that’s 4k to fight and 4k to win) is kinda sad. Especially considering the story going around that no one else was willing to fight Faber. Farrar took a fight he had no business being in, and lost his perfect record because of it. The WEC should take into account this and pay the guy more.

Kevin Knabjian: Another example of the WEC not rewarding a guy who stood up to the plate. Kevin was a last minute replacement for Carlos Condit, and he agreed to fight Brock Larson, a total beast. That’s worth more than 2k.

My main issues at the moment with payment (both in the UFC and WEC) is the base pay for starting fighters. If these organizations are serious about finding and developing new talent, they should be paying these guys enough to fight ‘full-time’. It’s not a huge expense either. Paying a fighter the equivelant of a 32k a year salary is only around 8k per fight, 4 fights a year. Paying guys 1000$ to fight on a major cable network is pretty scandalous. Giving a guy 2000$ to fight a guy like Brock Larson is even worse.

I’m not the kind of guy to constantly bang the “Pay everyone more” drum because take a look at what happened to boxing as a result. But there’s a difference between fighters not being paid as much as they’re worth and fighters who are practically having to pay out of their own pocket to fight for these organizations. There’s a serious issue with the pay for lower rung fighters at UFC and WEC level, and it needs to be resolved to ensure we don’t lose countless numbers of potential world class fighters who simply can’t afford to stay in the sport.

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