UFC 76 took place at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. on Saturday, Sept. 22, and featured Keith Jardine’s upset split-decision victory over Chuck Liddell. Jardine earned $14,000 for the victory, and Liddell earned $500,000 in defeat.
In case you were wondering, Liddell earned over 35 times the amount of money Keith Jardine made. Of course, Chuck Liddell is like the Michael Jordan (or Wilt Chamberlain) of the UFC so it makes sense that he gets payed that much. Plus under the table bonuses. Plus UFC-brokered sponsorship money. Plus Dana’s first born child.
On the other hand, Keith Jardine making 14k for his win is simply hilarious. Jardine was an Ultimate Fighter 2 contestant, and he got the same shitty contract the rest of the TUF losers got: 7000 to fight and 7000 to win. That was two years and 7 fights ago. Looking at his record you can balance his salary out at $42,000 a year. For you kiddies still in school, here’s a nice point of reference: Plumbers make $54,000 a year on the low end of the scale.
One would hope that Keith is gonna get a renegotiated contract sometime soon, but for some reason the UFC is weird about stuff like that. Rich Franklin has been stuck on a dog of a contract for years now while Houston Alexander apparently signed a new contract before his first UFC opponent even made it to the hospital. So who knows if Dana White will reward Jardine and up his pay or keep him where he is until the terms of his TUF serfdom expire.
Of course, my bitching could be completely moot. There’s always all this talk of magic money that flows freely under the table and away from the prying eyes of sanctioning bodies. But I don’t have faith in Jesus or God existing, so why should I put faith in the idea of mystical pay either? Until I see definitive proof that the average UFC fighter can afford a mortgage payment, fuck that shit.