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UFC fighters make 50k+ a year (just not from the UFC)

Another tidbit from that ESPN article … the reporter came SO close to nailing Dana on pay, but baldy snuck through a loophole:

The Mag: Of the 180 fighters on the roster, what percentage of them make more than $50,000 a year?

DW: Tons make that, and most make a lot more. I’d say a huge percentage.

The Mag: Would you say 75 percent of your guys—of the 180 on the roster—make that or better?

DW: Easily 75 percent. Probably more than 75 percent.

If only the reporter has asked if the fighters make more than 50k from fighting in the UFC alone. I don’t doubt that lots of the fighters make 50k a year after you factor in THEIR SECOND JOBS or the sponsors they hunt down for themselves or the clothes that they hawk on their own. It always drives me nuts when Dana White talks about all the money fighters have coming in from sources other than the UFC’s pockets, like that absolves him of the responsibility to pay them properly. If you ask me, the idea of a fighter making more off of sponsors on his shorts and banner than the UFC pays is fucking retarded.

I know I’ve run this subject into the ground and I know there’s a lot of people who disagree with me here, but I just want to say it one more time (well, one more time right now … I’ll NEVER stop bitching about pay): If you want fighters to maximize their potential you have to remove them from the need to worry about money. A lot of MMA fans subscribe to the idea that keeping fighters poor keeps them ‘hungry’, which is fucking stupid. Good training costs money. Good trainers cost money. High class nutrition costs money. A good camp costs money.

I’m not advising we break the bank paying all fighters retarded amounts of money. I’d be happy if fighters were being paid 50k a year from the UFC – which shows you how fucking low I’ve set the goddamn bar for the UFC.

  • Denton

    Does the UFC cover their fighters’ medical expenses after an event? Is it all of’em or a percentage? Do you have to pay a deductible? Most of them should be making atleast 50k from the UFC alone AND have their med bills covered, atleast from injuries occured during the fights.

  • Tom K

    As lame as this sounds, it could be seen as a good thing that sponsors make up a large amount of what fighters make. The more people/companies/sponsors with a financial stake in MMA, the more beneficial it is for its long term future.

  • cranial

    50k a year for a full time fighter in the ufc doing interviews and all that mess to hype their own fight is insulting. 50k would barely cover living for the guys with small families or any kind of responsibility. I’m sure 50k is good for some 20 year old dude that thinks he’ll be fighting for the rest of his life making 50k living in his 400 sq foot studio apt and living paycheck to paycheck.

  • cyph

    The money will come. I think some of you people are a little impatient. When baseball and football started, most athletes held full time jobs in the off season. Look at them now.

    Even now, most fighters who resign with the UFC gets at least 10k + 10k, and that’s not counting the sponsor money. I’m not defending the UFC because I feel they should pay fighters at least 10 + 10 as a minimum, but I won’t condemn them until there is a market that justify that kind of pay. It’s called capitalism, when there’s demand for the up and comer, then the pay will come.

    Just because a guy thinks he’s an MMA fighter does not mean he’s cut out to be one. Think of the first contract as an audition contract. If you win, you make more money, if you lose, well, get a real job. Fighting is a “job” that people deserve to make a living wage. Most people are not cut out to be fighters just as most people are not cut out to play in the NBA. That’s life. Just because you think you’re a fighter does not mean you should be paid like a real fighter.

  • Procannonfodder

    It’s easy to say that they are underpaid, but seeing as how the UFC is the only profitable mma org the question is what’s the balance between making a healthy business and paying employees for their risk. It will be interesting to see if Affliction can do it more in the fighter’s favor and still stay in business. It’s also easy to promise the world when you’re playing catch-up, and something else to actually deliver….

  • kentyman

    Not counting sponsorships is like complaining that restaurants pay waiters and waitresses less than minimum wage.

    Part of the job is the potential to make more money through extra effort. And unless you suck real bad, you will make more money.

  • koolpaw

    yeah and with only one fight at WEC, Yoshiro Maeda made
    600,000 !!


    super ouch

  • fightlinker

    I do think it’s bullshit that people in the service industry get paid less than minimum wage. How in god’s name it became the customer’s responsibility to make sure servers are taken care of is beyond me. Tipping in general is a fucking stupid concept, and changing laws to force people to tip is even worse.

  • Beau

    In a lot of sports athletes make more from sponsorships than the sport itself. Golf is a great example, Tiger Woods and every other golfer make way more from sponsorships than they do from tournament winnings. Nascar is another one. I think it’s perfectly fair to include sponsorships since the only reason they are getting paid to have logos on their shorts is because they are wearing those shorts in the UFC Octagon. If they were not shown in the octagon they would get zero sponsorhsip money. If most of the guys are getting 50K a year then I think that is fine. I went to college for 5 years and had to pay for all of it myself so that I could start at a 50K salary and have some nice sized debt for the next 30 years. I train in my spare time because its fun and gets you into good shape. These guys are getting paid to train which is something they would do anyways and then they get paychecks for 15 minutes of work tops. You need to stop being such a whiney little bitch, or at least start bitching about how all of us college grads deserve more money for busting our ass in school for 16+ years so that we can start at the same pay scale as a dude who trained for like 2 years.

  • fightlinker

    If you’re spending 16+ years to get through college, then you’re lucky to make 50k ;-)

  • Niceguy

    I dunno, it really should depend on what part of the card you are on. Some of these guys on the undercard don’t really deserve much money.

  • el feo XIII

    Tipping is stupid? What are you, Mr Pink?