Okay, with the research I have done (and I have been doing it for years on this topic) here are some the avenues I have found for a fighter to get paid for fighting:
- Fight Purse
- Fight Purse Win Bonus
- FOTN/SOTN/KOOTN Bonuses
- PPV Cut (Not everybody enjoys this)
- Signing Bonuses (Not everybody enjoys this)
- Performance Bonuses (Locker room and contractual)
- There are rumors that Zuffa pays some guys in other ways but I have never seen verification of this.
Now here is something a lot of people don't know.
Most athletic commissions require a MMA promotion to buy a bond that covers the entire purse in advance of any event. This was put in place to guarantee that the participants are paid. This ties up a significant amount of capital for the promoters.
SO, a smart business move is to only pay a percentage of a fighters pay in the actual purse and pay the rest in a salary/bonus structure. Now this probably does not apply to many of the newer fighters but I am sure it does to those who have a name.
When you look at promotions like Affliction and look at what they were paying their fighters it seemed like they were paying their fighters much more than Zuffa. The thing many didnt consider is that Affliction did not have a track record of paying their fighters out side of the purse so many of the fighters requested that all their pay be in the purse so that it is protected by the bond the promoter had to buy.
First of all, athletes are employees and should be paid as every employee regarding much profit brings to the business or how important is for the business. From that angle, MMA fighters are not paid SHIT! why? Cause Zuffa is a monopoly actually. And that's unfair.
Are you saying that all fighters should be paid the same? If that is what you are suggesting that is absolutely crazy! The top fighters SHOULD get paid better than new fighters! It gives a new fighter incentive to become a top fighter!
Zuffa is NOT a monopoly actually. There is currently an MMA promotion that will be airing on Spike as soon as the Zuffa deal is over that its ownership has over a billion cash in reserve! They are competition. While they are not good competition yet, they are competition!
Also, edlavis nobody talks about millions in the MMA field! But even if we were talking about millions, there is nothing wrong about that! As i said they bring money.. so they are paid for this. Why is wrong for athletes to gain millions and it's not bad for Dana White and Zuffa?
Dana White and the Frattitas SHOULD be making good money. They built the UFC and pretty much took MMA from a barbaric sport to being on the cusp of main stream!
What most people don't understand is the risk that these people take. Most of them train for this all their lives and have at best 10 years of career at high level. They have also injuries and doctors. Every moment a career can end cause of a bad moment in a sparring match. This risk must be paid!
As said above.... WHO DOESNT understand that MMA comes with risks?
You are right, nobody forced them to sign with the UFC, but 1) not everybody reads the fine print on the bottom of a 20 page contract, and 2) this is illegal under boxing legislation and it will only be so long before the Feds put the cuffs on Zuffa.
First... Anybody who does not read a contract that they sign for employment deserves what ever hardships come their way!
That is illegal under boxing because boxing has a long history of screwing the fighters over! Zuffa does not have that history.
I do not foresee the UFC having any Anti-trust issues, in fact if anything I can see them getting an Anti-trust exemption, much like NFL, NBA, MLB and so on...