I work in corporate finance, and I'm curious to understand how and how much fighters earn.
I've seen the bonuses which frankly don't look too impressive. Nick Diaz earned 200k, which is of course a significant amount of money. But on the other end of the spectrum Matt Mitrione got a piddling 10k.
These fighters fight 1-3 times a year, and they have to pay for housing and living, but also for training which can't be cheap considering the top guys have a manager, 1-5 trainers/coaches, as many training partners, and it looks like many march around with an army of yes-men, and some even bring an entourage.
200k once or twice a year doesn't sound like it would make anyone wealthy in that environment, let alone for those who are not in the top 5 of their division.
I cringed when Jon Bones bought that fancy car of his; if he's earning this little, he's buying it on credit, and that'll go down south quickly if he gets beaten (discussion for another thread).
So who pays for their training camps and partners and how? Does the camp and/or training partners take a % of winnings, and how much, or do the fighters pay out of their pocket per hour or per camp?
What other sources of income do these guys have? I'm guessing sponsorship deals are getting more important, especially with Fox being on board offering much more attractive proposition for advertisers.
First off this probably belongs in the General MMA section.
Simply put most fighters can not make a living off this sport long term. Some still work 9-5 like Carwin or have side ventures opening their own gyms, acting in movies or have their own clothing lines (Tito, Hendo, Randy.) Sponsorship supplements their income. The more wins you have the higher profile fights you get and thus the sponsorship $'s increase.
This ranges depending on caliber of fighter. You can be like old school Crocop and train out of your own garage.
Agent - 5%
Management - 5% - 15%
Training facility rental.
Food + supplements.
Accomodations for training partners.
Medical treatment. *
After everything is said in done I'd imagine 30% - 50% of the fighters' purse goes to expenses.
Six Figures on up
$100k or less
Most mid tiered fighters or ones on their way down.
$50k or less
Up and comers, gate keepers, journeyman, or aging fighters.
Like any sport or business it's based on performance. Prime example is Fedor. He was commanding over a million (Affliction/UFC offered $5 million apparently) for a fight which would be a record in MMA terms. After being undefeated for 10 YEARS he's now lost three in a row and has been cut. Which means ZERO income. Now he's fighting Jeff Monson. How crazy is that!
To summarize if you look at the fighters above they were ALL broke at one point in their careers and trained their ASSES off to get to where they are today. Now they earn the big bucks. So when people say oh he's afraid of this fighter or that...I usually shake my head.
Hope this gives you a little insight on the finances. We can probably break it down on a micro level, but that would take more time out of my day...haha.