The copyright thing is DEFINATLY not the reason why UFC cant pay their fighters more, if i compare it to the main competitor on the worldwide market of mma, Pride.
Go to Youtube,Video google, dailymotion and other sites to watch videos, search for UFC and then search for Pride(i suggest searching specific fights, cuz ive tried with just pride, and i keep getting gay parades
the UFC already has put a stop to this, if you look at Youtube, they already have blocked any recent PPV fights. Its not because u can see the picture of the fight that u can actually see the fight. at dailymotion, its the only place u can find it right now, i think its because dailymotion is not based in the US(not sure at all). Anyways, they are not never up after 1-2 days, so its like watching a hockey game when u already know the score...
If you look at Pride, they are so many more fights u can watch, from recent to old. yet, they were still paying their fighters more.
And in any case, from those who were watching any UFC/Pride event from the net, how many would of actually bought the dvd, or pay the PPV event? I would def say less than 50%, but i have nothing to prove it. So in the end, video sharing might actually increase the number of potential mma fans, therefore incresing the potential sells of whatever product, from tickets to ppv. Its the same debate as for music sharing, but unlike music, mma is def not known to general public.