UFC Fighter Wages: Maybe We Are The Problem - Page 3 - MMA Forum - UFC Forums - UFC Results - MMA Videos
UFC The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books. UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.

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post #21 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 07:22 PM
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I rarely buy UFC PPV but I did start buying DVDs to add to my collection. UFC PPVs are largely not that entertaining, so I'll save $40 from the PPV and buy the DVD for $20 and a case of beer. When a fight startes to suck, hit fast forward on the remote.

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post #22 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, I really thought you guys would have 'blasted' more.

I fully expected the "What came first; the chicken or the egg?" arguement. In other words several people have responded, in general, by saying that they would never buy the ppvs or DVDs so watching bootlegged fights is no loss to the UFC. That's easy to say and hard to prove. Its not just the money generated from ppvs and DVDs, its probably more so a loss of advertising dollars.

Also, I've read several other posts that give a few more reasons for poor payouts, good points. The UFC has got to get its financial act together, a good start might be to have Dana White in charge of fight promotions and have an MBA in charge business operations.

Last edited by f-dog; 11-26-2006 at 09:00 PM.
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post #23 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-26-2006, 10:54 PM
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I think its the way (Intelligently and respectful) you presented the idea that stopped anyone from blasting the post. I would think that based on UFC's relatively low profile just a few years ago the internet has done nothing but promote the sport. I believe that the reasons for the low pay are likely multifactorial but one that hasnt been mentioned:

As far as business goes, UFC has done a great job not only promoting their product but also using TUF to create hype around fighters that aern't high paid - dont think the just the $100,000 winners but also the other guys who fight after losing the on the show. This in turn creates greater supply of fighters and keeps everyones wages from rapidly increasing as they struggle for spotlight time.

I agree with the poster that as the sport grows in popularity - I think it will overtake boxing in a decade or so - wages will increase. Hopefully that doesn't mean Don King will ever play a part in UFC!
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post #24 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by samurice
The number one problem is the lack of competition the UFC has. They are the number one organization and no one can compete with them within the US right now. So they can pay their fighters shit, put on a crappy card every month, hype it up and end up with millions every month. Of course another big problem are the little guys who are letting this happen. The people downloading or watching the fights free on the Internet are not contributing to this problem as much as the people who actually pay. If the UFC can continue to pay their fighters as little as possible, they are going to.

This is someone who knows what they are speaking about.

I am in the entertainment business. I do concerts in large venues like the UFC, so let me explain to you how some of these expenses work.

A building to rent out costs you maybe $100,000.
The production costs wouldnt exceed more than $50 - $100k for the event.
Fighters salaries are minimal, lets call it $750,000.
marketing / promotions is probably a million, but remember, they do a lot of marketing within there own resources i.e. spike tv, website, emails etc etc...
Add that up and a UFC costs $2million MAX!!!
They make that back at the gate!

Even if they do half a million PPV buys at $40 and they net 75% of that, that is still $15mil net.

I dont care how much debt they ran up (I have no clue or idea), but know this. There is no way they havent been able to recoup a huge amount of money in the last few years with the sudden rise in UFC's popularity. Look at all the additional revenue streams that the UFC takes in.
PPV, Sponsorships, Gate Revenues, Merchandising (we all know people with tuques or hats). They are a big business and they are getting away with murder because they are able to. Where else can a 25 year old guy not have to work a 9 to 5, and go make $40k+ a year doing something they enjoy. We all either wish we could fight or be involved somehow. They are pimping these people, and let me tell you something, it could be a bad move if they dont start sharing the money with their fighters.

The big bucks is in the global appeal of UFC. You think it is coincidental that UFC is going to Montreal now that GSP is the champ? Do you realize how much bigger that is going to make UFC in another country. Thats how boxing makes its money. Intertnational PPV buys, hence the reason there are many european, spanish, mexican, and international fighters. The UFC has made their mark in the us and now they are expanding globally but not paying their fighters fairly. If they do Montreal, it is the smartest thing they ever did. They will gross record gate sales because of GSP's hometown appeal. You dont think he deserves at least a percentage of that?

I wont profess to know what they are getting paid, I have heard some stupid numbers, but there is no reason why a champion like GSP, or Chuck isnt making a million a year. Considring pro boxers can make anywhere from 1 million to 20 million a fight. They are the ones selling the fights and the PPV's and enabling them to expand.

Athletes are just that ... athletes. They are not business minded people, and all its going to take is 1 smart athlete to realize they are getting ****ed.

The music business is a totally different game. The artists make all the money. If I paid an artist like Madonna to perform at Arco Arena, I would not only have to give her half a million as a guarantee, but then there aer back end deals (bonuses/overages) which go 80% to the artist and 20% to the promoter. In the concert world, the artists realized they were the selling point so they got it covered. Just like boxing. Boxers get percentages and bonuses on PPV sales if there appeal helps sell fights.

I am doing a basketball game in canada this week. The game is an offshoot of the And 1 streetball tour. The guy doing the tour, is the premiere player for And 1. He gets $50k a year being the poster boy for And 1, which makes 100 million a year. He got fed up, so he started his own streetball league and he is not only charging a quarter of what an And 1 game costs to buy, but he is making twice the money.

The smartest thing the UFC can do is pay their fighters more so they can prevent anyone else from trying to start their own league.

Remember, their is huge money is prize fighting, all it takes is for a person with more money like a Donald Trump or someone on that level to decide they want to try it out, and as long as the UFC pays their guys properly, then they wont have to worry about anyone jumping ship.
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post #25 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 12:17 PM
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Their debt was between 20-40 million (not sure what it's down to.)

They bought the UFC for around 2 million, so that shows you what financial shape it was in.

They do need to pay more, but their expenses are more than you guys think. It's not like boxing where HBO or Showtime can back the PPV, Zuffa has to do the whole deal. I'm sure it costs more to rent out Mandalay Bay than 100,000. 100,000 may rent you out some big ass concert hall, but not a Las Vegas Casino.

You guys are all making good points, but face it, nobody knows the real numbers, so none of us get to say THEY MAKE X THEY SHOULD GIVE Y.
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post #26 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 02:07 PM
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I will never accept the idea that we , the general public, are the problem zuffa being cheap. I am one of guys who buys the ppv almost everymonth. I love the production values. I am more excited to see the fights as the event unfolds when i buy them blah, blah, blah.....

As a consumer, I pluck 40 dollars on UFC ppvs almost every month. Sometimes, I get the fight quality of my money's worth sometimes I don't. I don't complain when fights suck. The fighters can only make the most of how they live and train. Boxing purses reflect promoters that want the fighters to give high quality efforts all of the time. This is not something that can ever be said about anyone who steps in the UFC. In life, we get what we pay for. I just don't like the idea that some fighters are not making enough money to fully concentrate on the quality of thier fighting. This disturbs me when I think the quality of my forty dollars should demand that.

I also watch some fights online. Its not the same to me. I would rather pay to watch event.

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post #27 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 07:15 PM
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the whole deal. I'm sure it costs more to rent out Mandalay Bay than 100,000. 100,000 may rent you out some big ass concert hall, but not a Las Vegas Casino.

For $100,000 you rent out the larger venues like Arco Arena or Madison Square Gradens etc etc... that si the venue cost. Not some concert hall.

I did an event the same night as the St. Pierre fight at the Mandalay Bay in the House of Blues. We rented it out for the Paquaio afterparty. We got the venue for free.

In vegas, venues are known to be cheaper because it brings big spenders and gamblers to the casino, hence he reason that 1. venues are cheaper (its an added attraction) and 2 ticket prices are soooooo high.

That is interesting that they bought the UFC for that little and that it had such big debt. They are still making huge money. I wont profess to know their finances, but I do know that the fighters not only derserve mopre money, but the UFC is making enough money to pay them more than what they are getting.

My numbers may be off, but they somewhat accurate. I am not guessing many costs and now that wee have been shown the fighters purses, its even sadder. The UFC cold have easily forked out more money to pay the fighters.

Imagine training for 8 to 12 weeks, 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, to make $4,000!!!
Thats not an athlete, thats a sucker. Amateur athletes make more than that.Look at the television deals, sponsosrship deals, increase in PPV buys, merchandising. Their website has gotten 400 times as many hits in the last 2 years. 400 times!!!

UFC is pimping their fighters .... bottom line ...
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post #28 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-27-2006, 10:21 PM
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Gawd, again?

I'll repost.
Salaries are supply and demand.
The fighters are getting paid what they will accept.

While I realize Sports Entertainment Wrestling will make people laugh, it is a good comparison. Wrestling were indie shows (like MMA were), then Vince McM. created a strong entertainment package (UFC) and it was doing 'better'. It gave a structure, a face, and mainstream visibility. Then came WCW and ECW. "Wrestling" did its best when ECW and WCW were real competitors. The public had options to watch, the athletes cross shopped the best deals, and everything flourished. That is where MMA needs to go next. The BEST thing that could happen for the fighters is that a second North American company spawned or Pride came in. That would generate real competition and do two things; It would create brand conflict and it would create salary competition. Bodog seems to be experimenting in it, but their show is a piece of crap. It is one long ad. I am hoping for Pride. I would like to see more basic cable MMA, and I like their penalties for stalled action.

Unfortunately, for all us Forum jockeys our opinion won't matter anyway. UFC is a business and they are not going to pay their folks more until they have to. McD's does not start people out at $20 bucks an hour, because they don't have to. MMA is no different. They are not going to pump out Million dollar prize money when they have guys willing to take title fights for 10k + points.

Last edited by BHShaman; 11-27-2006 at 10:24 PM.
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post #29 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 12:43 PM
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The WFA is your new North American company, which was able to afford guys like Rampage and Matt Lindland... However I think they are done, they havent' done anything since July.

I'm just saying, it's not only the purse that these guys make. That's just what the UFC gets to say they make for the fight.

GSP - earns X for the fight. On top of that, he gets 10K from TapOut (either for best knockout or best submission), Dana White goes "Shit you guys really hyped up this fight for yourselves, here's X cut from PPV" which the UFC will never disclose... whoever sponsors the fighters pays them to broadcast their stuff on their trunks.

Trust me you guys, even Jeff Monson got more money out of that PPV than the purse suggests. Don't you guys find it odd that some Pride fighters are coming over when Pride is known to have bigger purses? UFC fighters get more than just their purse. I will say it again, it's been well documented that Chuck V Randy 3, Chuck got 250k purse and Randy got 225K purse, both of them made over 1mill on that fight.
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post #30 of 32 (permalink) Old 11-28-2006, 12:56 PM
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if you Nobs read my thread, you would somewhat have a better understanding of how much a fighter can probably make off a PPV match,
alot of the fighters do not get PPV percentages, only the TOP Tier fighters do, and when they do its range from 1-4.5% TOPS

usually it would be probably 2-3% at most if your Fedor or Chuck

UFC 61, total of $30M in PPV Sales

Last edited by x X CLoud X x; 11-28-2006 at 01:06 PM.
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