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#282747 - 09/02/06 01:04 PM UFC and money
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Interesting article on the current state of earnings for some of the UFC fighters:

"The popularity of mixed martial arts fighting is on the rise, as is the money involved in the sport.

But in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which dominates the sport in North America, only the elite fighters appear to reap the financial rewards.

Just ask Toronto police officer Rob MacDonald, who was choked unconscious after two minutes and 26 seconds of the first round Saturday on the undercard of the UFC 62: Liddell vs. Sobral fight card.

MacDonald earned $5,000 (all figures U.S.) and left with $3,500 since as a foreigner he had to pay 30 per cent tax.

Saturday's card drew 10,419 to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, for a paid gate of $3,040,880. The UFC does not divulge pay-per-view figures (the card cost $39.99 Canadian to watch north of the border) but, which follows the sport, reported in July that pay-per-view sales for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie generated at least $23.97 million.

That, coupled with a live gate of $2.9 million that night, made the May 27 Matt Hughes-Royce Gracie showdown the UFC's biggest haul with revenue of at least $26.87 million (figures for UFC 61 were not available when MMAWeekly ran its piece).

Contrast those big-ticket figures with what the fighters earned Saturday night.

According to information provided by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, the UFC paid the 18 fighters on the card a total of $407,000 with $250,000 of that going to light-heavyweight champion Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell for stopping Renato (Babalu) Sobral in 95 seconds.

Usually UFC fighters get a fee for fighting and a bonus if they win. Liddell did not get a win bonus, according to the Athletic Commission records, but he likely will get a lucrative cut of the pay-per-view. The UFC declined comment, saying it does not discuss fighter contracts.

Sobral, meanwhile, earned a modest $21,000 for his troubles. Had he won, he would have picked up another $21,000.

In the co-main event, Forrest Griffin collected $32,000 for his victory over Stephan Bonnar $16,000 plus a $16,000 win bonus. Bonnar left with $16,000.

Toronto-born middleweight Ivan Salaverry used to fight in the UFC, but now is signed to the fledgling World Fighting Alliance. While crediting the UFC for helping build the sport, he wonders about the discrepancies between UFC purses and revenues.

"Fighters go in there, beat the heck out of each other, against world-class athletes and they get a few thousand dollars while the UFC is making record sales on pay-per-views," said the 35-year-old Salaverry, now based out of Seattle. Still, the UFC is well aware of its competitors.

Jeremy Lappen, chief executive officer of the WFA, was escorted out of the building at UFC 61: Bitter Rivals, despite having a ticket given to him by Ken Shamrock, whom he used to manage and who was fighting.

"I think they're nervous. They don't want competition," Lappen said of the UFC.

"They want to be a monopoly. They operate that way.

"The funny thing is that competition in the long run would be the best thing to ever happen to them because it'll grow the sport. But I don't think they see it that way, and I think they're threatened."

Lappen, who also once managed Randy Couture, says the WFA's vision calls for the focus to be on the fighter rather than the organization.

"I would just bang my head against the wall seeing what the other promotions were doing.

"They operate on the philosophy of the brand is what sells, it's not the fighter. ... They do that because they're afraid the fighters are going to become too big and too powerful, and they'll have pay them too much money to keep them."

Salaverry says fighters definitely feel the might of UFC when it comes to purses.

"It's very difficult for guys to negotiate their contracts because they are the big show," he said. "For the amount of money that they're (the UFC) making, I think a lot of these fighters are not getting their due, for sure."

The WFA gives fighters a better deal, according to Salaverry.

"If anything I gained a lot of money from the WFA. They negotiated very fairly with me in comparison for the UFC. I get paid a lot more from the WFA than I did with the UFC."

The UFC hypes the six-figure contract it has rewarded winners of its Ultimate Fighter reality TV show, but the prize is less impressive taken into account that the deal might cover nine fights over three years.

Competitors under contract to the International Fight League, another fledgling circuit that bills itself as mixed martial arts' first league, pays its fighters a salary as well as win bonuses.

Former UFC champion Carlos Newton, who coaches the IFL's Toronto Dragons team, says his fighters will make at least $60,000 in the IFL next year (expected to consist of six or seven bouts), even if they lose.

"That is far more than what guys are getting for a four-fight deal in the UFC, walking in for the first time," he said.

UFC president Dana White was unimpressed by what he saw in the WFA's debut show, King of the Streets, held July 22 at Inglewood, Calif.

``They lost tons of money," he said in an interview.

"One of the big problems is people look (at the UFC) from the outside and go, `Damn, look how big they are, look how good they're doing. That looks easy.' And it's anything but easy.

"You really have to know this business and if you don't know the business, it takes you a long time to figure it out. And to be honest with you, we're the only ones that really know this business inside and out. So is it going to happen? Is someone going to jump in there and learn it? Yeah, but they're going to have to have some staying power."

The UFC has shown it has that under the ownership of the Fertitta brothers and White's management, paying off its past debts and widening its reach.

White, a smart and smooth front man for the UFC, knows his organization is king of the MMA mountain.

And he shows it, when asked if he would want a successful fighter like Salaverry back?

"Well, if Ivan keeps winning, he will be back in my house," said White. "That's a given. I don't care what organization pops up out there, the UFC is the place to fight. So if he keeps winning, he will end up here."

Salaverry cautions young fighters to get financial help.

"And if you don't have an agent, you don't have representation, you're going to get taken to the cleaners."
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

#282748 - 09/02/06 01:53 PM Re: UFC and money [Re: MattJ]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
Interesting read Matt. For Canadian fighters, once they are back in Canada they can claim the loss and recuperate it as well. You fill out some forms and submit it and for a nominal fee you get the rest of it. This happens when people make money in Vegas or game shows as well ... so the Canadian people don't really lose out that much.

From what I've read here and from what I've seen in my own backyard for MMA events, the people running these things make out the best by far. I would almost compare these people to the promotors of professional wrestling. If you follow this they sign people and almost control them and pay little but as you are signed into contracts it is hard to get the real big bucks. Not only that the promotors have the ins and people want in so you almost sell your sole for a chance knowing you are getting ripped off.

I agree with Dana, Salaverry will be back if he is the continues to win as the UFC is the big show ... just like the WWE is the big show for professional wrestling. Everybody wants to be on top and be seen by the public as a recognized figure in society. They want the glitz and glamour and hope that one day they are on top of the game like Chuck Liddell making the bigger coin.

It seems like this is the business and just what happens ... and there are people lined up ready to accept these deals ... in fact they are tripping over each other for this.

#282749 - 09/02/06 02:44 PM Re: UFC and money [Re: Dereck]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
This is not that suprising- its the same in boxing. All journeymen pro's have day jobs to supplement their fight purses. its only the top boxers who make money.

If you want to earn big money, take up golf, or basketball, or Soccer (in europe) or any sport other than fighting.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'

#282750 - 09/02/06 02:51 PM Re: UFC and money [Re: Cord]
Dereck Offline

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10416
Loc: Great White North
True as fighters "normally" do not last long. Being an individual sport either you are on top or you are not. Big names can coast a bit if they are big in people's eyes but nobodies will remain unknown and passed over for the next big thing or big purse. NFL Football and NHL Hockey ... now there is some money ... not to mention Baseball and Basketball ($$$$$$$).

#282751 - 09/02/06 03:22 PM Re: UFC and money [Re: MattJ]
Crash Offline
Buckle up!

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 627
Loc: Ontario, Canada
That sucks big time! These guys give up so much to be champions but few get that chance.
Even though you only have two arms you can still block with your forearms.

#282752 - 09/03/06 02:53 AM Re: UFC and money [Re: Dereck]
Cord Offline

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
you want the big bucks? become a top golfers caddy- they work on a percentage (normally 10%) of the golfers winnings.
Tiger Woods' caddy has earned millions over the last few years, and is classed as the highest earning New Zealand sportsman because of it. He even runs a V8 race car team over there outside of the golf season, all funded from carrying clubs around a field.
Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'


Moderator:  Cord, Fletch1, MattJ, Reiki 

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