UFC Fight Night 84: Silva vs. Bisping – Who’s Getting Paid?

26 Feb , 2016,
McKinley Noble
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Amid all the crazy changes over UFC 196, it seems like UFC Fight Night 84 has been largely overshadowed this weekend. While that seems unfair, the card is still going to offer a pretty dynamite headliner as Michael Bisping gets his long-awaited match against former pound-for-pound kingpin Anderson Silva.

And despite this event getting squirreled away on UFC Fight Pass, there’s actually a pretty decent main card after everything’s said and done. With that in mind, let’s bask in the calm before next week’s storm and take a look at the most recent fighter salaries and Reebok payouts for all the main card talent showing up in London tomorrow.

Note: Divisional rankings via Fight Matrix. UFC salaries and Reebok figures via MMA Payout and MMA Junkie.


Anderson Silva [#15 MW]
$815,000 = $600,000/$200,000 [UFC 183]

Michael Bisping [#9 MW]
$425,000 = $275,000/$150,000 [TUF 14 Finale]

Analysis: “Anderson Silva money” has been a popular phrase for a while, and given the Brazilian’s history of disclosed pay, it’s not hard to see why. Silva has been consistently paid a base salary of $600,000 for a few years now, a relatively huge jump from his $200,000 mark — last seen at UFC 148 against Chael Sonnen.

For Bisping, the payment situation is much more curious, as he hasn’t had anything go public since beating up Jason Miller on a TUF Finale card in December 2011. Arguably the biggest draw the UFC has for England, you have to wonder if he’s making “Anderson Silva money” yet.


Gegard Mousasi [#7 MW]
$175,000** [Strikeforce: Oklahoma (2013)]

Thales Leites [#11 MW]
$48,000 = $24,000/$24,000 [UFC 183]

Analysis: Gegard Mousasi hasn’t fought in a disclosure commission state since January 2013, and at this point, it’s hard to assume he’s making Strikeforce-level pay despite his promotional value. At 4-3 in the UFC so far, even a pay reduction might not be a shock, especially after Mousasi’s upset loss to Uriah Hall.

On the other hand, Thales Leites seems criminally underpaid (on paper) for someone with his record and tenure, at 25-5 overall and 11-3 in the UFC dating back to 2006. Sure, he just had an eight-fight winning streak snapped, but the disclosed salary here is frankly shocking.


Tom Breese [#49 WW]
N/A (No Salaries Reported)

Keita Nakamura [#65 WW]
N/A (No Salaries Reported)

Analysis: There’s a lot of upside to see in Tom Breese, a 24-year-old undefeated Englishman with proven killer instinct and a great team behind him at Tristar Gym. If anything, he’s probably one of the best UFC prospects on the roster.

That almost makes his matchup with Keita Nakamura utterly confusing, though. It’s not crazy that Nakamura derails Breese with some kind of submission victory, and as a 40-fight veteran with regional titles in Shooto, Sengoku, and DEEP, he’s really a drastic step up in competition from the likes of Cathal Pendred.


Francisco Rivera [#30 BW]
$28,000 = $23,000** + $5,000* [UFC 191]

Brad Pickett [#65 BW]
$40,000 = $30,000** + $10,000* [UFC 189]

Analysis: It’s almost a shame that Francisco Rivera fights at 135 pounds. Despite his 11-5 record, he’s absolutely one of the UFC’s best action fighters and probably has one of the strongest competitive histories out of most fighters on the Zuffa payroll.

In fact, the same thing can easily be said about Brad Pickett, despite the fact that the bantamweight/flyweight contender has been on an objectively a rough stretch since the UFC and WEC merge. At 14 UFC/WEC bouts and at 37 years old, though, he’s probably unlikely to go to free agency unless Bellator makes an offer under the right conditions.


# = Rankings Position
* = Reebok Sponsorship (since July 2015/UFC 189)
** = Loss, disqualification, no-contest, or no win bonus

UFC / Reebok Sponsorship Tiers

UFC Champion — $40,000
Title Challenger — $30,000
21+ UFC bouts — $20,000
16 to 20 UFC bouts — $15,000
11 to 15 UFC bouts — $10,000
6 to 10 UFC bouts — $5,000
1 to 5 UFC bouts — $2,500

Disclaimer: UFC salaries and Reebok payouts do not represent the full value or accurate dollar amounts paid to UFC fighters, which includes private gifts, unreported bonuses, and total undisclosed pay. “Performance of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” UFC bonus are not included. These figures also do not account for taxes, insurance, miscellaneous commission fees, or fighter expenses including traveling costs, gym fees, medical payments, coach salaries, and fighter management.


Follow McKinley Noble at @KenTheGreat1.