The featherweight division is a relative newcomer to the UFC; however the lineage goes back to the early days of MMA with names probably not very familiar to today’s fans: Noboru Asahi and Alexandre Franca Nogueira.
UFC 194 and Fight Night 80 may be the highlight shows this weekend, but even The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 Finale is bringing something to the table with a solid headliner on top of a not-that-terrible Friday fight card. In fact, the main event will likely determine the next challenger for the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Under normal circumstances, Frankie Edgar vs. Chad Mendes is the kind of fight you’d expect on pay-per-view, but we’re not complaining too much. But with the TUF 22 Finale bout order undecided at current editing time, let’s pick through previous UFC fighter salaries and most-recent Reebok sponsorship payouts of the top-ranked talent on the main card.
Frankie Edgar [#2 FW]
$260,000 = $130,000/$130,000 [TUF 19 Finale]
Chad Mendes [#6 FW]
$530,000** = $500,000 + $30,000* [UFC 189]
Analysis: UFC 189 was an anomaly amongst anomalies for Chad Mendes in more ways than one. Not only did he suffer a loss to someone not named Jose Aldo, but he was also paid a princely $530,000 to fight for an interim title on ridiculously short notice.
With that business done, we’ll see how much Mendes makes in “show” and “win” money now, especially in comparison to a divisional equal and former champion in Frankie Edgar. Don’t forget, Mendes also signed a new eight-fight deal last May, so his regular disclosed pay should be much higher than the $96,000 he pulled down by beating Ricardo Lamas at UFC Fight Night 63.