UFC on Fox 18 is do-or-die time for Ryan Bader. If the Ultimate Fighter winner is finally going to get his long overdue title shot for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship, he has to get past fellow blue-chip-prospect-turned-veteran Anthony Johnson, and that’s one heck of a tall order.
That’s just the peak of another excellent UFC on Fox card to date, as a heavyweight tilt between Ben Rothwell and Josh Barnett lights up the co-main, while rising talents Jimmie Rivera and Sage Northcutt face their own litmus tests. As usual, let’s see what kind of money is on the line this Saturday as we tally the previous UFC fighter salaries (plus most-recent Reebok payouts) for every main card talent.
Note: Divisional rankings via Fight Matrix. UFC salaries and Reebok figures via MMA Payout and MMA Junkie.
Anthony Johnson [#3 LHW]
$245,000 = $115,000/$115,000 + $15,000* [UFC 191]
Ryan Bader [#4 LHW]
$47,000** [UFC on Fox 4]
Analysis: Categorically, there’s very little difference between Bader and Johnson as far as their athletic achievements in MMA. Both are top-flight 205-ers with dominant wins over former UFC champions, and both have had solid claims at title contention since last year.
However, their differences are far more pronounced just looking at the discrepancy in their last-disclosed fighter pay figures. Bader’s $47,000 KO loss to Lyoto Machida is pretty much his most-watched highlight outside of getting leapfrogged by Jon Jones, while Johnson’s six-figure tag has climbed with every dramatic knockout victory. It’s a shame that this event is in New Jersey, too. Since that athletic commission doesn’t disclose fighter salaries, we won’t know if the UFC currently pays Bader anywhere near as much in base/win salary as his dance partner.