Tag Archives: UFC Salaries

UFC 196: McGregor vs. Diaz – Who’s Getting Paid?

Mar 3, 2016
McKinley Noble
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UFC 196 may have lost its main event superfight between Conor McGregor and Rafael dos Anjos, but we’ve still got a pretty solid shindig on our hands this weekend. Aside from the quick entry of Nate Diaz, we’ve luckily managed to retain Miesha Tate, Holly Holm, and a pretty stacked undercard that’s looking rife with potential action.

Hopefully, no one slips in the shower or tests positive, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed. For now, let’s run down the main card talent, their most recent UFC salaries and Reebok payouts, and what it all means in the context of their upcoming bouts.

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


Conor McGregor [#1 FW]
$540,000 = $500,000** + $40,000* [UFC 194]

Nate Diaz [#9 LW]
$60,000 = $20,000/$20,000 + $20,000* [UFC on Fox 17]

Analysis: We’ve said it before, but perhaps no fighter’s tenure in the UFC matches up to their disclosed pay as poorly as Nate Diaz. As a seasoned “Top 10” ranked lightweight with some comparatively big name value, it’s frankly appalling that his public Zuffa salary is half of what someone like Sage Northcutt makes.

About the only silver lining for Diaz is that he finally hit 21 UFC bouts last time around, so he’ll now make $20,000 in Reebok pay as a bare minimum no matter who he fights. And regardless of whether he beats Conor McGregor, one would think that Diaz should be making at least six figures just to step in on such short notice against the sport’s biggest star.


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

Feb 26, 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.


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UFC on Fox 18: Johnson vs. Bader – Who’s Getting Paid?

Jan 28, 2016
McKinley Noble
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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.


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UFC Fight Night 81: Dillashaw vs. Cruz – Who’s Getting Paid?

Jan 13, 2016
McKinley Noble
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Dominick Cruz is back, ladies and gentlemen. No injuries, no more torn ligaments, and nothing short of a freak sauna accident can ruin UFC Fight Night 81 now. That’s clearly tempting fate, but given the UFC’s good run of luck lately, it’s a risk this author is willing to take. Although this Sunday isn’t the strongest of cards from top to bottom, the headliner is as dynamite as the modern MMA fan could ever ask for, especially on cable television.

Moreover, Cruz is in the most important fight of his life, as current UFC Bantamweight Champion T.J. Dillashaw aims to ruin the former 135-pound kingpin’s return. The stakes are pretty high here, so let’s do our usual thing and run down the previous UFC salaries (with last Reebok sponsorship payouts) for all the main card talent on UFC Fight Night 81.

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


T.J. Dillashaw [#1 BW]
$100,000 = $50,000/$50,000 [UFC 177]

Dominick Cruz [N/A]
$100,000 = $50,000/$50,000 [UFC 178]

Analysis: If you need to guess any financial indicator of Dominick Cruz’s lost time in this sport, just look at his UFC 177 paycheck and think about how many more he’s missed. Had Cruz never torn his ACL in May 2012 and been healthy enough to fight a couple times a year, he could’ve banked at least a few million dollars in the prime of his career. Now the champ is just a couple months shy of 31 years old, and will only be stepping into the Octagon twice in over a 1500-day span. Thankfully, Cruz took to his Fox Sports analyst role like a duck to water, so he’s had a solid day job to pad things out.

On the other side, T.J. Dillashaw has enjoyed a huge (disclosed) pay bump since dominating former champion Renan Barao. Back at UFC 173, Dillashaw only made a recorded $36,000 in victory, and that doesn’t include the sponsorship money he used to enjoy.

Plenty of grief has also been heaped on Dillashaw for moving from the ridiculously-named Team Alpha Male to Muscle Pharm & Elevation Fight Team, but for a man barely making a comfortable living just a couple of years ago, the move makes so much sense. Without title contention, Dillashaw’s Reebok pay drops to $10,000 per bout, and who knows whether Zuffa would issue an immediate pay cut.

At the very least, both men will be paid relatively better for bantamweights than the last time Dominick Cruz main-evented a card with reported fighter salaries. At UFC 132, both Cruz and Urijah Faber made a combined $72,000 for their five-round title fight barnburner.


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UFC 195: Lawler vs. Condit – Who’s Getting Paid?

Dec 30, 2015
McKinley Noble
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UFC 195 kind of crept up on the MMA world a bit, and one only needs to blame the whirlwind of the “UFC Vegas” week that wrapped up the 2015 combat sports calendar. However, the holiday MMA break officially ends with the first pay-per-view bash of the new year, and this upcoming headliner is a damn good one.

In what can only be anticipated as a top-tier, world-class match for the ages, Robbie Lawler defends the UFC Welterweight Championship against Carlos Condit, while a number of contenders, journeymen, and prospects fight for various stakes on a very solid card. Let’s take a look at the money trail one last time for 2015, and dive into the previous UFC fighter salaries (plus most-recent Reebok payouts) for every main card talent at UFC 195 this weekend.

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


Robbie Lawler [#1 WW]
$340,000 = $150,000/$150,000 + $40,000* [UFC 189]

Carlos Condit [#8 WW]
$110,000 = $55,000/$55,000 [UFC 143]

Analysis: Robbie Lawler is going into his 19th Zuffa bout here, and his disclosed pay continues to hover slightly above the last-known salaries of most non-superstar UFC champions. Aside from the obvious bonus of retaining his title, it would be interesting to be how high Lawler could push his value with a few more victories — especially given his history as Zuffa’s revived golden boy.

For Condit, this will be his first salary reported since his infamous fight with Nick Diaz in 2012, where Condit took home $110,000 in victory — barely more than half of what Diaz made to lose ($200,000). At a 2-3 stretch since then and despite a short interim title reign, it’s worrisome to think that a past-prime Condit may have already hit his financial peak.


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UFC on Fox 17: Dos Anjos vs. Cerrone 2 – Who’s Getting Paid?

Dec 17, 2015
McKinley Noble
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UFC on Fox 17 is quietly underscoring the massive embarrassment of riches that MMA fans are having this December. If our latest Fight Matrix Program wasn’t enough of a clue, this weekend hosts one of the most competitive and quality-driven fight cards of the year.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Donald Cerrone aside, Michael Johnson, Nate Diaz, Junior dos Santos, and Alistair Overeem could all headline their own UFC cards — but as it sometimes happens, we’re getting them all in one event. Let’s enjoy this good fortune and do our thing, as we run down the previous UFC fighter salaries with most-recent Reebok sponsorship payouts for each combatant on Friday’s Fox main card.

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


Rafael dos Anjos [#1 LW]
$86,000 = $41,000/$41,000 + $4,000 [UFC on Fox 13]

Donald Cerrone [#2 LW]
$152,000 = $76,000/$76,000 [UFC 187]

Analysis: Donald Cerrone has only gotten craftier with age — both inside and outside the Octagon. On little more than hustle, his unique personality, and some good social media tactics, “Cowboy” has secured himself a (relatively) high UFC salary and 8-0 winning streak that puts him solidly in the “21+ bout” range of the Reebok tenure deal.

At 18 UFC fights and (likely) paid comparatively less than the top stars, RDA has a lot more to lose here, while his physique post-USADA testing has been in serious question around most MMA circles. Either way, it’s pretty grim that a loss will cost either man a steep five figures in sponsorship pay.


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