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Are MMA fighters underpaid?


thecalikid

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Dear UFC and more specifically Dana White,

 

I would like to thank you for bringing together a majority of the best fighters on the planet. Your overall production value for PPV's, as well as your ability to match fights between top fighters is spectacular!

 

Yeah, I noticed how upgraded the graphics were on T.V. for UFC 96. Very impressive! You're finally looking better on my T.V. than PPV boxing matches. I knew you guys could do it. Also your on-air talent is amazing. Bruce Buffer sets an electrifying tone for each fight, letting fans and competitors alike know that a war is set to begin. Mike Goldberg brings a strong sense of authenticity, and is terrific at calling the events. Joe Rogan's insights into the action, as well as the excitement he brings when calling fight victories, really makes me feel as if I'm in the ring with the fighters. I am very definitely a UFC fan!

 

However my allegiance is not without criticism. If MMA is the greatest hand-to-hand combat sport on the planet, then why you shouldn't you treat it as such? Today's MMA stars make only a fraction of what their boxing counter-parts make. The time has come for the UFC to not only lead in gate receipts, but also in dedication to their fighters. Headliners should easily be earning one million a fight, and every undercard fight should also see major increases up to a minimum amount of $30,000 per fighter / per fight. $3,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to pay a warrior who is risking permanent injury simply to entertain us! What are you guys thinking? Sooner or later these underpaid journeyman, and established superstars will revolt against this completely bogus pay structure. And you can guess which side the fans will favor.

 

I'm asking you to step up to the plate because I like you, Dana White. I believe that the UFC's great success is a product of your innovative leadership and overall attitude. I appreciate the way you've guided the organization to the tops of the fighting elite. You have given me a combat sport to get excited about again. This is why I am asking you to drastically restructure your current pay scale. If you lead the way not only in production value and fighter match-ups, but also in fighter compensation, then what organization will ever be able to catch you? Affliction may not be sustainable as a business model, but as long as an organization exists that can at least out-pay the UFC, then you will never be able to secure all the best talent. Ahh-hem, Fedor. Why take a chance on long-term success with a strategy that was never intended for long-term growth? I can understand the UFC taking a majority percentage of profit back when it's MMA events where a risky business investment. However today's fights are nearly all immediate sell-outs, and your PPV numbers consistently beat boxing. Who do you guys think you're kidding? I'm afraid only yourselves. Please have the guts to make this right. It's only my opinion, but I believe that your generosity with your fighters will only lead to a more powerful alliance between the UFC and it's contracted employees.

 

Respectfully yours, Zach Benson

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Dear UFC and more specifically Dana White' date='

 

I would like to thank you for bringing together a majority of the best fighters on the planet. Your overall production value for PPV's, as well as your ability to match fights between top fighters is spectacular!

 

Yeah, I noticed how upgraded the graphics were on T.V. for UFC 96. Very impressive! You're finally looking better on my T.V. than PPV boxing matches. I knew you guys could do it. Also your on-air talent is amazing. Bruce Buffer sets an electrifying tone for each fight, letting fans and competitors alike know that a war is set to begin. Mike Goldberg brings a strong sense of authenticity, and is terrific at calling the events. Joe Rogan's insights into the action, as well as the excitement he brings when calling fight victories, really makes me feel as if I'm in the ring with the fighters. I am very definitely a UFC fan!

 

However my allegiance is not without criticism. If MMA is the greatest hand-to-hand combat sport on the planet, then why you shouldn't you treat it as such? Today's MMA stars make only a fraction of what their boxing counter-parts make. The time has come for the UFC to not only lead in gate receipts, but also in dedication to their fighters. Headliners should easily be earning one million a fight, and every undercard fight should also see major increases up to a minimum amount of $30,000 per fighter / per fight. $3,000 is a ridiculous amount of money to pay a warrior who is risking permanent injury simply to entertain us! What are you guys thinking? Sooner or later these underpaid journeyman, and established superstars will revolt against this completely bogus pay structure. And you can guess which side the fans will favor.

 

I'm asking you to step up to the plate because I like you, Dana White. I believe that the UFC's great success is a product of your innovative leadership and overall attitude. I appreciate the way you've guided the organization to the tops of the fighting elite. You have given me a combat sport to get excited about again. This is why I am asking you to drastically restructure your current pay scale. If you lead the way not only in production value and fighter match-ups, but also in fighter compensation, then what organization will ever be able to catch you? Affliction may not be sustainable as a business model, but as long as an organization exists that can at least out-pay the UFC, then you will never be able to secure all the best talent. Ahh-hem, Fedor. Why take a chance on long-term success with a strategy that was never intended for long-term growth? I can understand the UFC taking a majority percentage of profit back when it's MMA events where a risky business investment. However today's fights are nearly all immediate sell-outs, and your PPV numbers consistently beat boxing. Who do you guys think you're kidding? I'm afraid only yourselves. Please have the guts to make this right. It's only my opinion, but I believe that your generosity with your fighters will only lead to a more powerful alliance between the UFC and it's contracted employees.

 

Respectfully yours, Zach Benson[/quote']

 

Hey Zach. Nice letter. I'm not Dana and I don't even work for the UFC but I'd like to reply anyway. I appreciate the sentiment in your words and respect the fact that you care about the fighters that we all cheer for. I think your expectations of that kind of pay is in the future for the UFC but patience is important. Other "major" organizations have gone out of business by exceeding their means while the UFC has continued to thrive. I accredit this in part to responsible spending. If they were to start paying fighters more than they can afford they would be risking losing the greatest mma promotion ever and as fans, none of us want that to happen.

Yes, boxers have cashed in on some huge paydays. The promoters have gotten filthy rich. And boxing as a whole is nearly dead. Everyone involved in boxing has been taking from the sport for many years without putting money back into it.

Again, it's great that you want to see the fighters compensated better for what they do. I think we all do. I just want to see it happen when the organization and the sport as a whole are ready to do it.

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i wrote a long winded version of this but it wouldnt post...Of course they are!!!!!! Some of the salaries are down right sickining.....Christ if thats what the ufc pays "for the Ultimate Fighters in the world",.....my heart goes out to the fighters sacrificing all the way to the "top.."...Shameful....

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YA.... Dana wouldn't lie to save face. And the fighters wouldn't lie to keep from getting kicked out of the UFC!

 

Couture has stated that HE believes that they get paid less then they should, and do not get benefits like medical coverage. He believes it is unfair and is trying to do something about it.

 

At the same time, who do you know that was fired because they said that? Did you see Randy fired because he did that? no. So where did you gather this insight from?

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Unfortunately, there are many sports where the payouts dont amount to much until you reach the very top. I have raced cars for years. I can win an entire event and the prize money for winning...barely pays that weekends expenses..... Its just one of those things that if you want to do it bad enough, you will give up everything just to play the game.

 

I do hope that things will get better for the fighters paydays. If nothing else it will encourage more to participate, if they are able to handle it financially....jmo

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Take a closer look at what boxers make. Lets take a look at two fight cards I have info on... last year, Bernard Hopkins/Joe Calzaghe, 9 fighters on that card made $5000 or LESS, 2 fighters on that card only made $1500.

 

On the Manny Pacquiao/Juan Manuel Marquez card from last year, 5 fighters on that card made less than $3500.

 

Now yes, this was last year, so lets take a look a few MMA fighters who had fights around the same time.

 

Joe Lauzon had a fight last year with Kenny Florian, you might remember it. Well Joe got paid $8000 for that fight. Mind you he also was paid $20 000 for fight of the night as well as $52 000 in Sponsorship fees. You all read that he made $8000 for the fight when really it totaled $80 000.

 

Chuck Liddell made over $9 MILLION dollars in 2007.

 

Frank Mir who had lost 2 of his prior 3 fights, was paid $40 000 in his fight with Antoni Hardonk. Mind you he also picked up a $40 000 win bonus, a $60 000 submission of the night bonus and $85 000 in sponsorships. So... $225 000 for the fight is better than 40K.

 

At UFC 94 in Jan, the lowest paid fighter made $6000.

 

At UFC 94, the average payout for the fighters on the undercard was $22 625. Not including sponsorships.

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Take a closer look at what boxers make. Lets take a look at two fight cards I have info on... last year' date=' Bernard Hopkins/Joe Calzaghe, 9 fighters on that card made $5000 or LESS, 2 fighters on that card only made $1500.

 

On the Manny Pacquiao/Juan Manuel Marquez card from last year, 5 fighters on that card made less than $3500.

 

Now yes, this was last year, so lets take a look a few MMA fighters who had fights around the same time.

 

Joe Lauzon had a fight last year with Kenny Florian, you might remember it. Well Joe got paid $8000 for that fight. Mind you he also was paid $20 000 for fight of the night as well as $52 000 in Sponsorship fees. You all read that he made $8000 for the fight when really it totaled $80 000.

 

Chuck Liddell made over $9 MILLION dollars in 2007.

 

Frank Mir who had lost 2 of his prior 3 fights, was paid $40 000 in his fight with Antoni Hardonk. Mind you he also picked up a $40 000 win bonus, a $60 000 submission of the night bonus and $85 000 in sponsorships. So... $225 000 for the fight is better than 40K.

 

At UFC 94 in Jan, the lowest paid fighter made $6000.

 

At UFC 94, the average payout for the fighters on the [u']undercard[/u] was $22 625. Not including sponsorships.

 

There's only one Joe Calzaghe! Sorry :P

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Are flights, hotels and meals for fighter and their corner taken care of by the bigger organizations? or does that come out of the purse too? Or would a sponsor take care of that?

 

Cause I guess a 5K purse with a couple of cornermen hotels meals for a couple of days and flights theres not much left after that. Imagine fighting abroad.

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