A Small Preview on ESPN’s “Outside The Lines” Looking at UFC Fighters Pay Scale

UFC fighters pay have always been a topic of discussion. Some feel that they should get a bigger cut of the pie while others feel that the pay is fine. Every fighter on the card has the opportunity to make money, especially with the bonuses that are given after the show and in the locker room.

In the recent Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer gives a breakdown of the last show and which gives good insight on how exactly how much those fighters on those shows got paid.

For the 12/30 show, if we go with the idea of 800,000 buys, then Zuffa took in about $18 million from its share of PPV and $3.1 million in gate, or in the range of $21 million. Of that, we know the undercard fighters took in $851,000, and we can very conservatively figure another $150,000 in undisclosed bonuses, so that’s $1 million. We also know from the lawsuit that with that level of a buy rate, that Overeem got about $2.27 million and let’s be conservative and say Lesnar got $2.5 million, so it’s $5.8 million out of $21 million, or 28%. That’s double the 15% that WWE pays talent, also way above the 10% that so many write and claim UFC pays by disingenuously acting as if the money in the original base purses is all that is paid. But it is likely far less than 50%.


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