The Case Against TUF's "Six Figure Contract"

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MMAcca
10/1/08 12:58:43PM
The six-figure contract is nothing more than a slick piece of marketing; its original incarnation was as a nine-fight deal that required three full years of service to earn $300,000, assuming you could go undefeated over the course of the contract. Let’s also not forget the contract is not guaranteed, which means you’re always a couple of losses away from being shown the door.

Considering the value of your average “The Ultimate Fighter” winner to the UFC, it becomes rather obvious the promotion preys on the desperation of fighters who would practically sell their souls to get their foot in the door.

As the nature of the six-figure contract has become more publicized, however, many top prospects have come to realize that their future does not rely on allowing themselves to be manipulated into becoming cash cows on the cheap.

Perhaps the most notable example is Brandon Vera, who refused to sign on the dotted line when offered a spot on TUF because he felt the contract contestants must sign was simply unfair. You’d think the perpetually vindictive White would have made sure Vera got his comeuppance by joining the UFC’s blacklist, but a funny thing happened along the way to banishing the gifted light heavyweight. Knowing it could ill afford to lose a charismatic and talented prospect like Vera to another promotion, the UFC signed him. He made $200,000 in a unanimous decision win over Reese Andy in his seventh fight inside the Octagon in July. Even more staggering, Vera pocketed more in his last three fights -- he lost two of the three -- than a TUF winner would make even if the winner went undefeated over the entire life of his initial contract.

It makes more sense for blue-chip prospects to negotiate a three-fight UFC contract that pays them less than TUF winners initially but leaves the door open for future.






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Darnok
10/1/08 1:27:54PM
Wow Sherdog talking Sh*t about the UFC. I would have never guessed.

Sorry. Just a little sarcasm towards Sherdog to lighten the mood.
wapttn
10/1/08 3:01:42PM
name 1 tuf winner that the UFC hasnt been promoted well? of 11 winners, 1 is a champion, another just had a title shot, and another is just getting his title shot. The only 2 fighters who came remotely close to falling off the map were kendall grove (who suffered 2 back to back KO losses), and diego sanchez... who i personally felt never fell off the map... just had a bad fight, and a tough loss. The one TUF winner who actually got the boot was travis lutter... and thats because of his inability to train correctly, make weight, and maintain his cardio. And ya, 100k a year sucks when compared to lesnar's 250k per fight... but when you're looking at the fighter payouts... tuf winners are doing pretty well for themselves. Not to mention all handouts and sponsorship deals you get as a result of ur TUF status popularity... that right there doubles your salary.

Its a TV tournament to get a serious contract from the biggest mma promotion in the world. If you're as good as brandon vera and think you can get more... then go for it. If you know you're good enough to win the tournament and want a contact and the sponsorships that'll make your life a lot easier, sign up for TUF like danzig.
Wolfenstein
10/1/08 4:02:33PM
It's the most likely reason that the talent base on TUF has dwindled. On one side you receive a ton of exposure and you can make a lot of money in the long run, and on the flipside you're locked into a crappy contract for quite some time.

Going into our 8th season you would think the UFC would have upped the stakes to a seven figure contract to lure more talented fighters and keep up with the inflation of contracts.
Pitbull09
10/1/08 5:49:52PM

Posted by wapttn

name 1 tuf winner that the UFC hasnt been promoted well? of 11 winners, 1 is a champion, another just had a title shot, and another is just getting his title shot. The only 2 fighters who came remotely close to falling off the map were kendall grove (who suffered 2 back to back KO losses), and diego sanchez... who i personally felt never fell off the map... just had a bad fight, and a tough loss. The one TUF winner who actually got the boot was travis lutter... and thats because of his inability to train correctly, make weight, and maintain his cardio. And ya, 100k a year sucks when compared to lesnar's 250k per fight... but when you're looking at the fighter payouts... tuf winners are doing pretty well for themselves. Not to mention all handouts and sponsorship deals you get as a result of ur TUF status popularity... that right there doubles your salary.

Its a TV tournament to get a serious contract from the biggest mma promotion in the world. If you're as good as brandon vera and think you can get more... then go for it. If you know you're good enough to win the tournament and want a contact and the sponsorships that'll make your life a lot easier, sign up for TUF like danzig.



I agree with this. Any guy that gets on that show has no reason to complain with the popularity they get plus the bias UFC then uses in matchups. If this is the thing they love to do, thats a little picky to be talking about
wapttn
10/1/08 6:30:21PM

Posted by Wolfenstein

It's the most likely reason that the talent base on TUF has dwindled. On one side you receive a ton of exposure and you can make a lot of money in the long run, and on the flipside you're locked into a crappy contract for quite some time.

Going into our 8th season you would think the UFC would have upped the stakes to a seven figure contract to lure more talented fighters and keep up with the inflation of contracts.



first of all, a 7 figure contract would mean a minimum of 250k per fight if you fought 4 times a year. You're gonna give the person who wins the next season of TUF more than what you're paying every title holder you have? The only person in the ufc who's making that kinda money from straight salary is lesnar and thats because of the ppv buys he creates

"you're locked into a crappy contract"... really? tell that to everyone on the undercard making a third of what you're making... or tell that to your new house.. or new car.

And you think the contracts are why the talent base has dwindled? you dont think it has anything to do with the fact that TUF has absorbed all the up and coming fighters over the last 4 years that were already on the market? The fighters on TUF now are fighters who have become up and coming fighters since the show began and the ufc's popularity has taken off. Look at the records... you have joe stevenson who was like 23-6 when he went on the show and won... and compare him to Amir Sadollah who's first win was over CB dollaway at the TUF finale. Any of the up and comers who are worth signing have been signed... now TUF is geared towards finding fighters with the talent, skill, heart and determination thats needed to become a ufc fighter. You put 16 of them in the house together for 6 weeks and the house will spit out at least 1 worthy of fighting in the ufc.
Wolfenstein
10/1/08 6:59:13PM

Posted by wapttn


Posted by Wolfenstein

It's the most likely reason that the talent base on TUF has dwindled. On one side you receive a ton of exposure and you can make a lot of money in the long run, and on the flipside you're locked into a crappy contract for quite some time.

Going into our 8th season you would think the UFC would have upped the stakes to a seven figure contract to lure more talented fighters and keep up with the inflation of contracts.



first of all, a 7 figure contract would mean a minimum of 250k per fight if you fought 4 times a year. You're gonna give the person who wins the next season of TUF more than what you're paying every title holder you have? The only person in the ufc who's making that kinda money from straight salary is lesnar and thats because of the ppv buys he creates

"you're locked into a crappy contract"... really? tell that to everyone on the undercard making a third of what you're making... or tell that to your new house.. or new car.

And you think the contracts are why the talent base has dwindled? you dont think it has anything to do with the fact that TUF has absorbed all the up and coming fighters over the last 4 years that were already on the market? The fighters on TUF now are fighters who have become up and coming fighters since the show began and the ufc's popularity has taken off. Look at the records... you have joe stevenson who was like 23-6 when he went on the show and won... and compare him to Amir Sadollah who's first win was over CB dollaway at the TUF finale. Any of the up and comers who are worth signing have been signed... now TUF is geared towards finding fighters with the talent, skill, heart and determination thats needed to become a ufc fighter. You put 16 of them in the house together for 6 weeks and the house will spit out at least 1 worthy of fighting in the ufc.



You're assuming the contract would be 7 figures annually (never assume). I was thinking more along the lines of 7 figures if you were to win all your fights throughout the duration of the contract which is typically 3 years, but I would probably make it 4. That's 12 fights roughly 40K to show 40K to win give or take a couple grand (forgive me I'm not using a calculator here).

A crappy contract is in the eye of the beholder. Like Brandon Vera and his 200k per fight. He could be in a TUF contract right now and by comparison I would bet he thinks it's crappy.

I don't really understand what basis the undercard fighter salaries have in comparison. They didn't win the show. If you're saying there are worse contracts out there then yeah of course their contracts aren't as good as a TUF winner.

Yeah I do think money is a factor in why the show isn't getting as much talent. I'm not saying it's the only one but if you were fighter X and you could probably get a contract at Elite XC for 25K or take a shot on TUF, you might be more inclined towards the big contract at TUF whereas otherwise you might not.
jgtribbett
10/1/08 7:38:46PM

Posted by Darnok

Wow Sherdog talking Sh*t about the UFC. I would have never guessed.

Sorry. Just a little sarcasm towards Sherdog to lighten the mood.



haha you sir are the man.. hail darnok
Sam_Rothstein
10/2/08 8:05:20AM
I'd take the 300k over the fame from TUF any day of the week. I wish they would raise the stakes, im sure the show would not be filled with top notch talent rather then 1 heavy favorite throughout the season
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