fighter pay

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jomatty
7/22/07 9:53:41AM
i was just reading an article on what sherk was paid for his title fight with franca. reportedly it was 14k + 14k for the winner. does that mean the loser gets no bonus at all? i suppose that means that franca was fighting for less than 14k.

that is insane to me. do these guys make enough through endorsements and appearances to make it worthwhile to fight for this amount? does anyone know what the top fighters get for big fights. how about a fight like couture/liddell 2? i always assumed that both guys in a fight like that would be making 200k +, but after reading what sherk got im not so sure.

it is just hard to imagine that it could be worth training as hard as it takes to be competive for something around 50k a year, which seems to be the most a lw will make. is it all about the endorsements? do the heavier fighters get a lot more? what does an unknown or even famous but not necessarily top tier fighter (say mike swick, or rofer huerta for instance) get?

i know this is a lot of questions but if anyone feels like commenting on any of them id appreciate it,
matt
grappler0000
7/22/07 10:17:55AM
No, the loser doesn't get a bonus...they usually double the pay for a win.

The guys do make a decent amount from sponsors, especially in the spotlight of the UFC...the small pay is still a huge debate on many MMA forums though.

The top fighters make 6 figures. Liddell got a half million for his last fight...plus he probably scored a PPV % as well. I believe Crocop got 400k (flat pay) for his fights. I think Tito got about 200k for his last fight. These are the figures that are released to the public...and there can be other bonuses involved that the UFC is not required to make public (i.e. fight of the night). Having a belt doesn't necessarily translate into a good payday.

The pay really varies, based on several different factors...experience, marketability, main event vs preliminary card, etc. Check the links below to get a better idea of the payscale.

UFC 73

UFC 71
Rush
7/22/07 12:42:21PM
Out of curiosity, if fighters fight, the winner gets a winner bonus and is accused of doping and the result is changed to a NC. Does the winner have to forfeit his bonus cash?
jomatty
7/22/07 12:54:29PM
how sick is it that stephan bonner gets as much as sherk or how much more tito gets than anderson silva? crazy but i guess thats the way the game is played.

matt
fullerene
7/22/07 2:24:20PM
You're getting at one of the problems in MMA--one that is made worse by the demise of Pride. The UFC has a right to run a business the way anyone else does and if they can fill out the bottom of the card by paying guys 3 or 4 thousand it makes sense for them to do so--and they have no shortage of guys lining up to take those spots.

The problem is the quality of guys you get at that pay is going to be suspect simply because it's obvious that they need to do something besides fighting to earn a living. If they are lucky they can do seminars or help run a school, but if you are only 20 years old and just coming into your own even those opportunities are limited.

Combat sports (boxing, kickboxin and now MMA) have always been unique in that being a "professional" didn't mean you were necessarily doing that as your primary career...unlike being a professonal baseball or football player. Guys who train full time > guys who train part time. In the long run I hope the UFC realizes this and makes it easier for guys to train full time by raising their pay scales.
grappler0000
7/22/07 2:33:17PM

Posted by Rush

Out of curiosity, if fighters fight, the winner gets a winner bonus and is accused of doping and the result is changed to a NC. Does the winner have to forfeit his bonus cash?



You bring up a good point...I would think that the bonus would be forfeited. Neither Tito nor Rashad received a bonus...so I would say that a NC would be classified the same way as a draw.
juanez13
7/22/07 6:14:58PM
when they test possitive for steriods, all they loose its what they are fined, like sherk had to pay 2,500, wich is about 9% of his total pay........

the more known u are to the public, the more u get paid, thats why tito gets paid more than sherk or silva. the LW division is still not as popular as the other weight classes so they get paid the least. u dont have to be a champ to get paid more, like rashad vs tito, tito got a lot more than rashad, juss cus more ppl have seen him be4....so these guys that come from pride that are not that well known to the public and turn champs, doesnt exactly mean that they get paid more, except for the likes of cro cop and noguiera, and shogun most likely
Rush
7/22/07 6:35:31PM

Posted by juanez13

when they test possitive for steriods, all they loose its what they are fined, like sherk had to pay 2,500, wich is about 9% of his total pay........




Evidence?
juanez13
7/22/07 6:46:35PM
Sean Sherk has appealed a one-year suspension and $2,500 fine that were handed down from the California State Athletic Commission after the UFC lightweight champion failed a UFC 73 drug test.

Sherk retained his UFC lightweight title with a unanimous-decision win over Hermes Franca at UFC 73, but on Thursday, the CSAC announced that Sherk had tested positive for the steroid Nandrolon. He was suspended for approximately one year and fined approximately 9 percent of his reported fight purse.

(Franca received a similar punishment after testing positive for drostanolone, an anabolic steroid.)

Yesterday, UFCjunkie.com received the following bulletin from the CSAC:

Normal levels of Nandrolone range from 2 ng/mL (average person) to 6 ng/mL (athlete engaged in rigorous activity). Mr. Sherk’s reported level certified by the Director of Science and Technology from the laboratory that conducted the tests was 12 ng/mL. Both the “A” sample and “B” sample were tested and confirmed as positive.

Sherk earned $28,000 — $14,000 to show and a $14,000 bonus for the win — for the main-event fight.

His hearing with the CSAC is set for Aug. 6 in California.

Sherk underwent shoulder surgery after defeating Kenny Florian for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 64. He actually needed the rotator-cuff surgery prior to his fight with Florian, but knowing he was given a rare opportunity to fight for a title, he delayed the procedure until after the fight. He was considered fully healed for the UFC 73 fight, which took place July 7 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif.

According to a story in today’s L.A. Times, the UFC won’t decide whether the organization will strip Sherk of his title until after the Aug. 6 hearing.

Although the suspension was issued by the California-based commission, Sherk will be unable to fight any MMA event sanctioned by a state commission until his suspension expiresufcjunkie.com
masodd
7/22/07 7:23:22PM
they get paid way too little . with all the money ufc has they should make more than 28,000 to defend ur belt........ it think the smaller weight classes get paid less
casey64
7/22/07 9:34:49PM
the pay is weak.
TOMMYAYO05
7/22/07 11:43:41PM
Chuck and randy both get about 1.3- to 1.5 mill a fight because they are the only two fighters who get part of the payper view revenue as well,tito gets bout 250,000 a fight cro cop s 500,000 as well as rampage.
Northrend
7/22/07 11:53:30PM
It is worse for people like Din Thomas...Ryoto Machida guys that are not allways on the main card and are getting paid horribly like 5-15k but have a contract with the UFC...so they can fight what like 4-5 times a year if they are lucky. They can not make other money from different orgs because of the contract with the UFC...so they get their money off sponsors mostly. I don't even wana know how first time UFC'ers survive...
grappler0000
7/23/07 7:24:05AM

Posted by juanez13

when they test possitive for steriods, all they loose its what they are fined, like sherk had to pay 2,500, wich is about 9% of his total pay........

the more known u are to the public, the more u get paid, thats why tito gets paid more than sherk or silva. the LW division is still not as popular as the other weight classes so they get paid the least. u dont have to be a champ to get paid more, like rashad vs tito, tito got a lot more than rashad, juss cus more ppl have seen him be4....so these guys that come from pride that are not that well known to the public and turn champs, doesnt exactly mean that they get paid more, except for the likes of cro cop and noguiera, and shogun most likely



Sherk probably won't lose the bonus in this case, because California doesn't overturn decisions when a fighter fails a piss test (we learned that with Gracie)...but if it were in a state that would overturn the decision, then he would lose the bonus, because he wouldn't have won. The question was if it were hypothetically changed to a NC.
Rush
7/23/07 8:49:52AM

Posted by juanez13

Sean Sherk has appealed a one-year suspension and $2,500 fine that were handed down from the California State Athletic Commission after the UFC lightweight champion failed a UFC 73 drug test.

Sherk retained his UFC lightweight title with a unanimous-decision win over Hermes Franca at UFC 73, but on Thursday, the CSAC announced that Sherk had tested positive for the steroid Nandrolon. He was suspended for approximately one year and fined approximately 9 percent of his reported fight purse.

(Franca received a similar punishment after testing positive for drostanolone, an anabolic steroid.)

Yesterday, UFCjunkie.com received the following bulletin from the CSAC:

Normal levels of Nandrolone range from 2 ng/mL (average person) to 6 ng/mL (athlete engaged in rigorous activity). Mr. Sherk’s reported level certified by the Director of Science and Technology from the laboratory that conducted the tests was 12 ng/mL. Both the “A” sample and “B” sample were tested and confirmed as positive.

Sherk earned $28,000 — $14,000 to show and a $14,000 bonus for the win — for the main-event fight.

His hearing with the CSAC is set for Aug. 6 in California.

Sherk underwent shoulder surgery after defeating Kenny Florian for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 64. He actually needed the rotator-cuff surgery prior to his fight with Florian, but knowing he was given a rare opportunity to fight for a title, he delayed the procedure until after the fight. He was considered fully healed for the UFC 73 fight, which took place July 7 at ARCO Arena in Sacramento, Calif.

According to a story in today’s L.A. Times, the UFC won’t decide whether the organization will strip Sherk of his title until after the Aug. 6 hearing.

Although the suspension was issued by the California-based commission, Sherk will be unable to fight any MMA event sanctioned by a state commission until his suspension expiresufcjunkie.com



This doesn't say anything related to what I was talking about.

All it says is that he got fined 2500$ and what he got paid. What I am asking is if (after his hearing) if he is stripped of the belt, does his match with Hermes become a NC? And if so, would he lose his win bonus. i.e. because then he technically didn't win.




Sherk probably won't lose the bonus in this case, because California doesn't overturn decisions when a fighter fails a piss test (we learned that with Gracie)...but if it were in a state that would overturn the decision, then he would lose the bonus, because he wouldn't have won. The question was if it were hypothetically changed to a NC.


Thank you.

But why doesn't California overturn decisions? Is that a fact or is that just based on the Gracie fight?

It's hard to relly do research on the topic, because of the 3 other positive tests I can think of, only one decision was overturned (all three events were in Nevada), but that was because the losers were actually the ones testing postitive in the other two instances.



Rush
7/23/07 9:01:33AM

Posted by Northrend
I don't even wana know how first time UFC'ers survive...



They probably have full time jobs and train part time.
grappler0000
7/23/07 8:32:20PM

Posted by Rush

Thank you.

But why doesn't California overturn decisions? Is that a fact or is that just based on the Gracie fight?

It's hard to relly do research on the topic, because of the 3 other positive tests I can think of, only one decision was overturned (all three events were in Nevada), but that was because the losers were actually the ones testing postitive in the other two instances.




I don't know what the rules are in other states, but Nevada will usually only overturn a win if the drugs were performance enhancing...of coarse, this is subjective, as we saw with Diaz. California doesn't currently overturn rulings, regardless of the drug involved...but I believe they are working on changing it. I can't remember when the change over will be, but I think there is actually a definitive date being discussed...Gracie's win will unfortunately be grandfathered in.

I don't know why California's rules are currently the way they are, but I think the Gracie fight opened some eyes.
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