UFC President Dana White Doesn’t Think a Fighters Union Will Ever Happen

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11/26/12 10:43:23AM

Posted by warglory

Posted by jae_1833

Unions go against capitalism and heads towards socialism......if Anderson is going to fight (ensuring the ppv buys etc) then he should get paid more.....sorry but if other fighters are priveledged enough to be on a card with GSP then they should simply attempt to make the most of it so that they can use their performances to influence the brass into paying them more. If I have the ability to make more money than you then tough shit! This is America, the land of opportunity and it's not always fair. You got to earn your keep.

I'd suggest you read up on the impact of organized labor in the United States, and how it has shaped worker's rights that we ALL enjoy before making a statement like that. I don't want to get into a debate and derail this very relevant conversation, but that statement is hard for me to swallow.

very well put.
11/26/12 12:35:09PM
I'm not sure if the majority of this board knows what a union would entail but it wouldn't infringe on Silva/GSP making a lot of money but rather help with a collective bargaining system that would make sure as Zuffa got richer so would the fighters. With that said I don't think the UFC will get one because mma is an individual sport. Which is the same reason there are no unions in golf, boxing etc.
11/27/12 3:31:08PM
Having a fighters union, or UFCFA if you will, will lead to a lockout or strike every not and then. If Gary Bettman is involved, it will happen every 7 years.
11/28/12 8:45:58PM

Here's the link for my source on Brocks pay from 2010. The list doesn't include endorsements. He fought twice in 2010 both times as PPV headliner. The Headliners get a percentage of the PPV revenues.

When I said $20-30 million per PPV I was being generous as I wasn't referring to just the PPV purchases alone. I was referring to a PPV event (as opposed to an FX event) and the revenue it generates as a whole through PPV sales, live gate, endorsements, broadcast revenue from the undercard and feacebook streams etc.

My HBO numbers for profit earned was for the event as a whole also. I could've been more clear on the matter. My numbers were very generous (despite my agenda) because the UFC makes more off adevertising revenue than Boxing promotions make. It's not far-fetched or mis-leading to say the UFC generates $20-30 million per PPV event in total revenue.

You are correct about Frank. I looked into it a little further and he is and has been on the list for a while although he did fall off in 2008-2009 due to the station casino's problems as you mentioned. Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware of that and can see how my original post was misleading on that part. However, It is undeniable the amount of profit that the UFC is making. Forbes most recent article on Lorenzo specifically said his wealth is from the UFC. Considering he dropped below the billionaire mark in 2008, you could say the UFC made him a billionaire, since Stations wasn't making much profit at the time, and the thing that kept him from dropping on the list was the UFC. We're splitting hairs here.

It's very apparent that Zuffa's marketing budget is massive. I recall stories of them renting entire streets of billboards in the UK. Global expansion is a very costly venture. Manny Pacquiao wouldn't be making bank if his promoters were spending money promoting their name worldwide instead of paying him.

Chapter 11 bankruptcy is still not a good sign. All the casinos faced declining profits due to the recession. So it's logical to assume that Frank and Lorenzo's wealth is from the UFC, even more so when the Forbes articles agree and many other articles have been published about Zuffas cash cow.

I didn't feel it necessary to point out that Frank and Lorenzo didn't become rich solely form the USA because I mentioned that they owned casino's. Obviously they had money from that. Thats how they bought and kept the UFC afloat. We all know this.

Those numbers estimating the UFC's profits were just rough estimates to make a point. I thought it was apparent that those numbers were just estimates.Nonetheless they were fair or generous estimates so despite my obvious agenda my argument is still realistic, even if one piece of information was wrong.

11/28/12 9:16:03PM
The way I see it. There's been a few big events that happened that changed the mma payscale.

1) Pride FC taking off in Japan. The huge amount of profits Pride was bringing in allowed them to pay more than the UFC to steal away or entice fighters.

2) The Ultimate Fighter 1 finale cause the UFC's revenues to grow rapidly and they were able to sign Mirko by offering more money than Pride could pay. Also the Pride Yakuza scandal forced Pride to cut pay helping the UFC.

3) Bonuses: PPV bonuses are the UFC's way of rewarding their top fighters. These were chosen by Zuffa because they reward fighters as much only as much as they reward the UFC. If the UFC has to pay a 3 million PPV bonus instead of a $2 million one then they're still happy because that means they generated 33% more profit from the PPV sales. That way lower card fighters cant ask for a raise. Zuffa just tells them to earn it. The payscale didn't go up, only the bonus scale for the two main fighters.

The two main causes of average fighter pay going up in the last 10 years was serious competition. Since then only the top few have really benefitted from MMA's growth, apart from their exposure leading to more sponsorships. The UFC use their name and recognition to gain sponsorships for their fighters which they give them in lieu of pay. They are quite sneaky and smart when it comes to keeping their money but it's clear they're not out for the fighters' and sports best interests, but for their own.

Affliction FC was in a way an attempt to change the pay scale of mma. They tried to steal fighters away with pay in the hopes that the dream fights they put on would cause fans to support them, paying for their fighters in the process. The fans couldn't get behind it enough and it obviously failed hard but
thats the kind of strategy it's going to take for mma to flourish again and for pay scales to go up. Competition is needed. A union is a more of a pipe-dream. We can however help fighters by supporting every serious promotion and not just the major one.

Another Pride FC, or an Affliction (that can stick around) will have to force the UFC to pay their fighters more in order to stay at the top. This won't happen until we as mma fans support more organizations or ONEFC or another league takes off and takes over the asian market before the UFC can.
11/29/12 9:43:14PM

Posted by Bustamante-Aoki

The way I see it. There's been a few big events that happened that changed the mma payscale.

1) Pride FC taking off in Japan. The huge amount of profits Pride was bringing in allowed them to pay more than the UFC to steal away or entice fighters.

Not to discredit your overarching point, but Pride I don't think ever really made huge profits, they just had big money backers. Once the money left and the tv deals evaporated, Pride was bought out in less than a year if I remember correctly.
12/3/12 12:01:47PM
They made big money, but they didn't have big profit margins at all. And most of their money came from their TV deal. When they lost that through the Yakuza scandal they started to bleed money.

According to the Pride book, it cost them around $30 million USD to put on an event. At the same time Dana was putting on events for $2-3 million, and the IFL and EliteXC were spending around $1 million per event. These numbers all come from the owners mouths, except for the Pride numbers which came from a reliable source, in the book about their demise that was released in Japan.

Mirko was the UFC's first $1 million plus fighter. All the top fighters in Pride were earning more than UFC fighters in 2005. This was well documented at the time. During the OWGP Pride's payout's got pretty big.

In 2005 fighters like Fedor and Mirko were earning as much as guys like GSP earn today (from event payouts only) The only guy who's earned more has been Brock beacause he could sell over 1 million PPV buys which gave him a hefty PPV bonus.

There were rumors of Rickson being offered $2 million to fight in Japan against Sakuraba in the early 2000's

The money Pride made was huge compared to all other MMA companies, until TUF 1 made the UFC a new kind of profitable (for mma orgs)
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