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Michael Bisping: Criticism of UFC Fighter Pay Makes Me Mad

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"To be honest, it makes me mad, because people don't understand," said Bisping. "I've worked hard, and I get [the amount stipulated in the contract], but when Dana comes into the locker room and gives me a check afterwards, they don't have to do that. Far from it. I was already very happy with the money I was getting, but then they'll hand you another check on top of that and say, 'Well done...good job,' and there'll be another huge check inside the envelope."

"When I was an up-and-coming fighter I used to fight in these sh---y little shows and make no money," he said. "I used to sleep in my car. I couldn't pay my bills. I had to work on the weekends. So if I had to go out now [as an incoming UFC fighter] and I had to win a few fights, make six [thousand dollars to show] and six [thousand dollars to win], that's $12,000, plus maybe two or three thousand more in sponsors, and fight three or four times a way, that's not bad money. I'd be able to pay my bills and train full-time."

"If you win, and you start getting some notoriety with the fans and put on a good show, your pay's going to quickly go up. You start at six and six because the UFC is running a business. It's not, 'Oh, this guy's good enough to be in the UFC? Let's pay him a quarter of a million dollars.' It's not like that. They'll pay you a decent amount just for showing up, and even that's a big jump up from the regional show that you're used to. If you do well, they'll take care of you. They'll probably give you a bonus backstage and you'll quickly be in a new contract with a significant pay raise. If you put on good shows, you'll find success."

"From my initial involvement with the UFC on, the UFC has done nothing but take great care of me and my family," said Bisping. "They've always gone above and beyond the call of duty. They really have. With bonuses, with care, if I ever have injuries they give me access to the best doctors and then pay for everything. Myself and my family, we're living a great lifestyle. ...I'm making more money in one fight than I could have in 20 years of my old job. So you'll never hear a bad word come out of my mouth about the UFC's pay structure.

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Post #1   1/19/12 4:08:49PM   

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Doesn't sound like the words of the most hated man in the ufc to me. I'm a Bisping fan- because somebody has to be.

Post #2   1/19/12 4:39:52PM   

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Yeah his head isn't in his ass for this interview for some reason he actually makes sense! Though I always felt he was alittle overprotected as the biggest British draw...

Post #3   1/19/12 4:54:34PM   

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Posted by DeadHead988

Doesn't sound like the words of the most hated man in the ufc to me. I'm a Bisping fan- because somebody has to be.



both me and Rabi are too

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Post #4   1/19/12 5:04:16PM   

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I see this from a slightly different angle, an angle that is very interested in full disclosure regarding revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters.

I'd be willing to hand out bonuses left and right too, if it slowed down questioning regarding what I mentioned above. Like Lorenzo said in the un-cut/un-edited portion of the ESPN piece... Something to the effect " If we have a guy set to make $200K and he performs well, promotes the fight etc. , cut him a cheque for $1 million"....No big deal. As great as that seems on the surface for fighters, the bigger question has to be asked... "How much are these dudes at Zuffa generating in revenue?" If its common to double, triple and quadruple contracted amounts.... I'm thinking their pretty much printing money.

In my cynical opinion Zuffa is generating a tremendous amount of revenue.... an amount so big, that you have no problem handing out the bonuses Zuffa does to slow down the questions regarding fighter pay and revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters they employ.

I find it very, very hard to believe that its close to the ratios identified in the NHL, NFL, NBA or MLB's collective bargaining agreements like Lorenzo suggests in the ESPN piece.

I'm not saying that's what it should be, I'm just saying there's a lot of misdirection and clever tactics to create an illusion, but until its all on the table, nobody knows whats going on except those at Zuffa. That seems problematic to me.

Last edited 1/19/12 5:10PM server time by crushedbacon
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Post #5   1/19/12 5:08:22PM   

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I like watching Bisping fight; fan of his fighting style. Personality can be grating at times. In the Hendo fight I wanted that KO more than anything. It all depends on the matchup but more often than not I do root for Bisping. So I'm not a big fan or a big hater of him, and I always enjoy watching him fight regardless if I'm rooting for him or not. I guess I'm in the minority as there's not to many fence-sitters with Bisping. Most either hate him or love him.

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Post #6   1/19/12 5:11:49PM   

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ya know ive seen more than one interview with bisping were he was respectful and actually pretty funny. HOWEVER, he could give a thousand respectful interviews and then spit at somebody one time and still severely damage his reputation. love him or hate him, he brings the ufc a shit load of money, id buy a ticket just to see him get his lose

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Post #7   1/19/12 5:24:04PM   

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Posted by crushedbacon



I'm not saying that's what it should be, I'm just saying there's a lot of misdirection and clever tactics to create an illusion, but until its all on the table, nobody knows whats going on except those at Zuffa. That seems problematic to me.





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Post #8   1/19/12 5:25:47PM   

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Post #9   1/19/12 5:49:34PM   

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Posted by crushedbacon

I see this from a slightly different angle, an angle that is very interested in full disclosure regarding revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters.

I'd be willing to hand out bonuses left and right too, if it slowed down questioning regarding what I mentioned above. Like Lorenzo said in the un-cut/un-edited portion of the ESPN piece... Something to the effect " If we have a guy set to make $200K and he performs well, promotes the fight etc. , cut him a cheque for $1 million"....No big deal. As great as that seems on the surface for fighters, the bigger question has to be asked... "How much are these dudes at Zuffa generating in revenue?" If its common to double, triple and quadruple contracted amounts.... I'm thinking their pretty much printing money.

In my cynical opinion Zuffa is generating a tremendous amount of revenue.... an amount so big, that you have no problem handing out the bonuses Zuffa does to slow down the questions regarding fighter pay and revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters they employ.

I find it very, very hard to believe that its close to the ratios identified in the NHL, NFL, NBA or MLB's collective bargaining agreements like Lorenzo suggests in the ESPN piece.

I'm not saying that's what it should be, I'm just saying there's a lot of misdirection and clever tactics to create an illusion, but until its all on the table, nobody knows whats going on except those at Zuffa. That seems problematic to me.




well Zuffa doesnt make 2.8 billion as per the interview. i think i read somewhere where its worth about 1 billion. why shouldnt the UFC give its fighters enough money to live comfortably? i dont understand how your viewpoint here is any different than in other sports

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Post #10   1/19/12 6:58:53PM   

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Posted by Bubbles


Posted by crushedbacon

I see this from a slightly different angle, an angle that is very interested in full disclosure regarding revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters.

I'd be willing to hand out bonuses left and right too, if it slowed down questioning regarding what I mentioned above. Like Lorenzo said in the un-cut/un-edited portion of the ESPN piece... Something to the effect " If we have a guy set to make $200K and he performs well, promotes the fight etc. , cut him a cheque for $1 million"....No big deal. As great as that seems on the surface for fighters, the bigger question has to be asked... "How much are these dudes at Zuffa generating in revenue?" If its common to double, triple and quadruple contracted amounts.... I'm thinking their pretty much printing money.

In my cynical opinion Zuffa is generating a tremendous amount of revenue.... an amount so big, that you have no problem handing out the bonuses Zuffa does to slow down the questions regarding fighter pay and revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters they employ.

I find it very, very hard to believe that its close to the ratios identified in the NHL, NFL, NBA or MLB's collective bargaining agreements like Lorenzo suggests in the ESPN piece.

I'm not saying that's what it should be, I'm just saying there's a lot of misdirection and clever tactics to create an illusion, but until its all on the table, nobody knows whats going on except those at Zuffa. That seems problematic to me.




well Zuffa doesnt make 2.8 billion as per the interview. i think i read somewhere where its worth about 1 billion. why shouldnt the UFC give its fighters enough money to live comfortably? i dont understand how your viewpoint here is any different than in other sports



OK Bubs, Im not sure how you perceived my prior post to suggest I don't want UFC fighters to live comfortably. If that's what you think the heart of my post was, it went so far over your head...

Regarding the UFC having a similar revenue sharing model as the 4 major sports leagues I mentioned, all I meant was I'm not sure the same 50/50 model (give or take a few percentage points either way in terms of owners vs players) is suitable for the UFC. I do understand, and appreciate how the owners in MMA (specifically UFC) do a hell of a lot more than just bankroll, as owners do in those other sports for their franchises. Zuffa's groundwork is immeasurable and maybe a 60/40 or 65/35 model is more suitable all things considered.... I dunno certainly negotiable.
All I'm saying is there needs to be transparency.... and everybody should know how big the pie is.

Last edited 1/19/12 9:11PM server time by crushedbacon
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Post #11   1/19/12 9:05:24PM   

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I never really understood the the whole revenue sharing. To me once your locked up into a contract your stuck so if you have an x amount of payers to an x amount of money for their contract then how are they getting the same % of the revenue if you make more profit since you are only legally bound to pay what the contract is?????????


but on this whole thing, its not old news, the top guys the office always make more money, most pro sport owners are billionaires and keep getting richer, its how sports work, athletes come and go but the brand keeps going

Post #12   1/19/12 9:38:18PM   

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Post #13   1/19/12 11:43:03PM   

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Posted by crushedbacon


Posted by Bubbles


Posted by crushedbacon

I see this from a slightly different angle, an angle that is very interested in full disclosure regarding revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters.

I'd be willing to hand out bonuses left and right too, if it slowed down questioning regarding what I mentioned above. Like Lorenzo said in the un-cut/un-edited portion of the ESPN piece... Something to the effect " If we have a guy set to make $200K and he performs well, promotes the fight etc. , cut him a cheque for $1 million"....No big deal. As great as that seems on the surface for fighters, the bigger question has to be asked... "How much are these dudes at Zuffa generating in revenue?" If its common to double, triple and quadruple contracted amounts.... I'm thinking their pretty much printing money.

In my cynical opinion Zuffa is generating a tremendous amount of revenue.... an amount so big, that you have no problem handing out the bonuses Zuffa does to slow down the questions regarding fighter pay and revenue sharing between Zuffa and the fighters they employ.

I find it very, very hard to believe that its close to the ratios identified in the NHL, NFL, NBA or MLB's collective bargaining agreements like Lorenzo suggests in the ESPN piece.

I'm not saying that's what it should be, I'm just saying there's a lot of misdirection and clever tactics to create an illusion, but until its all on the table, nobody knows whats going on except those at Zuffa. That seems problematic to me.




well Zuffa doesnt make 2.8 billion as per the interview. i think i read somewhere where its worth about 1 billion. why shouldnt the UFC give its fighters enough money to live comfortably? i dont understand how your viewpoint here is any different than in other sports



OK Bubs, Im not sure how you perceived my prior post to suggest I don't want UFC fighters to live comfortably. If that's what you think the heart of my post was, it went so far over your head...

Regarding the UFC having a similar revenue sharing model as the 4 major sports leagues I mentioned, all I meant was I'm not sure the same 50/50 model (give or take a few percentage points either way in terms of owners vs players) is suitable for the UFC. I do understand, and appreciate how the owners in MMA (specifically UFC) do a hell of a lot more than just bankroll, as owners do in those other sports for their franchises. Zuffa's groundwork is immeasurable and maybe a 60/40 or 65/35 model is more suitable all things considered.... I dunno certainly negotiable.
All I'm saying is there needs to be transparency.... and everybody should know how big the pie is.



thats fair. i was trying to read more into it than what was there. my bad

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Post #14   1/20/12 11:11:33AM   

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Posted by crushedbacon

All I'm saying is there needs to be transparency.... and everybody should know how big the pie is.



Why ? Zuffa is a private company.

Post #15   1/20/12 4:16:17PM