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UFC’s low payroll attracts media focus

By Zach Arnold | August 29, 2006

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By Zach Arnold

Neil Davidson, the main MMA writer for CP (Canadian Press), calls out UFC today in a news wire article (companion article link here) for the low pay that undercard fighters in the promotion receive. Davidson’s article has hard numbers of what each fighter got paid, including the shocking $21,000 USD amount for Renato Babalu (while Liddell received $250,000 USD base pay).

Davidson was the reporter who first broke the story that talks between UFC & PRIDE fell through on booking the Liddell vs. Silva fight. He has been a very reliable MMA writer in the mainstream press.

Here is a list of the medical suspensions coming out of the UFC 62 event.

Topics: All Topics, Canada, Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 16 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

16 Responses to “UFC’s low payroll attracts media focus”

  1. MMA T-Shirts says:

    Wow, can’t believe babalu got so little.

    I don’t know if any of you saw the video interview on Sherdog with Rico Rodriguez before the WFA but he basically said it’s the fighters that need to stop being idiots and accepting 3 and 3 and if they did, the pay would improve. That is never going to happen though, so it’s good that the mainstream media are starting to put the pressure on. 10 and 10 should be the flat base rate in the UFC imho but at the same time, they can’t be blamed for paying less if fighters accept it and nobody is putting pressure on them to up the pay.

  2. I agree what MMA T-Shirts had to say completely.

  3. Stephan says:

    I also agree with MM-Tshirts, but have to add that it is the reason the talent pool is so shallow in the UFC. Many fighters dont accept the UFCs low wages…Why do you think Barnett? Coleman? Rampage, etc are not in the UFC? They will always find fighters willing to fight for 3 and 3, but are they good fighters? are they world class? no…

    So, the UFC by not paying well is also not building the best MMA organization, just the most profitable.

  4. cjfighter says:

    The part of that article that bothered me was the UFC escorting a ticket holding customer out of the building. I own a small business in my home town and some of my larger compettitors often send reps in for no other purpose than to check my prices. I can’t escort them out of my public business without proper reasoning. How can the UFC justify removing a customer with a valid ticket from the arena?

  5. I would caution as both sides of the story are unknown. Yes he was escorted from the building, but don’t assume he was in the clear. We simply don’t know. I’ve been around enough shady wrestling promoters to know that don’t take any promoter’s word for face value.

  6. Luke says:

    I agree that UFC ‘should’ pay their fighters better, but fighters need to be smarter and stop signing for such paltry amounts.

    UFC’s brand name is so strong now that ‘B’ and ‘C’ level fighters will sign for a minimal amount because they can go back to the independant level and raise their booking fee, because the promoter can market them as a former UFC “star” and draw bigger crowds.

    I don’t see UFC ever succombing to public pressure to pay fighters larger purses. Boxing has paid fighters similarly for many years. The lower level pro boxers still make very little money, compared to the top guys, and the media has all but stopped harping on that, and on boxing in general, really.

  7. Chuck says:

    Shit, I was just about to post about ‘fighters should stop taking these ridiculously low paying contracts, and maybe UFC will start paying better’, but I was beat to it by everyone here. Shit, I guess I have nothing to post for now.

  8. Lynchman says:

    CJfighter,
    The WFA president did not purchase a ticket, he had a promotional ticket. They have the right to remove anyone they want, especially with a promotional ticket. He was not given the ticket by the company, but by a fighter on the show.

    When I worked radio, if somebody showed up at a concert with a promotional ticket, they could be turned away for no reason.

    He had based most of his promotional work on slagging the UFC, why in God’s name should they let him sit with the rest of their fighters and the fighter’s families? If he wanted to go to the ticket office and buy a ticket, he would have allowed back in.

  9. Lynchman says:

    Regarding Ricco’s comments, I can’t help but notice that promotions are not pounding down his door offering him contracts.

    I do want to see the pay to continue to go up, but it falls on all of the orgs, not just the UFC. Why should the UFC pay a guy 10, 10 for a premil fight when other companies are paying the same guy 1, 1 at best?

    A lot of the smaller companies are making money and can indeed afford to offer a little bit more. The UFC will pay what the market dictates. They paid a little more to sign Marquardt, for example, because that is what they had to do.

  10. Jason says:

    Yeah, what people keep forgetting is guys like Franklin, Hughes, ect are all on old deals as far as I remember. When its time to re-negotiate, they will get what they deserve. For the rest…earn your keep and you’ll get paid, otherwise get a real job like the rest of us have to do.

  11. Ivan Trembow says:

    The follow-up article with quotes from White is unintentionally hilarious.

  12. Chuck says:

    [The follow-up article with quotes from White is unintentionally hilarious.] A said by Ivan Trembow.

    You got a link there playboy?

  13. Chuck says:

    Thanks a lot!

  14. Chuck says:

    I just read it, and I smell a little bullshit in the air. Trust me, I am not anti-UFC or anything, but still. He said his fighters are happy. Maybe it’s true, maybe not, I don’t know. But he said nobody’s bitching. Well, that’s probably because his fighters are kissing his ass to keep their professions.

    I have read an interview done with Maurice Smith from I think earlier this year (around when IFL first started up) and he ripped Zuffa sports and UFC a new one. Calling them retards and such.

  15. MMA T-Shirts says:

    Well he’s full of shit if he thinks nobody is bitching. Just in the last couple of weeks on the Beatdown, Leben, Sanchez (via Greg Jackson) and Buentello have all said they arent happy with the amount of money they are paid by the UFC.

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