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« | Home | »

CSAC releases Strikeforce fighter salary figures

By Zach Arnold | October 2, 2007

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Miguel Linares – $1,500
Anthony Figueroa – $2,000
Luke Stewart – $3,500 +$4,000 win bonus
Sam Liera – $3,000
Eddy Millis – $4,000
Daniel McWilliams – $1,000
Adam Smith – $500
Dewey Cooper – $500
Richard Dalton – $3,000
Daniel Puder – $20,000
Falaniko Vitale – $20,000
Ron Fields – $7,000
Bill Mahood – $1,000
Bobby Southworth – $10,000 + $10,000 win bonus
Matt Lee – $1,000
Jorge Masvidal – $18,182.50
Clint Coronel – $3,000
Billy Evangelista – $3,000 + $3,000 win bonus
Adam Lynn – $6,000
Josh Thomson – $14,500 + $10,000 win bonus
Joe Riggs – $14,500 + $15,000 win bonus
Eugene Jackson – $15,000
Tetsuji Kato – $6,000
Gilbert Melendez – $30,000

No attendance figures available at this time.

Topics: Media, MMA, StrikeForce, Zach Arnold | 36 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

36 Responses to “CSAC releases Strikeforce fighter salary figures”

  1. Preach says:

    “Jorge Masvidal – $18,182.50”

    What kind of a weird number is that???

  2. garth says:

    Preach: I bet it has to do with insurance, licensing, that kind of stuff. He probably was the only guy they actually showed the withdrawals on.

  3. David says:

    $500 dollar pay-outs. So they ARE trying to be like the UFC? 🙂

  4. ilostmydog says:

    If only this was a UFC event. Ivan would be all over this.

  5. 45 Huddle says:

    How can Strikeforce put on shows in front of a guy as rich as Hugh Heffner and not pay his fighters more…. lol… Please note the sarcasm.

    Should make people appreciate what the UFC pays their fighters.

    Gilbert Melendez is Top 5 in the World at Lightweight, and he is getting paid less then what Nate Quarry got at the last UFC Fight Night Show.

    They total payout over 12 fights was $201,500 (I rounded up that one fighters payday). Or per fight, that is around $16,800. Not very much. You can easily see why Zuffa isn’t losing fighters anytime soon.

  6. Euthyphro says:

    If only this was a UFC event. Ivan would be all over this.

    Honestly! Where’s the trademark Trembow outrage?

  7. JThue says:

    Why are people acting like these payouts are low? Strikeforce is a REGIONAL promotion with no TV deal and one PPV on their record, and these payouts look pretty good for a promotion their size. In fact it DOES put UFC in a bad light, as one would expect a larger payroll difference considering the size difference of the two companies, and UFC contracts being exclusive.

  8. Lynchman says:

    I don’t know about all of them, but some of the Strikeforce contracts are exclusive.

  9. Zack says:

    “Gilbert Melendez is Top 5 in the World at Lightweight, and he is getting paid less then what Nate Quarry got at the last UFC Fight Night Show.”

    This is kind of a skewed opinion. UFC is VERY generous now with their bonuses. You can make a great nights living if you get KO or sub of the night & fight of the night, plus your purse. Still, there is something to be said about getting $30k guaranteed to show. On top of that, Gilbert was allowed to fight in Pride while under contract to Strikeforce.

    I’m not saying one is better than the other, since its due to personal preference, but there are two sides to that coin.

  10. Diamond Dave Williams says:

    Has anyone seen a posted salary for an Elitexc event?

  11. Preach says:

    Garth, my first thought was more like “Did Masvidal clean out Hef’s Minibar or something?”. Seriously, that’s a weird number there, and somehow i can’t imagine that he should be the only one where they showed any withdrawals for licensing and stuff.

  12. Ivan Trembow says:

    If anyone is going to try to compare the UFC’s ability to pay its fighters against Strikeforce’s ability to pay its fighters, that would be a pretty ridiculous comparison, given that the UFC brings in more money from one of their (monthly) PPV events than Strikeforce has brought in throughout its entire existence.

  13. Ultimo_Santa says:

    $500 – $1,000 for a fight?

    Wow…even if you factor in a 4-week training camp to prepare (VERY short prep time) they’re getting paid less than a cashier at McDonalds.

    And at McD’s, the odds of going to the hospital with a concussion or a broken bone after a shift is slightly lower, I would imagine.

  14. Canson says:

    It doesn’t matter how much the UFC CAN pay fighters. What matters is the MARKET VALUE of the fighters. What kind of crazy world do you live in to think you should pay more than the asking price for someone or something just because you make more money than the next guy? The fighters will go where they feel is best for them, they aren’t enslaved. Unless there is a threat of the fighters moving somewhere else or unionizing, it doesn’t make sense for Zuffa to overpay.

  15. cyphron says:

    I feel that Walmart should pay their employees more. I am outraged at how much they take in relative to what they pay their employees!

    What is that you say? It is a market system and the company only pays what the market bear? You mean the VPs, managers, etc. make far more money than the cashiers? This is an outrage!

    I think it’s time to put the fighters pay to rest. The fighters are happy with what they have right now. If they’re not complaining, why should the fans? I am sure most fighters make more than the average Joe. Are we really conditioned to believe that all athletes should own Farraris and multi-million dollar homes? If MMA continues to grow, they will eventually. Until then, shouldn’t we enjoy it for the fights and leave the salary discussion to the bean counters?

  16. Grape Knee High says:

    Canson is absolutely right.

    The United States is not a socialist country. Zuffa has no moral obligation to share their profits with their employees. As with any company, they should pay their employees the minimum amount necessary to ensure their short and long-term goals are fulfilled. That means paying more for fighters that they want/need, and paying less for fighters that they don’t care about.

    Frankly, I think most UFC fighters are overpaid; Zuffa is paying a significant amount of economic rent on most of their guys.

  17. Tomer Chen says:

    What is that you say? It is a market system and the company only pays what the market bear? You mean the VPs, managers, etc. make far more money than the cashiers? This is an outrage!

    While I agree with the principle, considering the scandals involving illegal immigrant workers getting lowballed (IE: underpaid below the minimum wage) and locked into the Wal-mart stores for inventory, etc., I don’t think Wal-mart is the best example you should give to discourage the idea that payment should be inflated given, well, the fact that Wal-mart immorally (and illegally) lowballed these people.

  18. Ivan Trembow says:

    Yeah, that’s great, compare Zuffa to Wal-Mart, a company with more slave-labor scandals than just about any other American company. A more valid comparison would be to compare Zuffa to the sports leagues that it likes to compare itself to, like the NFL. In the NFL or any other sports league, they have collective bargaining, and the collective bargaining agreement in the NFL dictates that the players get 60% of the league’s total gross revenue. UFC fighters aren’t getting even one-third of that percentage.

  19. Grape Knee High says:

    Ivan, are you suggesting that every sports company has a moral imperative to distribute 60% of their profits to their employees just because the NFL does? If MMA fighters want to start a union and come to a collective bargaining agreement with Zuffa, that is their option under the law.

    Until such point, the current fighters by the simple definition of capitalism CANNOT be underpaid. If they are truly underpaid, they would quit because they could obtain the compensation that they’re looking for elsewhere. If they cannot find that compensation elsewhere, their market value is set with what Zuffa is offering them.

  20. Ivan Trembow says:

    Grape Knee High— No, that’s not what I’m suggesting. I brought up the NFL comparison because the UFC likes to compare itself to the NFL and other major sports leagues, so for other people to also compare the UFC to major sports leagues is not out of bounds or unreasonable.

  21. Grape Knee High says:

    Ivan, while I personally do not feel that the fighters are underpaid — in fact, I think they are mostly overpaid considering all bonuses, sponsorship money (see note below), exposure — the key to increasing their salaries is not to talk about how Zuffa is not “sharing the wealth” enough, but to encourage fighters to unionize.

    Zuffa will not and should not increase salaries simply out of the goodness of their hearts or to appease fans/pundits who feel fighters are underpaid. It’s up to the fighters themselves to organize themselves and demand it.

    Note: I know that in the past you’ve made arguments that sponsorship money should not count as a part of salary. I agree — to an extent. For general sponsorship like wearing t-shirts outside of events, or magazine ads, I can see your argument. For in-event sponsorship money, no way; that money should be counted as a part of total compensation because the UFC does not have to let them do this (the same way even the uniform brands are tightly controlled by the NFL; you don’t see any “ESPN.com” ads on football player’s uniforms, do you?)

  22. bloutit@ualberta.ca says:

    So, Ivan, seriously now, what do you think about the kind of money that Strikeforce is paying to their fighters?

  23. Ivan Trembow says:

    Bloutit— They’re generally underpaid, just as most MMA fighters are underpaid, and just as they will continue to generally be underpaid until MMA fighters stand up and form a union (or some form of collective bargaining) just like every other major sport. It’s a little more understandable in the case of a regional promotion than it is for the Super Bowl of MMA with hundreds of millions of dollars in gross revenue and a relatively tiny percentage of that going to the fighters.

  24. Grape Knee High says:

    Ivan, knowing that we live in a capitalist society and salaries are determined by the free market, by what standard do you feel fighters are “underpaid”?

  25. dice says:

    Grape Knee High

    Not sure where you went to school but we don’t live in a “capitalist” society with a “free market”. We actually have state capitalism in which the government is able to lower interest rates (fed reserve), bailout corporations, give subsidies etc. And we are a far cry from free markets, just ask any student of Milton Friedman (meaning that people are not always paid their “market value”). Also your comment about encouraging fighters to start a union gave me a chuckle, ever since Reganomics came into being, it has been almost impossible to get a union up and running. Also watch what happens if/when fighters start trying to organize a union, Zuffa would squash it as quick as possible. In fact I don’t think the UFC fighters will ever have the freedom to start a union. And no one is saying any corporation has a moral imperative, corporations by their very nature are amoral institutions. No one is delusional enough to think that their company is looking out for anything/anyone other than the owners/shareholders interests.

    You also go on to contradict yourself within about an hour (quite impressive really). You state that fighters could never be underpaid because they would quit , then go on to state that you think that they are overpaid (because of sponsors, etc.). Well if they were overpaid then the companies supporting them would start to run into serious financial trouble and collapse within (this is hypothetical since we don’t live in your fantasy capitalist world). So by stating that by the very definition of capitalism, fighters could not be underpaid, then by the same token they could not be overpaid (since the same laws of market value are applied to each). The truth is that many people are underpaid (mostly in the private sector due to union busting and monopolies) and overpaid (public service sector, since they have no set market value). In all honesty it is a little more complicated than that but I am trying to take it slow since it is quite evident from your previous posts that you have very little understanding of basic economics.

    45 Hurdle, your comment that people should be happy about what the UFC pays its fighters makes absolutely zero sense. You need to understand what the word “relative” means. As in what percentage of the revenue is directed to the fighters. So if Strikeforce made $400,000 in revenue and pays out roughly $200,000 to the fighters, then it is giving much more of its revenue to fighters “relative” to the UFC (just as Ivan pointed out). It would be the same as comparing Pride 33 salaries with KOTC 24 salaries.

    Cyphron your comment that the UFC fighters are happy with what they get was just shown to be false by a recent Dave Meltzer report. I also highly doubt that if a fighter is disgruntled about his pay, he would go to the media. It is probably something that they want to keep to themselves because they don’t want to upset the big man (Dana). Hence why we have to hear about fighters upset regarding their contracts through meltzer, who is a behind the scenes guy. The UFC does their best to keep ppv buyrates suppressed and a fighters true pay secret (hence in a free market it would be essential to know what the guy next to you makes so you know if you are being compensated appropriately (ie what your market value is))

    I almost cringe when I see you guys talking about market value as though you know what it means (and just economics in general). When companies(ufc) start buying out other companies (pride, wec, wfa), market value tends to get a little distorted. Soon you can have issues of price fixing (which can relate directly to the price you pay your labor), and just flat out monopolies that discourage any type of competition (microsoft). The UFC is actually trying to adapt a Microsoft type model of business.

    My final point is whoever used Wal-Mart as a type of comparison to the free market is a complete and utter moron. It is subsidized (roads, sewage) and discourages any type of union organizing. Sorry if I am coming down hard on you guys, but your idiocy when it comes to this topic has become overwhelming.

  26. Grape Knee High says:

    dice,

    If fighters are “underpaid”, they should quit. And find that job that pays them what they feel they deserve. Nothing is stopping them.

    By what measure do you feel that fighters are “underpaid”? Because you say so?

  27. Grape Knee High says:

    Also, by “overpaid” if you were paying attention I was referring to economic rent. Most fighters would continue to fight for much less than they currently receive from Zuffa, and most certainly would make less in another job.

  28. dice says:

    Its obvious that you skimmed my post and didn’t actually absorb any of it. First off I didn’t say that they were underpaid in my post (read it over again), you just assumed it. I guess I am going to need you to explain “economic rent” to me a little more. Here is a link to its definition by neoclassical standards http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economic_rent, go ahead and break it down to me about how it is applicable to your interpretation of it (regarding fighters pay).

    My main point was that you assume a level playing field when talking about economics and that just isn’t the case, plain and simple. My guess is that you have never studied economics beyond the high school level, because you sound like you still believe in market discipline (Laissez-faire), which is consider somewhat of a myth now among real economists. Its kind of like the trickle down effect, people like to draw up complicated models showing how it should work, but then when labor and income statistics come out after a tax cut, it shows that economic theory sometimes cannot account for how the “markets” really work.

    Get it yet, making claims like “well if they don’t like it then they should just quit”, is a surefire way of making yourself look like an idiot when it comes to economic theory . There are numerous factors when it comes to labor wages of which can distort market value immensely. In my previous post I gave examples of such factors and it seems like instead of researching what I said or trying to understand it, you simply posted an counterargument for something that I never said.

  29. Grape Knee High says:

    dice, seriously, what is wrong with you? You can continue with the stupid ad hominem attacks or actually argue the point: Are UFC fighters underpaid? If you don’t think so, then shut the fuck up. If you do, please EXPLAIN WHY.

    From Wikipedia: “Economic rent is the difference between what a factor of production is paid and how much it would need to be paid to remain in its current use.”

    In simple English and for the UFC: “Economic rent is the difference between what the UFC actually pays a fighter and what Zuffa would need to pay to keep a fighter.”

    Moron.

  30. dice says:

    Once again read my post. You are still so damn stupid that you can’t figure it out. NO ONE CAN TELL IF THEY ARE UNDERPAID BECAUSE WE CAN’T ASSESS MARKET VALUE IN A STATE CAPITALIST SYSTEM. I hope that is simple enough for you, saying whether they are underpaid or overpaid is just a guess since the market is not free. Moron lol

    So how does economic rent pertain to sponsors or extra income earned by a fighter? LOL It doesn’t

  31. Grape Knee High says:

    dice, you want econ and ad hominem attacks? You got it.

    You can sit in your ivory tower and spout your Keynsian socialist nonsense, but the REALITY of the situation is this: You’re only worth what someone is willing to pay for you. End of story. You didn’t even understand economic rent and now you’re trying to get out of it by lamely talking sponsorship income? LOL. In fact, you’re bolstering my argument because I’ve already said I think we should include sponsorship money as total compensation.

    You can talk all you want about market distortions, but the fact remains that many, if not most, industries are in a state monopolistic competition (MMA included). You’re the IDIOT assuming that “fair market value” means “theoretical fair market value” without the market distortions.

    Market value is what someone is willing to pay for your asset. Period. Again, a does of reality: what happens when you attempt to sell a thinly traded asset into an illiquid market? In this case the thinly traded assets are fighters and the illiquid market are MMA orgs. This is REALITY. So stop whining.

    You sound like one of those idiots who don’t understand why the subprime CDO market just collapsed. Black boxes failed and people were forced to mark to market. You’re busy trying to say that you don’t know what fair value is because you’re so stupid you don’t know how to fucking model it. I’m saying mark it to fucking market and stop fucking whining.

    It’s pretty damn clear you have no idea that you’ve never spent time in the real world and don’t know anything about the market outside of what you learned in your friggin’ textbook at whatever Mickey Mouse college you went to.

  32. dice says:

    Hey don’t be mad because I embarassed you man. It was pretty evident to even the most modest reader that you were clueless when it came to the subject of economics.

    “I think they are mostly overpaid considering all bonuses, sponsorship money (see note below), exposure ”

    “Also, by “overpaid” if you were paying attention I was referring to economic rent.”

    “You didn’t even understand economic rent and now you’re trying to get out of it by lamely talking sponsorship income?”

    So now I am the one that was associating economic rent with sponsership? You do realize that people can just read your previous posts and see how you changed your story? Right? I mean are you able to comprehend this? LOL You lost buddy, now stop your whining.

    Ps Claiming that I am the one who doesn’t know much about real world economics is hilarious, you were the one talking about capitalism as if we had free markets, now that is textbook stuff. LOL

  33. Grape Knee High says:

    You didn’t understand the very simple concept of economic rent and then pathetically tried to deflect this obvious lack of understanding with “So how does economic rent pertain to sponsors or extra income earned by a fighter?”

    Go back to your Marx and Keynes socialism. Pathetic.

  34. dice says:

    Also it seems like you have stopped using the words “free market” and instead replaced it with “fair market”.

    Notice how terrible you are misreading my posts, I speak nothing of
    “fair”. It seems to be a common trend in your posts to build a straw man of argument and then try and blow it down. Meaning you have consistently been unable to actually respond to my posts. You just make stuff up and act like I said it. (have I said a word about what is fair? Nope, I have been talking about how you can’t assess true market value)

    Oh so you think MMA is in a state monopolistic competition? So there are a lot of producers (mma orgs) are there? A lot of competition going on around right now? Seems to me like al you have are the UFC and the Pro elite companies. Also I have no idea what you mean by “state” in state monopolistic competition, that would be implying that MMA orgs. are receiving public funds.

    ps I noticed that you are using “fucking” a lot more in your posts. Why so mad? I have been able to deal with your incompetence without getting profane. LOL

  35. Grape Knee High says:

    That should have read “in a state OF”. Sorry for the typo. And yes, there are tons of MMA orgs. If you’d pay attention to the sport there are tons and tons of organizations.

    I am avoiding using the term “free market” so you’ll stop babbling about your ivory tower, socialist economic theory. People assess market value all the time in the face an inefficient market. You can cry and whine all you want about true market value and market price, but the real world and inefficient markets determine what you get. No amount of whining about Zuffa salaries will ever change that.

    Besides, you still don’t understand the simple concept economic rent, so I guess there’s no reason to argue anymore. There is no straw man here. I’m saying if the fighters were worth more, Zuffa would give it to them. Let them demand it the way Arlovski and Ortiz are.

    But I think many fighters would take less total compensation and still fight for the UFC. That is the economic rent that I’ve never wavered on, no matter how much you try to claim I’ve changed my mind.

  36. dice says:

    I think its fairly obvious that you did change your story and I will just copy and paste it again so maybe you can catch it.

    “I think they are mostly overpaid considering all bonuses, sponsorship money (see note below), exposure ”

    “Also, by “overpaid” if you were paying attention I was referring to economic rent.”

    “You didn’t even understand economic rent and now you’re trying to get out of it by lamely talking sponsorship income?”

    So you say they are overpaid because of sponsorship money, then say when you were talking about them being overpaid you were talking about economic rent, then say that sponsorship money has nothing to do with economic rent? Yeah I am the one who doesn’t understand economic rent. LOL

    On another note:

    “No amount of whining about Zuffa salaries will ever change that.”

    Have I been whining about Zuffa salaries? Go ahead and show me where I state anything close to that statment. I think that you just keep misrepresenting what I have written, in fact its thats only thing you have been consistent on in your posts (see note below). You got exposed for being incompetent when it comes to understanding “true” economic theory (meaning real world, ironically the crutch of your argument is how I am speaking from my “ivory tower”, as if I am the one who was talking about free markets being real, LOL). All you can do is spout off about how I am a “marxist” or “keynesian”, as if that is supposed to take away from the fact that I have shown how you have numerous contradictions in your posts.

    “If you’d pay attention to the sport there are tons and tons of organizations.”

    Are there? Tons and Tons of them? Go ahead and list them off for me then. Because the way I see it there WERE a lot of MMA orgs. but within the last year or so there have been more mergers than one can count.
    http://www.sherdog.com/news/news.asp?n_id=8896
    So it appears that Pro Elite now has Rumble on the Rock, elitexc, SpiritMC, ICON, Cage Rage and king of the cage under their banner.
    http://www.elitexc.com/partners
    It also has been well known for quite a while that they have alliances with FEG (k-1) and Strikeforce, as they have already co promoted events with these two.

    The UFC, as everyone knows has bought out WEC, Pride and the WFA.
    http://www.mmapayout.com/2007/09/m-mma-style.html

    By my count it appears as though there are really only 2 major players in the MMA scene right now (UFC-Proelite), we will see where Cuban’s promotion fits in when he actually puts together his first big card.
    It looks like you were the one who wasn’t paying attention. Maybe you thinking of little regional promotions as actually being players, but I doubt that since we both know that they pose NO threat or competition to either of the big 2.

    NOTE: Here is a post by Ivan Trembow
    # Ivan Trembow Says:
    October 3rd, 2007 at 12:54 pm

    Yeah, that’s great, compare Zuffa to Wal-Mart, a company with more slave-labor scandals than just about any other American company. A more valid comparison would be to compare Zuffa to the sports leagues that it likes to compare itself to, like the NFL. In the NFL or any other sports league, they have collective bargaining, and the collective bargaining agreement in the NFL dictates that the players get 60% of the league’s total gross revenue. UFC fighters aren’t getting even one-third of that percentage.

    And here is your response
    “Ivan, are you suggesting that every sports company has a moral imperative to distribute 60% of their profits to their employees just because the NFL does?”

    You see no one else here but you misunderstood Ivan’s post as implying anything about a “moral imperative”. You just read into that yourself, which apparently you have a bad habit of doing.

    I am done embarrassing you.

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