MMA News

Monday, 09/17/2012, 08:32 am

Dana White Breaks Down The Truth Behind Fighter Pay | UFC NEWS

UFC president Dana White recently took some time out of his busy schedule to sit down with Fox 11 Los Angeles and while on, journalist, James Koh had his way with the UFC boss and asked the tough questions, particularly with the hot button topic of fighter pay.

Here are some highlights, proceed to page 2 to watch the full video interview:

James Koh: This Manny Pacquiao / Timothy Bradley fight … brought in about $9 million at the gate … people bought about 900,000 Pay Per View buys, Manny’s guaranteed about $26 million, Bradley guaranteed about $5 million. But when we look at UFC 148, Silva vs Sonnen, one of the most popular fights in UFC history, you guys brought in $7million at the gate, you guys sold about a million Pay Per View buys …

Dana White:
(interrupting) … allegedly.

JK: Allegedly (laughs) … when we look at the Nevada State Athletic Commission, and we look at what Anderson Silva made, $200,000, Chael Sonnen made 50 grand — 50 grand! — So people say, ‘This is crazy!’, so I gotta ask you, why don’t you guys disclose guaranteed amounts?

DFW: Well we do, that is the guaranteed amount. That’s the guaranteed amount. So here’s the way that this really works … you hear about Manny and Floyd, those are the two guys that are getting paid the big money … the reality is if you look at this Dawson / Ward fight that just happened last weekend … I think (Ward) made about $1.6 million and Dawson made about $600,000 … that’s a big fight outside of a Pacquiao / Floy fight, and if you look at the UFC numbers compared to Boxing now, we smoke them … then when you look down their card, the numbers drop big time. When you look at a UFC card, the numbers are consistent all the way through.

I’m not running around your question here, the answer to your question is, these guys obviously get paid a lot more money than what you’re seeing on things, they come in, negotiate a contract, and there’s other ways that these guys get paid through bonuses and incentives. And in no way, shape or form is there anywhere in their contract that says they couldn’t come out and tell you what they make.

If Georges St. Pierre was sitting in this chair, or Anderson Silva, and they wanted to tell you what their last pay day was, they absolutely, positively have the right to do that, there’s no gag order on them or anything; they don’t want you to know …

When we first did this deal with Fox, right? The Fox guys says … ‘What do these guys get paid?’, we started telling them what some of the guys get paid and they were like, ‘Oh my god! You guys should be screaming this from the roof tops … don’t you remember when Tyson used to fight, and they’d put in the thing that he was making $30 million for that fight?’ and I said to them, ‘Yeah, and look what happened to Mike Tyson’, you know what I mean?

When your money gets published and you’re making big, big money …

JK: (interrupting) … the scavengers come out.

DFW: They come out of the woodwork, man, and they’re all over you. You know, we don’t disclose what the fighters make and it kills the media, and it kills the fans, they want to know so bad …

JK: (interrupting) … because we see it in every other sport, Dana!

DFW: (interrupting) … in every other sport, I agree. No I agree with you, 100%.

JK: How did you get to that conclusion that you’re not going to disclose that?

DFW: It just started to happen, I mean we never disclosed our Pay Per View numbers because we don”t have to, we’re not a public company, we never … it’s not about the money, ’cause no matter what in the media, because you don’t know ‘Oh these guys are getting screwed, they’re not getting paid enough money’, if it was out there on how much these guys really were making,’Oh this guy was making $10 million for this fight, and that’s how he fought, it becomes this, that …’


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33 Responses to “Dana White Breaks Down The Truth Behind Fighter Pay | UFC NEWS”

  1. Brend0magic says:

    As fans, do we honestly care what these guys are getting paid? Honestly, as long as a fighter is living decently, and doesn’t have money problems because he’s not getting paid enough, I could care-less what they make. I don’t want these guys struggling since they put their health/life on the line to entertain us, but at the same time I don’t care if they only make x amount of dollars.

  2. Lopez says:

    A men. Who cares what they make. No matter what there is pros and cons 4 letting people know how much u make. So as long as no 1 is complaining on the fighter side. Who r we as fans 2 even care how much they make. Just keep giving great FIGHTS!

  3. CanILive says:

    only ones complaining are the ones the seem to get injured a lot…fitchhhh

  4. Zack says:

    I wanna know how much Dana makes compared to GSP, silva, jones.

  5. Logan says:

    I Love Sucking On Big Black Cock……MMMMMMMMMMMM Yummy

    • Doh says:

      Im sure you do since it seems to be on your mind.I think you have bigger issues you need to deal with than a laughing response from someone on this site….someone who thinks about fag shit when they are puling up an mma site…….think about it just sayin.So good luck with that

  6. Jujitsu Player says:

    Sounds like bullshit to me I think the UFC are raping the majority of fighters…

    • Kenshiro says:

      Sure thats why they keep fighting for the UFC… cause they’re sooooo fuckin’ broke!!
      UFC fighters get payed PLENTY of cash.. i happen to know a few and im not even
      talking about some of the TOP fighters and they’re making a SHIT load of money… !!
      But once u HAVE money… no amount of money you make is enough cause you’re used
      to LUXURY… so they start bitching! cause they want more and more (even when they’re
      losing and dropping in the ranks (like Rampage)). Obviously UFC is a private company and
      any person with some form of intelligence would not want it to be publicly known how much
      they really make. So unless any of that changes, we’ll never really know how much they really make…. and who the fuck cares? they don’t pay our bills…. !

      • Macheetah says:

        So you think all UFC fighters make a ton of money?! when ufc 151 was cancelled, alot of fighters who were depending on getting paid to fight on that event were screwed. Another example is Tom Lawlor, the guy was flat broke until he fought that one time. The ufc fighters are not getting paid enough for sure, they have to pay their coaches and training partners. They gotta pay flights and what not to go to these events. Boxers definitely make way more

        • wata says:

          Hey can you share how much these guys get paid and at what level they are fighting with the ufc?

        • B-rad says:

          Tom Lawlor was broke because he wasnt smart with his money. He had just bought a house, and if you just bought a house, and im sure he paid it all up front, your FAAAR from flat broke.

    • ed says:

      I agree. The idea of Dana White, protector of fighters, is pretty silly. As the guy says of others all the time, he’s just a f***ing businessman.

  7. noneya says:

    Honestly, I disagree..These guys get paid NOTHING for the amount of work they do. This is their full time job!!! They are pros, and Zuffa owns them! They DO NOT EVEN HAVE A UNION like other sports!
    Its BS and they should get paid! Heath Herring vs Brock..Heath got 10,000 that aint SHIT!!!!

    • loco says:

      a union? last thing this sport needs is a union. and heath is also old and didn’t do anything. You fight for your money, you make them work for it. once you pay them like millions to fight they will start being lazy like you see in boxing all the time. Besides they get health insurance and all these benefits from the UFC. Do your research.

      • B-rad says:

        It will happen eventually, every sport has it. As long as MMA continues to grow, so will the demand for more pay. Only downside is the shit with NHL this year and the NBA and NFL last year havin lockouts, but it is different cause those are team sports.

  8. 123 says:

    they should double their money for any fighter that gets a stoppage, instead of fight of the night, submission of the night & knockout of the night. because if there is 2 good submission wins its not fair on the other fighter in my opinion.

  9. Andrew Powers says:

    read the transcript just to get to the bottom and see there was a video. fuck me

  10. Bitch ass Greg J says:

    Why do people care how much fighters make, and how much money Dana White gets? We wanna see good exciting fights and if they deliver I could care less if they’re making more or less than what they should be making. Ain’t nobody complaining about Apple making billions every year off of them iphones while workers in China are only making $15 a day making these stupid phones so why should we care if Dana makes his money promoting fights. Fighters chose to fight and now it pays better than most jobs.

  11. dante080 says:

    Chael got 50k, but he also said he is one of the highest paid guts in the sport. So those bonuses he gets must be pretty nice

  12. Kevin Cai says:

    Just wondering, can the fighters start a union like the NFLPA?

  13. JustrollBJJ says:

    The fact about money is they sign a contact and get money for showing and money to win per diem money as well sponsorship deals. They aren’t working minium wage jobs they are doing this cause they don’t want work for some one like chael has said in a interview its a luxury to this as a job. They can also do seminars open up mixed martial arts gyms and make more money look at Vera, Rashad Evans, Couture, and other famous fighters they make business decisions if your not out to chase the championship or money your gonna be paid squabbles.

  14. J Lee says:

    I still don’t understand why people care so much about how much they get paid because it’s not going to stop them from watching the fights. If fighters got paid 10 bucks or a million bucks people will always watch the fights.

    • Deebolt says:

      More pay for fighters creates more interest for future prospects (i know, but some people actually fight for money, crazy huh) which in turn gives chance to produce better athletes like muhammad ali, joe frazier, tyson, JBJ, etc. Bit cruel if we all don’t care what they make, people like Dana will abuse them, of course Dana and Fertita bros etc. do all the advertising and promoting, but the talent should be paid well, and i think they are paid decent amounts anyway. People probably just compare it to boxing and thats why they get a bit upset. I’m used to this sort of pay because team athletes in Australia don’t make the high dollars american/european athletes can make.

      • J Lee says:

        Still didn’t answer my question. When I said why do people I meant why do fans care what fighters get paid. If somebody’s dream is to become a fighter then yes I can understand wanting to know a little bit more about pay but for the people watching the sport as a fan, it shouldn’t matter one bit how much they get paid.

  15. JustrollBJJ says:

    I am gonna say this they get paid for sponsorships and they sign contract to show and more money to win and also they can market other things like there own gear own gyms or seminars. There jobs are luxuries they aren’t stamping metal and making things that improve society they are here to entertain you and they are making mad money vs working a normal nine to five.

  16. JimmyG says:

    I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t curious, but honestly it’s none of my business how much a fighter makes. I’m assuming he’s happy with his pay, or else he’d find another line of work, and at the end of the day, that’s all that should matter.

  17. Alfie says:

    It never made sense to about the money stuff but when Dana explains it like that it makes sense UFC doesn’t conform to other sports and it pays their fighter what they think they should get paid I do however think there should be like a minimum pay out I just feel bad for a guy on prelim who gets paid like 2 grand for 8 weeks tough tough training I don’t know it doesn’t matter to me really as long as the fighters are happy and danas happy and most importantly the fans are happy then what’s the problem

  18. B-rad says:

    People sayin these guys dont make any money need to take a step back and look at the big picture. I work like a fucking mule washin dishes gettin paid a cool 8 per hour, and im still in school so i know what its like to be flat broke. Compared to NFL, MLB, and NBA players they dont make shit, but compared to hourly workers they are makin BANK doin what they love, i hope to be there someday

  19. Jason says:

    When these guys fight, they put their life on the line. After they retire, they give up having life insurance and probably health insurance for life. What’s that worth to ya? MORE MONEY when you FIGHT for YOUR LIFE!!!

    • B-rad says:

      Why would they give up life and health insurance?

    • J Lee says:

      And one thing that you should remember is that fighting is a choice that GROWN MEN decide to do as a career. It’s not something they have to do to make money because there are plenty of opportunities out there for them. Also if they can’t save and manage their money good enough to make up their own retirement plan then they are meant to end up like Mike Tyson (BROKE AS A MF JOKE).

  20. say what you guys want about how much the ufc fighters are making, but the bottom line is these guys should be getting way more then they are getting. Don’t get me they do get alot of money, but they are not getting what they are worth. Dana thinks he can throw $100k or more at them to keep them quiet, but when you look at boring boxing the truth comes out big time. Who knows they probably do complain but the world may never know lol

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