UFC Featherweight Cole Miller Talks of Sponsorship Woes
Raking in cash as a pro fighter isn’t as easy as one would think.
Look no further than UFC featherweight Cole Miller.
While fighter salaries has been a hot button topic throughout 2013, Miller sheds a little light on a subject not often brought up; sponsorships.
Miller has fought 14 times in the UFC and is scheduled to make it No. 15 when he takes on Andy Ogle in November’s Fight Night 30. Miller and Ogle are slated to fight on the undercard, which will shown on Facebook and herein lies the problem.
Miller told MMAjunkie.com that it is difficult to get sponsors to drum up cash for that kind of exposure.
“It seems like everything has dried up, and the companies only want to commit to a smaller roster for their company,” Miller said. “There are these companies that just straight up won’t call back right after they hear that I’m on Facebook.”
The 29-year-old said he will likely receive around the same base pay to fight Ogle as he did for his recent loss, which was $26,000. Miller said he will likely make less in sponsor money than he did when he fought on un-televised preliminary cards early in his UFC career. Then he could count on banking between $4,000 and $5,000 in sponsor money. In 2010, he peaked at $23,500. Against Ogle, he said he’ll be lucky to make $3,500.
Miller tells companies that he won’t do one-fight sponsor deals or any that won’t pay him in cash (which he said goes right back into his training) instead of with gear or apparel.
“It’s frustrating for me,” Miller said. “It’s not like I’m taking the sponsor money and buying bottles in Miami. I’m trying to train with Marcello Garcia at least once a year. I’m trying to pay my boxing coach. I’m trying to give my trainers at American Top Team a little extra. I’m trying to do better for myself.”
According to Miller, many of his teammates who fight for promotions that have deals with AXS TV make more in sponsorship money. But those promotions don’t carry the same sponsor restrictions as the UFC, which charges a fee to companies wishing to endorse athletes.
“I’ve got fellow fighters that are fighting on local shows that are making the same money, or more, than I am,” he added.