Pros react to reports that the UFC only paid fighters 16% of revenue in 2019

Devin Powell

Yesterday reports surfaced that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) had only paid its fighters 16% of their total revenue in 2019.

While the promotion is seemingly making more money than ever, many fighters are still struggling to make a living and are often times forced to take on part time jobs.

A recent report from the New York Post puts the UFC’s spending in perspective. To put it simply, only a small portion of the company’s revenue ends up in the pockets of the fighters.

Here’s an excerpt from the Post’s report:

Sources tell The Post UFC’s fighters cost the Las Vegas promotions company less than $150 million last year — or under 16 percent of its $900 million in revenue. By contrast, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League all share between 48 percent and 50 percent of revenues with their players, data shows.

“It’s different league by league,” Endeavor president Mark Shapiro said. “We pay our fighters significantly more than any other MMA organization. They deserve it. Fighter compensation has gone up commensurately with the success of UFC.”

Dana White

While only a small portion of the company’s mountainous earnings go to the fighters, its celebrity investors are absolutely getting paid.

“Ultimate Fighting Championship is draining its cash reserves to fund big payouts to celebrity investors — even as its fighters gripe that they are vastly underpaid, The Post has learned.

“The mixed martial arts giant has approved a massive $300 million dividend to UFC’s investors — a star-studded list that includes Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Gisele Bündchen, Ben Affleck and tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, sources said.”

As expected, the news that the UFC only paid fighters 16% of the company’s total revenue in 2019 did not sit well with many in the mixed martial arts community.

Current and former fighters took to Twitter to vent their frustration with the promotion.

“We are Willing to die in that fucking cage….. 1st UFC fight I left that cage with a broken eye socket + a paycheck for 10k. Then I got taxed heavily, pay manager, pay for two plane tickets to Arizona out of pocket, pay for food and camp… we’d do it free, but deserve better.”

Former UFC middleweight standout Nathan Quarry also weighed in on the news.

“Yeah, we know. Boxers get upwards of 85% of the revenue THEY generate. Because they fought for it with the Ali Act. Now we’re fighting for the Ali Expansion Act and in our class action lawsuit. We’ll get there. It’s our turn to stand up for ourselves and our families futures.”

What do you think of the news that the UFC only paid its fighters 16% of the company’s total revenue in 2019? Sound off in the comments section Penn Nation!