Report | UFC paid fighters 16 percent of revenue in 2019

Dana White, UFC

Fighter pay is one of the most common critiques of the UFC. While the company is enjoying more financial success than ever, many of its fighters still don’t make enough to get by, oftentimes having to take other jobs to survive and even start crowdfunding campaigns when things get tough.

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.”

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.”

Do you think the UFC should be paying its fighters more? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section down below.

This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 2/14/2020.