(Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.com)
The UFC paid out $506,000 in disclosed salaries and bonuses for Saturday night’s Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale event, with longtime Octagon veterans Chris Leben and Keith Jardine taking home the biggest checks. The complete payout list is below; keep in mind that the numbers don’t include additional income from sponsorships and undisclosed "locker room bonuses," or deductions for taxes, insurance, licensing fees, and antibiotics.
Matt Hamill: $77,000 (includes $26,000 win bonus, $25,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Keith Jardine: $80,000 (includes $25,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
John Gunderson: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
def. Mark Holst: $6,000
Brad Tavares: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Seth Baczynski: $8,000
Kyle Noke: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Bryant: $8,000
Chris Camozzi: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. James Hammortree: $8,000
Travis Browne: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
def. James McSweeney: $8,000
Underpaid: It says a lot about the seductive power of the UFC brand that an exciting prospect like Travis Browne — with his perfect record and six wins in under a minute — would settle for $6,000/fight in the UFC, when Bellator would probably be happy to overpay him for their upcoming heavyweight tournament, which he would most likely run through. There’s no reason for the UFC to pay Hapa less than a TUF castmember, other than the simple fact that they can.
Overpaid: Nobody. I’m tempted to say Keith Jardine, since his to-show salary ($55,000) is the highest of the event, and $20,000 more than the next guy on the list (Leben). But we have a feeling he’ll need that $80,000 to last him for a while…