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Chuck Liddell Tops UFC 88 Salaries + Medical Suspensions


(Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person. Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)

Saturday’s UFC 88 card took in $2.6 million in ticket revenue, making it the second-highest-grossing event ever held at Atlanta’s Philips Arena, next to a Barbara Streisand concert in 2006. The fighters at “Breakthrough” pulled in $1,510,000 in disclosed payouts, with a third of that going to knockout recipient Chuck Liddell. The numbers are below. Unless otherwise noted, each winning fighter’s salary represents a doubling of his base pay.

Chuck Liddell: $500,000
Dan Henderson: $250,000 (win bonus was $150,000)
Rashad Evans: $180,000 (including $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Jason MacDonald: $104,000 (including $60,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
Rich Franklin: $100,000
Kurt Pellegrino: $84,000 (including $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Thiago Tavares: $73,000 (including $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Nate Marquardt: $56,000
Dong Hyun Kim: $46,000
Ryo Chonan: $30,000
Jason Lambert: $17,000
Tim Boetsch: $16,000
Martin Kampmann: $15,000
Matt Hamill: $10,000
Roan Carneiro: $9,000
Matt Brown: $8,000
Rousimar Palhares: $7,000
Michael Patt: $5,000

Underpaid: Not that the dude’s going broke, but it’s surprising that Rich Franklin’s base salary is only $50,000; Rashad Evans makes more than he does (which makes sense now, I suppose). It’s also too bad that someone as talented as Rousimar Palhares couldn’t negotiate better terms when he joined the UFC.

Overpaid: I’d let Evans knock me the eff out for half of what Chuck got for his little two-round appearance. Seriously. Get in touch with my people, Rashad.

In addition to taking home the biggest salary, Liddell also tied Rich Franklin and Thiago Tavares for the longest medical suspension; the Iceman will be out for 60 days thanks to the brain-rattling KO that he suffered. Here’s the full list of precautionary time-outs:

Chuck Liddell: 60 days pending neurological evaluation
Rich Franklin: 60 days, cut above right eye
Thiago Tavares: 60 days, possibly broken nose and zygomatic arch
Michael Patt: 42 days, nasal septal fracture
Ryo Chonan: 42 days, cut above right eye
Martin Kampmann: 30 days, jaw injury
Matt Hamill: 30 days, precautionary due to TKO
Matt Brown: 15 days, cut

The remaining ten fighters were all suspended for seven days, which is customary for anyone fighting in Georgia.

(Props: MMA Weekly)

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Milton Steinbrenner- February 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm
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dave w- January 2, 2009 at 7:48 am
People need to understand that popularity should play apart of salary. Michael Jordan's salary for his last few years in chicago was debated because he made around 32 million per season. For what he got paid previously and how much the franchise made and probably the city of chicago because of him over his career, still underpaid! I purchase only a few ppv's based on the fight card (can't afford to get everyone). As long as chuck is drawing people in then he is not overpaid. Remember chuck was alot responsible for bringing in fans in the first place, i'm one of them. As for the other guys, they are ALL underpaid!
Dave- September 10, 2008 at 7:51 pm
I feel bad for Chuck... we all wanted him to win, he reminds us all what the UFC is all about, as to his "over pay" I don't think I would have bought the PPV if Chuck was not on the card...
goo- September 9, 2008 at 12:52 pm
"I wish these medical suspensions were actually relevant. Not like these fighters were ever thinking they were going to fight again so soon."

I'd much rather these token suspensions than having a commission casually throwing out six month breaks for fighters.

Oh, and wouldn't some of these "irrelevant" suspensions have stopped Jason Mac from fighting at 88 so soon after losing to Maia?
The Bloc- September 9, 2008 at 7:47 am
wow all the chuck nuthugger left him dry after one knock out..chuck got 500k cuz he brings 500k worth of tickets/PPV(probably even more). i think he deserved it, of course now that he got KTFO he wont bring as many fans and probably wont get paid as much anymore.
Brandon Jacobi- September 9, 2008 at 6:11 am
I wish these medical suspensions were actually relevant. Not like these fighters were ever thinking they were going to fight again so soon.
Piffzilla- September 9, 2008 at 1:09 am
Can someone tell Chuck to hang'em up. I know it's a half of mill but dame. Sports Center #2 play. Getting Knock the Eff out. I dont think it's worth not knowing what day of the week it is... Not cool. The ice man has just been Iced!!!
Jake- September 8, 2008 at 10:42 pm
Though he didn't win, Matt Hamill deserves more because of all the publicity he's bringing. The deaf fighter angle is working for the UFC!
Shatteredhawk- September 8, 2008 at 9:45 pm
HAHA, What a joke he is. Old Chuck, Half a Mill for being proven that his time is gone. just like matt hughes, just go away before your the next ken shamrocks. or next on Kimbo's Tomato Can List.
beerbelliesaddpunchingpower- September 8, 2008 at 7:58 pm
I can't believe there's that much of a difference between main card fighters salaries!
boo- September 8, 2008 at 7:27 pm
Chuck Liddell got Half a Million for being on every single highlight reel in the future.
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