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Gamburyan, Garcia, Henderson Lead ‘WEC 48: Aldo vs. Faber’ Salaries

(Somebody should have warned Jose about those adjustable-rate mortgages. Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.)

Zuffa dished out $595,500 in disclosed salaries and bonuses to the fighters at Saturday’s "Aldo vs. Faber" event, with the end-of-night bonus winners coming out way ahead of the pack. Check out the numbers below, and keep in mind that they don’t include additional income from sponsorships or undisclosed "locker room bonuses," or deductions from insurance, licensing fees, or cornrow maintenance.

Jose Aldo: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
def. Urijah Faber: $28,000

Ben Henderson: $91,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus, $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
def. Donald Cerrone: $14,000

Manny Gamburyan: $101,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus, $65,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Mike Brown: $21,000

Shane Roller: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
def. Anthony Njokuani: $7,000

Scott Jorgensen: $21,000 (includes $10,500 win bonus)
def. Antonio Banuelos: $7,000

Leonard Garcia: $93,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus, $65,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Chan Sung Jung: $70,000 (includes $65,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Anthony Pettis: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
def. Alex Karalexis: $10,000

Brad Pickett: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
def. Demetrious Johnson: $3,000

Chad Mendes: $8,500 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
def. Anthony Morrison: $4,000

Takeya Mizugaki: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Rani Yahya: $9,000

Tyler Toner: $5,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Visher: $4,000

Underpaid: Most of the people on this list, obviously. There didn’t seem to be any notable increase in the fighters’ show-money, despite Dana White’s vow that "the WEC fighters on this card will make more money than they’ve ever made before." Tell that to Antonio Banuelos, who’s still making four figures in his thirteenth fight for the organization. Even in his first title defense, Ben Henderson earned just $13,000 in base salary, and if not for the Fight of the Night bonus, Chan Sung Jung would have went back to Korea with a paltry five grand.

Overpaid: Nobody, really, though it’s interesting that anybody who has competed before in the UFC (and bounced out due to losses) automatically gets a sweeter deal in the WEC than everybody else. Is Alex Karalexis really more valuable than exciting contenders like Anthony Njokuani and Brad Pickett?

Cagepotato Comments

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fatbellyfrank- April 29, 2010 at 6:50 am
Not sure if its a personal crusade, but when you factor in the quality of the card, a decent buy rate, and judging by comments on this site, fans would support further WEC PPV's if they offered similar quality to this fight card, Fighters performing at this level could expect at least $10,000 for stepping up. Just because these guys are in the lighter divisions doesn't mean their less entertaining, as was witnessed in this card.
fatbellyfrank- April 29, 2010 at 6:42 am
The reality is that many fighters have to take these low payouts because they're uneducated, can only do menial work and have to take whatever is given to them and hope they break out. It's sad but true.blablablablablabla

Littleredcunt, which part of fuck off didn't you understand, now FUCK OFF
newdeal- April 29, 2010 at 5:00 am
They probobly couldn't give a ton of guaranteed money because it was the first PPV and they were unsure of how many buys they got.
Charming Charlie- April 28, 2010 at 10:50 pm
When did everyone start making fighter payouts their personal crusade? Maybe there are charities more deserving of your conviction.
MyFightWiffaCheeto- April 28, 2010 at 3:27 pm
Fuck. Gamburyan made 101K... He's just going to piss it away on flashy button down shirts, shoe lifts and designer sunglasses.
vengful1- April 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm
Way to reward Pickett and Johnson for putting on a helluva fight.
WalksInTheDarkness- April 28, 2010 at 2:49 pm
What makes me really sad is that I earn more money than Brad Pickett. I work in an office in London doing a pretty unimpressive job at the moment doing administration as a career stop/ gap making £10 an hour. I don't get punched in the face, my neck doesn't get wrenched, my collar bone doesn't get broken in order to pay the bills. Pickett does but only fought three times over the last three months. The guy is always involved in exciting fights and is always entertaining.

The biggest difference between this month's WEC and the last WEC is that Zuffa pocketed a huge amount of money. For all of their extra earnings the only people that got paid more were those that were lucky enought to be "gifted" a "-of the night" bonus by Zuffa. It upsets me as for all of Dana White's talk of wanting to make MMA as big as soccer he doesn't even vaguely attempt to pay them relatively similar figures. How does the belt holder get paid less to turn up than the challenger?

MMA is becoming as bad as boxing. Badly judged, badly paid unless you're within the top 1%. The UFC's contracts are proven to be worthless, lose a few fights and you're cut away even if you're the main event one night. If you don't do what the head of the organisation wants you're cut away, like John Fitch almost was because he didn't want to sign away his image for life. Yes, increasingly, the UFC has some of the best fighters in the world but I always hope that someone will be able build a rival organisation something that will force Zuffa to offer it's fighters better deals.
El Guapo- April 28, 2010 at 2:25 pm
The reality is "I make things happen" (SILENCE)

And people at bloodyvag like me(MORE SILENCE)


'Cause I'm intelligent(TUMBLEWEED ROLLS BY)
Lysol- April 28, 2010 at 1:59 pm
Underpaid: Jose Aldo. I understand the "first man to hold three different weight class titles" hype, not to mention the Aldo vs. Penn hype that Dana White is feeding us. What I cannot for the life of me understand is how the invincible looking champion isn't worth as much as Urijah Faber is worth to show.
ben- April 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm
 @ ReX13: Yeah, I meant four figures...good catch.
thisredengine- April 28, 2010 at 1:39 pm
The reality is that many fighters have to take these low payouts because they're uneducated, can only do menial work and have to take whatever is given to them and hope they break out. It's sad but true.
Almost North- April 28, 2010 at 1:33 pm
@Socal Tot

Maybe he will just pull a Fedor and decide the contract means nothing and he wants more money.
NinJay- April 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm
This is insane. It blows my mind that these atheletes get paid so little. I don't know very much about how much money goes into securing the arena (it's Arco Arena for gods sake so it couldn't have been much) and all the other expenses that Zuffa has to put into it but I am guessing they are making a killing.

An estimated 150,000 PPV buys @ $45.00ea. They probably don't get that whole thing as I would assume the cable and satelite providers get a share. But thats a very large cut of 6,750,000. This isn't counting the ticket prices to see it in person. Arco holds about 18,000. But it seemed like they only had the lower level open so lets cut it to 9k for arguments sake. The ticket costs were outrageous because I live in Sac and thought about going. Lowest price was like $50 per seat. If we just use that cost that's an additional $450,000. But I promise you it was much more.

None of this takes into account all the sponsors for the show. The Harley Davidsons and Bud Lights that probably pay for the Arena and quite a few other expenses. The total amount paid to fighter with bonuses included is 596,500.

That is a bunch of money lining the F brothers and D Whites pockets. I love MMA and the UFC for the consistent shows they can put on but they need to treat these atheletes a little better.
razzle469- April 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm
Wow. It sucks to be a fighter. Even if you fight for the best organization in the world.
Socal Tot- April 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm
@Get Off Me- And I made more than that spray painting on your fake abs.

I read that Jung signed a five fight deal. Did he screw himself by signing too early? He's definitely worth more than $5,000 per show now.
El Guapo- April 28, 2010 at 1:26 pm
Manvil can make all kinds of genocide with a 100 g's..

I was an extra in.. uhhh.. I was a.. Ahhh, forget it. I got nothing.
Clyde- April 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm
Yeah, that way people who were in danger of losing a fight can try to loose in a more spectacular way in order to make more money.

But yeah, 40k for a defending champ is a bit bullshit, even if he did coast the last round. I believe a certain Mr. Silva did the same thing for the last 4 rounds of his defence.

And 13k in base salary for the champ in a rematch of the fight of the year? That is unbelieveable.

These numbers had best go up with the buy rates. These guys are worth so much more.
Get Off Me- April 28, 2010 at 1:13 pm
Looks like Mighty Mouse is hitchin' back home....$3,000?! I made more than that as an extra for two days filming 300.
His salary was so low it did not even qualify for the underpaid portion of the article.
just some dong- April 28, 2010 at 1:11 pm
There are really only two ways that anyone gets paid more than they're currently making in life: Earn a raise/promotion by performing well/kissing ass, or have a competing company/organization make you a sweeter offer. Looks like the WEC guys are screwed for the foreseeable future, barring any who make the jump to UFC's 155 division.
Kid Clam Curtains- April 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm
Aldo got $40K? That blows mud. Top 5 P4P fighter making that to defend the belt is shit...especially on a PPV card billed as "The best featherweight fight in mma history"
ReX13- April 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm
Antonio Banuelos: $7,000 = five figures? You counting the dollar sign or the comma?


I hope DW passed out locker room bonuses to EVERYONE.

Kinda surprised he didn't give out 2 FOTN bonuses also.

I guess i just expected DWhite to get all lavish on the guys after that night of fights.
ksgbobo- April 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm
pfft...why such the big bonuses and meager base salary...bunch of bull crap if you ask me

How come you dont get a bonus if you were the victim of "knockout of the night" or "submission of the night"...that be fair, wouldnt it?