Steroids in MMA
Which MMA Fighter Will Test Positive For Steroids Next?

Tag: money

Velasquez and Lauzon Lead UFC Fight Night 17 Salary List

Cain Velasquez MMA UFC Denis Stojnic Fight Night 17 Tampa
(There’s gotta be an easier way to earn five grand. Photo courtesy of

$424,000 in official salaries and bonuses were paid out to the fighters who competed at Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night event in Tampa, Florida — a pittance compared to what the guys on pay-per-view cards tend to get, but when you consider that the live gate was only $428,000 it seems downright charitable. The numbers are below. Keep in mind that these figures don’t include income from sponsorships or undisclosed "locker room bonuses."

Cain Velasquez: $60,000 (includes $15,000 win bonus and $30,000 “Knockout of the Night” bonus)
Joe Lauzon: $50,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus and $30,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus)
Josh Neer: $48,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus and $30,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus)
Mac Danzig: $45,000 (includes $30,000 “Fight of the Night” bonus)
Kurt Pellegrino: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
Anthony Johnson: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
Gleison Tibau: $26,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
Rich Clementi: $23,000
Dan Miller: $18,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
Matthew Riddle: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)


Strikeforce Payouts Prove You Can Still Get Your Bread Outside of the UFC

(‘Looks like we won’t be eating boiled down wallpaper this year, after all.’)

Tanking economy, you say?  Not in San Jose, brother.  The official fighter payouts for Strikeforce: Destruction tell a tale of a local MMA promoter that’s doing just fine, even if some of the figures are a little strange.  At least most of the Strikeforce fighters will be able to afford a Christmas now.  And not one of those shitty Christmases where you make homemade gifts and write each other poems and everyone has to pretend like a haiku about a mother’s love is just as cool as an Xbox.  No, a real Christmas.  With material goods and stuff!

Thanks, Strikeforce.  Go to hell, haiku.

Scott Smith: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
Terry Martin: $20,000
Renato “Babalu” Sobral: $50,000 (includes $25,000 win bonus)
Bobby Southworth: $20,000
Duane Ludwig: $32,500 (includes $15,000 win bonus)
Yves Edwards: $12,000
Kim Couture: $10,000 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Lina Kvokov: $1,500
Joe Riggs: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
Luke Stewart: $10,000
Bobby Stack: $5,000 (includes $1,500 win bonus)
Cyrillo Padilha: $2,000
Eric Lawson: $9,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Tony Johnson: $2,000
Kurt Osiander: $9,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
Josh Neal: $1,550
Brian Schwartz: $28,000 (no win bonus)
Lamont Davis: $5,000
Luke Rockhold: $4,000 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
Nik Theotikos: $2,000
Darren Uyenoyama: $5,000 (includes $2,5000 win bonus)
Brad Royster: $1,500
Alvin Cacdac: $3,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Jose Palacios: $3,000
Zakary Bucia: $2,000 (includes $1,000 win bonus)
Adam Steele: $1,000



Urijah Faber Not Getting Taken Advantage Of?

(‘Fuck you, pay me.’)

When we looked at the payouts for WEC 36 and saw $14,000 next to Urijah Faber‘s name, we had little choice but to assume that Zuffa was screwing him like a one-legged Panamanian hooker: cheaply and with shocking disregard for his delicate feelings.

But Faber’s manager, Mike Roberts, says that figure was “not even close” to a full accounting of what Faber was paid to face Mike Brown:

“That was an accurate statement of the check he received that night. Some contractual issues came up after the September fight was postponed and that $14,000 was the remaining balance of what was owed to him. That is not what he made.”


“Keep in mind Urijah’s still fighting off an old contract, but Urijah’s been well taken care of for the last couple fights.”


World’s Most Overpaid Fighter Hoping for Raise

Brandon Vera UFC MMA
(Keep dreaming. Photo courtesy of

Cripes, quote of the day from MMA Weekly via Mike C. at MMA Eruption

“Of course fighters are gonna always want more money. You’re an employee of a company, you’re always gonna want more money, you’re always gonna be asking for a raise. So hopefully after Saturday I’m in a position where I can ask for a raise, so let’s see what happens.” Brandon Vera

If I was Keith Jardine, I’d be fucking furious right now. Brandon Vera’s current contract — which began with his UFC 77 loss to Tim Sylvia — gives him a $100,000 base salary with a $100,000 win bonus, making him one of the highest paid fighters in the UFC. And what has Vera’s employer (and the fans) gotten in return? Well, there was that sad decision loss to Timmy, then the sadder first-round TKO loss to Fabricio Werdum at UFC 85, then his light-heavyweight debut fight against Reese Andy in July, where The Truth couldn’t even finish the UFC newcomer. Brandon’s total take: $400,000.

Meanwhile, Jardine remains one of the most underpaid fighters in the sport. His loss to Wanderlei Silva was the first fight on a new contract that pays him $10,000 to show; before that, he was getting only $7,000. In other words, if Jardine wins on Saturday, he’ll still make five times less than Vera — and Vera still wants more money.

As we learned yesterday, Dana White doesn’t care much for this new, cautious, wealthy Brandon Vera. A raise has to be out of the question at this point, regardless of the UFC’s plans for Filipino expansion. Is it too late to tell people that Kenny Florian is actually a proud Pinoy?


Dana White Puts Brandon Vera on Notice

(‘Yeah, real cute. Now please knock someone out.’)

When it comes to fighters facing win-or-get-fired matches, no one loves to speculate as to who might be on the hot seat more than we do. But rarely does Dana White make it this easy. Speaking with the Canadian Press, White called into question Brandon Vera‘s motivation as a fighter and said in no uncertain terms that he needs to see the old “Truth” back in the Octagon:

“As soon as he had a few wins and all the money got involved and his new contract and his ex-manager and all that bullshit, he’s changed,” White lamented. “He’s not the same fighter he was. He needs to put all that shit behind him and he’s needs to come back and be the cocky, crazy Brandon Vera that I met a few years ago. That kid needs to come back.

“It seems that now the money’s involved, he doesn’t take chances like he used to, he doesn’t let his hands go like he used to. He’s got to come back and be the old Brandon Vera.”

That’s not what you want to hear from your boss a couple days before a big fight against someone as tough as Keith Jardine. So would White really consider cutting Vera is he loses at UFC 89? Naw, son. With the UFC looking to expand into the Phillipines, Vera’s too valuable right now. Plus he’s earned a little leeway. He’ll get at least a couple more chances to fuck up, but the message ought to be very clear nonetheless.

White wants the explosive, shit-talking Vera. The cautious, grind-out-a-boring-decision Vera? They’re all stocked up in the light heavyweight division. After all, they’ve already got one Lyoto Machida.


Is Dream Still Stiffing Fighters?

Dream 4 pre-fight
(‘Step forward if you’re getting paid for this fight. Not so fast, Mayhem.’)

We all know Dream is having some financial trouble, which is a shame since they put on a quality show and we’d like to see them stick around. But it seems they’ve developed this nasty habit of not paying their fighters. Nick Diaz piped up about it first, and according to Fight Opinion (who did some digging in the Korean media) it’s starting to sound like he’s not the only one who’s fighting for free over in Japan:

“Fighter A” claimed in the article that he didn’t receive money for his last two fights, and “Fighter B” who is preparing for an upcoming fight also is claiming they didn’t get some fight money. “Fighter C” claims that he had to wait three months to get his fight salary.

The article quotes a source as saying, “There’s many fighters who don’t get paid. Especially DREAM fighters, foreigners mostly.” The article claims that the reason in the alleged delaying of payments is due to DREAM’s financial situation and the situation regarding Kazuyoshi Ishii.

You know what’s a good way to make your financial situation worse? Get a reputation as the organization that doesn’t pay their fighters, which will soon become the organization without any fighters. Can’t they just do it the American way and pay all but their top fighters a pathetically low amount? Is that so hard?


KJ Noons Rants His Side of the Story

KJ Noons became the latest Elite XC fighter to release an official statement, as he finally dished on what’s been keeping him from taking a fight with Nick Diaz on the October 4 CBS show. Noons sent his screed to, and it is full of fun little quips and nuggets about life in Elite XC. Noons’ grievances range from the financial to the probably merely perceived to the petty, but he puts it all out there with enough attitude and anger to make up for all the time he let Jared Shaw run his mouth without consequences. Among his complaints:

In the Elite XC’s DVD where Diaz and I fought there are two (2) baseball cards of Diaz and Kimbo. Hello! I won the fight and Elite XC’s promoting Diaz after I beat him? Or how about the day Elite XC flew Diaz in to do a signing on the DVD where he lost. Wow, that must have been uncomfortable Nick? Signing a DVD, and it is a fight that you lost. Why wasn’t I flown in for the signing?


Consider when Elite XC gives a couple thousand tickets away at their CBS show in Stockton.
Elite XC gives me a hard time about comping me one extra ticket for my cousin that helped me train for my fight. I only get four tickets per show. I am the main event in Honolulu, my home town! I did not ask for any tickets for my family and friends and they gave me a hard time about one extra ticket!

Or how about when Elite XC brought Diaz into the ring after my last victory in Hawaii to disrespect me and my family.

Chuck Champion (President Elite XC) threatens me, my family and my manager with lawsuits and how he’s going to sue me. HAHA. Pretty hard to sue a guy who does not make jack with your company. I’m glad $kala disclosed how much I make, which breached the confidentiality clause of the contract. I will break down the real numbers for you. I am the defending world champ, I have been the main event for Elite XC three out of four times on Showtime. In almost two years I have made approximately $83,000?

Of course, Noons then goes on to tread familiar ground for fighters, explaining that he has to pay his trainers and managers and (gasp!) taxes with that money, so he figures he’s really only making around $300 a week, and his friends who are bus boys make more than that (he really said that).

The Diaz situation rears its ugly head in all of this, and it seems that their request to have Noons face him in a rematch on CBS was what really set “King Karl” off:


Randy Couture’s Pricetag: $6-10 Million

Randy Couture Fedor Emelianenko UFC MMA

From The Adam Carolla Show via MMA Mania:

I’d love for the UFC to step up and make the fight [with Fedor Emelianenko] happen. It has the potential to be the biggest mixed martial arts fight to date…It has the potential to do 700,000+ pay-per-view buys which is a helluva lotta money. I think 6-10 [million should be the salary] for each of us and they’re still gonna make a boatload of money on top of that.

Generally speaking, cable operators take half of the revenue for PPV events, which would mean that the UFC gets $22.495 per buyer these days. Though it’s been suggested that the UFC has been able to work out a slightly better deal with its distributors, multiplying that figure by Randy’s estimate of 700,000 buys would mean that the UFC would take in about $15,746,500 from a PPV card headlined by Couture vs. Emelianenko. “Boatload” may not be the right word if you’re taking at least $12,000,000 off the top to pay the headliners. Pay Randy and Fedor $8 million apiece or more, and the UFC’s profit from the broadcast is eliminated altogether. Of course, the equation changes completely if the fight does Liddell/Ortiz-caliber numbers, but its hard to predict if Couture vs. Emelianenko will mobilize the casual UFC fan like UFC 66‘s grudge match did.

In other words, there’s no way the UFC is going to cave to Couture’s asking price. I’d imagine they’re still interested in negotiating — if for no other reason than to take Affliction’s hope of a big-drawing superfight away from them — but they won’t agree to a situation where they’re only breaking even financially. Just as importantly, paying headliners that much money for a single fight sets a precedent that could have even more of their contracted fighters giving them grief about “respect.” We just hope the two sides can eventually come to terms, because if the UFC can’t afford to put this fight on, it’s doubtful that anybody else can.


Roger Huerta Wants the World, Chico, and Everything In It

Roger Huerta UFC MMA
(“Where’s the money, bitch? I want my money!”)

We’ve already gone over how Roger Huerta feels underloved and underpaid. But we haven’t gotten any sense of what El Matador thinks he’s actually worth — until now. From via MMA Mania:

Huerta, who has one fight left on his contact after the Florian fight, is far apart with UFC on terms for a renewal. Huerta, who has gotten a new agent, was asking for six-figures guaranteed per fight as well as points on the PPV, in negotiations that haven’t gone well for some time. That’s a better deal then [BJ] Penn, so he wasn’t going to get it. The UFC position is that they groomed Huerta and pushed him hard and were careful of his opponents, with the exception of Clay Guida…

OMFG. Six figures is a ballsy request for someone who’s four days away from being sent back to the middle of the UFC’s lightweight ladder. (Remember, he’s currently making $19,000 to show and $19,000 to win.) But asking for points on the pay-per-view take is straight-up delusional. All of a sudden, beating Clay Guida puts you into the Chuck/Tito/Randy level of compensation?

Not only does Huerta seem to have an over-inflated sense of his value — which is troubling enough as it is — but his demands could easily sink his chances of fighting for the lightweight championship. It’s the UFC’s policy to not allow title shots to fighters unless they sign contract extensions, and if the two sides can’t meet in the middle, he’ll be given the Arlovski treatment — a long, involuntary hiatus, a meaningless final match on an undercard, and a “goodbye” without the common courtesy of a “good luck.” So if he manages to get past Florian at “Seek and Destroy,” he’ll need to make nice if he wants a crack at the belt.

Or, he could just wait it out and join up with Affliction, where they literally sneeze at $100,000 base salaries. $100,000 is what they spent on shrimp cocktail for Tim Sylvia’s dressing room at “Banned.” And goddamn if he didn’t eat all of it.


Tito Ortiz Signs “Ground-Breaking Record” Affliction Contract

Tito Ortiz Affliction MMA
(“Yaaaaaaaay!” Photo courtesy of MMA Mania.)

According to, Tito Ortiz signed a deal with Affliction yesterday that will make him the highest paid fighter in MMA history, and will compete at Affliction’s “Day of Reckoning” card (October 11th, Las Vegas); his opponent is expected to be Renato “Babalu” Sobral. Though he wouldn’t drop specific numbers, Ortiz told SI’s Arash Markazi:

“I guarantee you that my contract will be like no other…It will be a ground-breaking record contract for sure, without a doubt. There’s so much money to be made right now in mixed martial arts and it’s all about the fighters trying to make that money. It’s going to be a long-term deal where I put my heart and soul into the company and help build them…They’re going to bring me on, not just as a fighter but also doing some of the back work also…

I’m going to a company that’s going to take care of me, a company that’s going to respect me, a company that’s going to put me in the forefront and make me the ambassador that I’ve always been.”

Regarding Affliction’s drawing power with him on board, Ortiz was optimistic — perhaps insanely so:

“I know they want to make some money and I know they got over 100,000 pay-per-view buys on their first show and with me it’s guaranteed to be over 500,000 pay-per-view buys just by the number of fans that are going to follow me no matter where I go so they’re going to get there money’s worth just in pay-per-view no matter what.”