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TUF 16 Salaries: And the Evening’s Big Winner Is…Mike Pyle?

(“My favorite Jean-Claude Van Damme movie? Isn’t it obvious?”) 

You know, it really speaks volumes about what The Ultimate Fighter has become when the greatest display of MMA from the past season came during an event that featured next to none of the show’s participants. Add in the fact that the Ricci/Smith “finale” was the MMA equivalent of watching two illiterates play Scrabble (BRYNDEX is so a word!) and that should give you a good indication of the Tijuana back-alley abortion that TUF 16 truly was. Hell, 12 of the show’s 16 contestants have already been cut from the UFC’s roster and even the coaches couldn’t care less.

What does this all add up to? Mainly, a payout that is as abysmal as the show itself, save a few exceptions. Granted, the money almost seems fair considering the talent levels of the guys involved, but we’ll be damned if it isn’t semi-depressing to look at all the same. So check out the salaries along with our thoughts after the jump and let us know who you think got royally screwed.

Roy Nelson: $48,000 ($24,000 to show, $24,000 to win)
Matt Mitrione: $12,000

Colton Smith: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
Mike Ricci: $8,000

Pat Barry: $44,000 ($22,000 to show, $22,000 to win)
Shane del Rosario: $20,000

Dustin Poirier: $34,000 ($17,000 to show, $17,000 to win)
Jonathan Brookins: $20,000

Mike Pyle: $78,000 ($39,000 to show, $39,000 to win)
James Head: $12,000

Jamie Varner: $12,000
Melvin Guillard: $42,000

Johnny Bedford: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
Marcos Vinicius: $8,000

Rustam Khabilov: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
Vinc Pichel: $8,000

T.J. Waldburger: $28,000 ($14,000 to show, $14,000 to win)
Nick Catone: $13,000

Hugo Viana: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
Reuben Duran: $8,000

Mike Rio: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
John Cofer: $6,000

Tim Elliott: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Jared Papazian: $6,000


Underpaid: Who would have guessed that being a constant thorn in Dana White’s ass would backfire on Roy Nelson? Here we have both a TUF winner and coach who makes just four grand more to show than Shane del Rosario, a relatively unknown heavyweight who has now had his ass thoroughly kicked in both of his UFC contests. Let’s put it this way: If Roy Nelson were a troll (which, let’s be honest, is what he has basically become), that toll wouldn’t even be enough to get into a boy’s hole soul. No wonder Nelson enjoys Burger King so much; with that kind of payday it’s probably all he can afford to eat. Then again, Nelson fought 3 times in 2012, so maybe he’s just a fatass who enjoys terrible food.

The same goes literally double for Matt Mitrione, who despite putting together a five fight win streak from 2009-2011 that included four highlight reel finishes, is somehow getting paid less than Jonathan Brookins, who should be locked into the same TUF contract. “Meathead” is even making less to show than Nick Catone, who is a whopping 2-4 in his last six fights. Shit happens when you refuse to fight Daniel Cormier on short notice.

Overpaid: I can’t really claim that anyone on this list is overpaid, but the fact that Jamie Varner made 12 grand to vomit backstage really makes me question why my prostitute is charging me double that to do the same thing to her every other Tuesday. Looks like somebody is getting fleeced.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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smellypiratehooker- December 18, 2012 at 9:07 am
ya I think you are reaching a little on the overpaid. He got his show money and what did he do? he showed up. It's not his fault that the doctor wouldn't let him do the job that he trained for the last six or so weeks to do. I imagined he was bummed that he had to just cut a bunch of weight without the chance to get a win bonus or even knockout of the night.
anderson wanderlei paulo thiago alves silva- December 18, 2012 at 6:21 am
How does 42000 equal almost 50000? You're a special kind of retard
Mr_Misanthropy- December 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm
@ SethF

No wonder he had that ear-to-ear grin plastered to his face when he was getting interviewed.
Mr_Misanthropy- December 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm
These figures don't reflect the fact that roy gets paid in bacon cheeseburgers. Large undisclosed sums of bacon cheeseburgers. Roy be laughin' like the hamburglar all the way to the hamburger bank.
Imnotamoose- December 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm
Hence why Roy should change his name to Roy "Robble Robble" Nelson.
SethF- December 17, 2012 at 6:22 pm
Overpaid: Holy shit, Melvin Guillard made almost 50 grand to watch Jamie Varner puke, and will get paid even more money at UFC 155 when they actually fight.
SethF- December 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm
Okay, 42 grand...because that makes it so much more reasonable for a guy who did nothing in the cage, and probably still came pretty damn close to getting submitted.
teep- December 17, 2012 at 5:46 pm
I guess we now know who's mullet is a true winner!
Mr_Misanthropy- December 17, 2012 at 6:25 pm
He got a pyle of cash.
amsterdamheavy- December 17, 2012 at 5:41 pm
How the fuck does Mike Pyle make more than Big Country?
FilmDrunk- December 17, 2012 at 4:58 pm
Finale aside, the UK/Australia version of TUF kicked the shit out of ours.