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UFC 125 Salaries: Edgar, Guida, Maynard, Silva Top Six Figures


(Sit back there and say Clay Guida’s hair ain’t luxurious, when you know it is, bitch. / Photo courtesy of MMAFighting)

The Nevada State Athletic Commission has released the payout list for UFC 125, with the total fighter payroll topping out at $1,112,000 in disclosed salaries and bonuses. MMA Junkie reports that despite the main event ending in a draw, both Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard were given their win bonus money — which insured that they were two of the night’s top earners, since they also picked up the event’s Fight of the Night bonuses.

Other six-figure earners included Clay Guida ($122,000) and Thiago Silva ($110,000). The complete UFC 125 salary list is below, and continues after the jump. Keep in mind that the figures do not include additional income from sponsorships or undisclosed "locker room bonuses," or deductions for taxes, insurance, and licensing fees.

Frankie Edgar: $162,000 (includes $51,000 win bonus, $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
vs. Gray Maynard: $112,000 (includes $26,000 win bonus, $60,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Brian Stann: $42,000 (includes $21,000 win bonus)
def. Chris Leben: $46,000

Thiago Silva: $110,000 (includes $55,000 win bonus)
def. Brandon Vera: $60,000


Dong Hyun Kim: $70,000 (includes $35,000 win bonus)
def. Nate Diaz: $33,000

Clay Guida: $122,000 (includes $31,000 win bonus; $60,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
def. Takanori Gomi: $50,000

Jeremy Stephens: $96,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus; $60,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
def. Marcus Davis: $31,000

Dustin Poirier: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
def. Josh Grispi: $15,000

Brad Tavares: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
def. Phil Baroni: $25,000

Diego Nunes: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
def. Mike Brown: $23,000

Daniel Roberts: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Greg Soto: $8,000

Jacob Volkmann: $24,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus)
def. Antonio McKee: $15,000

Underpaid: Gray Maynard did well thanks to his bonuses, but keep in mind that his to-show money was only $26,000. And he was challenging for a world title. And he entered the match as an undefeated nine-fight UFC veteran. I guess that’s the cost of being a former TUF cast-member who never really became a fan favorite. Maybe that will start to change in the wake of his thrilling rematch with Edgar.

Overpaid: Meanwhile, Dong Hyun’s Kim show-money ($35k) is more than Maynard’s, Nate Diaz’s, and Clay Guida’s. Is Kim more popular, or more valuable to the company than those guys? No, and he certainly isn’t more entertaining to watch, either. (For once, we’ll spare Brandon Vera from "overpaid" consideration. It’s too easy, and besides, that money’s going to have to last him for a while.)

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Get Off Me- January 4, 2011 at 7:09 am
@RwilsonR
I am not looking at fighters salaries from employee of Zuffa or Zuffa's perspective, I am neither, I am looking at it from the customers perspective. I was challenging CP on their statement that Kim is not an exciting fighter and that he was Overpaid.
I am sure the casual fan does not know who he is, I am sure the casual fan does not know who takanori gomi is nor Thiago Silva for that matter, but since when do casual fans order ppv's or buy tickets to these events anyway....they just show up late, maybe bring their own stash and liquor(if your lucky) and sit down asking questions like, who's that guy? while the fights are going on.
Dana likes to brag about being in over 100 million homes worldwide, I bet Kim has an audience in the far east that know who he is and perhaps ordered/viewed the fight to cheer him on.
I have never been polled on why I bought a $600.00 ticket or bought a $60 PPV, but my answer would never be to see one fighter, it would be to see a fight card with entertaining fights top to bottom.

CaptainBackslap- January 4, 2011 at 6:46 am
The DHK was fun to watch...
Loved the counters...
He seems to be improving every time he fights...
Dagnut- January 4, 2011 at 1:10 am
Shouldn't the payout be proportional to what the UFC take in? I personally think the wages are terrible....as Charming Charlie laid out above if you take into account the time and effort put in its not a lot of money. You could count on one hand the amount of fighters who've made millions.
rogerw- January 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm
@ Get Off Me

I agree, I was very entertained by Kim's fight, thought it was hilarious how he was frustrating Diaz and fucking with him; I think he has charisma as a fighter.
He's really got to learn English though.
RwilsonR- January 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm
@ Get Off Me - I'm not saying the UFC should rest on a reputation of just barely doing the right thing, but I am pointing out that in a sport where the athletes are routinely screwed over, the UFC paid out win bonuses that it did not owe to the fighters. And not everyone fighting for the UFC is an "elite" athlete. Most everyone that is top 5 in their weight class is reasonably well compensated. I also want to stress that we don't honestly know how much these athletes make. The closest we have come to seeing that was from Randy Couture's lawsuit, where he was pissed because he was used to getting half-million dollar bonuses off the disclosed payroll books, and only got half that for one fight. And that was before the UFC was doing as well as it is now. Just like Fedor didn't make $300,000 to fight Tim Sylvia, where Tim made $800,000, and Fedor's asking price was well known to be in the $1.5-$3 million/fight range. Do you think that perhaps they aren't disclosing everything?

People also always look at this from the employees' point of view, most likely because they themselves have only been an employee their whole lives. You seem upset by how much Kim was paid, yet you aren't asking yourself what the UFC is getting from having Kim on the card. You have an arbitrary idea of how much a guy like Kim "should" be worth, but what is that based on? How many seats did Kim sell? How many people bought the PPV because of Kim? My guess would be very few, since almost all of my casual viewing friends had no idea who the guy was, even though they knew Nate Diaz - yet Kim was still paid more than Diaz. Why? Because the UFC is likely losing money on Kim in terms of his overall worth to them in the hopes that he keeps being undefeated, and one day people will actually know his name and pay to see him. I don't mean they are losing money in absolute terms, but realtive to what he would bring in, Kim, and most undercard fighters are paid more that what they bring to the UFC in the hopes that they develop into a marketable product, or they can act as a foil for someone who will develop into a marketable product.

At the end of the day, this is a for-profit business. The UFC is in it to make a profit. Given the major money that has gone into backing all of the other fight promotions that have failed in years past, if someone could find a better way to compensate fighters more and still come away as profitable then they likely would have done it, because fighters would have flocked to them if they were better taken care of. Big names like Mark Cuban and Donald Trump have waded into these waters, only to find that they couldn't make it work. If you take too much of the UFC's profit incentive away, or arbitrarily mess with their business model because you "feel" that fighters should be paid more, the likely end result will be that the fighters will have no place left to be employed.
RwilsonR- January 3, 2011 at 11:42 pm
Sorry. Got out of hand with that one. I was waiting for the fucking plumber to fix my water heater, and well... was bored.

Charlie Wilson's War has some hot fucking women in it!
Waldizzle- January 3, 2011 at 10:39 pm
@ LOKI

He is overpaid for that exact reason - pretty sure I don't get paid if I under-achieve in my job and I'm sure many others are like that as well.
Teehee McPeepee- January 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm
Takanori Gomi should be a coach on TUF. Loved him in (shh, dont say it!) Pride.
jimbonics- January 3, 2011 at 7:44 pm
R Wilson's War
 
 
 
(watched charlie wilsons war today... good shit)
jimbonics- January 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm
cognitive dissonance? at least someone isn't above fart jokes.
stopdrinkingpee- January 3, 2011 at 5:38 pm
Kim is undefeated, flirting with top-10 MW status. How do you call Maynard underpaid in one breath and then say Kim is boring and overpaid in the next? Doesn't that generate the tiniest bit of cognitive dissonance? Now if you want to talk about Antonio McKee...
Get Off Me- January 3, 2011 at 4:06 pm
Let's say 2 million paid to fighters....the live gate was 4 million...

@RwilsonR
The biggest promotions should not stake their reputation on writing good cheques.
Seriously the UFC needs to anti up a little bit better than that so as to offer a better overall show everytime they ask for you 50 bucks.
If any other sport tried to put a show on PPV for those kinds of dollars to the athletes they would not make it, the UFC should not take advantage of that status, they should use it as momentum to build a stronger product.
The more you pay a fighter, the less he has to work outside of the gym to make a good living is one thing, but this is about trying to offer elite level athletes who don't work at the tire shop on the side, I want to pay to watch a guy who is a professional fighter, that's it.

@CP
Kim is not a boring fighter and I watched the fight with some fighters, it had a good pace and was entertaining, that is the kind of grappling that may give GSP some trouble, but the kind of finish that could make a great fight with GSP after he exposes Shields. 70K for Kim(undefeated outside a drugged up and less portly Karo) who has an audience competing in an event that took in 4 million at the gate and is available worldwide for 50U.S., I think Lucien Bute's towel boy took that much home from his last fight.




MentalyptiC- January 3, 2011 at 3:32 pm
Dustin Poirier got $8k? Seriously, even for a new fighter that's shit
El Guapo- January 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm
Based on your rhetoric, I believe you meant "any attack on the Middle East not including Israel". Am I right or am I right?

No need to thank me, your attention is good enough. I WOULD, however, like to thank Briann Stann for beating The Crippler and netting me a handsome sum. Why he was an almost 2-1 underdog is anybody's guess. "Stann by me, Stann by me"
DazedNConfused- January 3, 2011 at 3:31 pm
Go Thiago Silva! ! !

Mans got some new respect from me with his awesome drumming skilllls.

That being said, salary is obviously based on popularity over skill. Thiago has a strong fanbase and that mean mug he does should be worth some extra coin no doubt.

Edgar and Maynard are still building fanbases and really aren't the most popular lightweights. I bet Pettis will end up making more than Edgar and Maynard by the end of next year. As long as he keeps up with doing crazy shit and getting wins.
DARKHORSE06- January 3, 2011 at 3:14 pm
@ El Guapo - I agree, if you haven't served your country you suck and I think the invasion of Iraq was totally justified. As well as any attack on the Middle East. And Stan is the man. Thank you for picking at that scab.

Also, I wonder how comparable the pay for UFC journeymen and Bellator tourny participants is. Like what is the pay difference between Alexander Shlemenko and Nate Diaz?

El Guapo- January 3, 2011 at 3:03 pm
And another thing, if you haven't served your countr.. Oops, wrong thread.
RwilsonR- January 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm
For all of the "UFC pays crap" crowd, that may be true, but keep in mind the shitshow that Keith Jardine and others just experienced that happens to other fighters all the time, and remember that the UFC paid out 'win' bonuses to both fighters who fought to a draw - and the checks didn't bounce!

This sport still isn't the NFL, but good for the UFC for paying out to both guys.

Plus, we really have no idea what main-eventers actually make. I doubt Dana is handing out bonus checks to guys lower down on the card, but I wouldn't be surprised if he slides guys like Maynard and Edgar a lot more than we think under the table. There is a long history of him doing this.
Charming Charlie- January 3, 2011 at 2:52 pm
--Obligatory reminder that the fighter payouts we see here are contractual dues negotiated prior to the fight--
Cherry picking comparisons of one guy's pay to another guy's pay and attributing it to Dana White is stupid. Generally it is safe to assume the whacker a fighter's pay relative to their recent rank or popularity, the longer ago he negotiated a contract.


It would be interesting if someone who gets paid to cover MMA, or someone interested in numbers, were to compile this payout information over the past years and create a pyramid showing fighter pay. It's tempting, looking at these payouts, to feel like fighters are making a pretty good living at 20,000-100,000 a fight, especially considering they fight multiple times a year, e.g. Gray Maynards $112,0000 is almost $70/hour, if he worked a 40 hour work week, worked 11 months out of the year, and fought only once. But the majority of fighters, even at the UFC level, probably aren't making this kind of rate, if they're in that wide bottom tier of the pyramid.
RSparrow- January 3, 2011 at 2:36 pm
Can you imagine Guida fighting the exact same way with a shaved head...
El Guapo- January 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm
AND NOW THEY'RE FIRED!!
Smitty- January 3, 2011 at 2:32 pm
The UFC under pays ALL of its fighters!
DARKHORSE06- January 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm
@ Sonochamp - I just noticed the same thing and I cant fucking believe it.

I also can't believe Antonio McKee's show money was $15000 and Volkmanns was just $12000....I mean, how was there that much more interest in McKee? Check out the Volkman interview where he calls Obama an idiot and challenges him to a cage match.

Dustin Poirier's stock certainly increased after the confident stomping he put on Josh Grispi. Guaranteed he'll make more next time than the paultry $4000 he made UFC 125.
Jubbie- January 3, 2011 at 2:11 pm
Yep, it'd be nice to see all the LWs get a little extra.
Lysol- January 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm
Brian Stann paid less than Leben even with his win bonus? Was he really that much of an underdog, and does Dana White really think Leben is that good? Hmm...
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