(Two very different ends of the agony/compensation spectrum. Images courtesy of MMAFighting.com)
The UFC shelled out over $1.6 million in disclosed salaries and bonuses to the fighters who competed at UFC 126, and damn, some of these dudes are making bank. Good to see it. The numbers are below, courtesy of MMAJunkie. Keep in mind that these salary totals don’t include additional income from sponsorships, undisclosed "locker room" bonuses, and (potentially, for some headliners) percentages of the pay-per-view revenue, or deductions for taxes, licensing fees, and insurance.
Anderson Silva: $275,000 (includes $75,000 Knockout of the Night bonus; no disclosed win bonus)
def. Vitor Belfort: $275,000
Jon Jones: $215,000 (includes $70,000 win bonus, $75,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
def. Ryan Bader: $20,000
Jake Ellenberger: $32,000 (includes $16,000 win bonus)
def. Carlos Eduardo Rocha: $8,000
Donald Cerrone: $111,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus, $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
def. Paul Kelly: $94,000 (includes $75,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Chad Mendes: $19,000 ($9,500 win bonus)
def. Michihiro Omigawa: $8,000
Demetrious Johnson: $10,000 ($5,000 win bonus)
def. Norifumi Yamamoto: $15,000
Paul Taylor: $36,000 ($18,000 win bonus)
def. Gabe Ruediger: $8,000
Kyle Kingsbury: $20,000 ($10,000 win bonus)
def. Ricardo Romero: $10,000
Mike Pierce: $28,000 ($14,000 win bonus)
def. Kenny Robertson: $6,000
Underpaid: We’re not saying he should be paid like a star, but it’s crazy that Michihiro Omigawa can go establish himself as a top ten featherweight in Japan, then return to the Octagon and get the same contract as an Ultimate Fighter semi-finalist. (And Demetrious Johnson isn’t even making that.) It also seems strange that Anderson Silva got less to-show money than Vitor Belfort, but Silva’s lack of a win bonus suggests he’s getting a cut of the pay-per-view, or possibly a duffle bag full of cash after the fight. Which is a good thing, because private lessons with Steven Seagal don’t come cheap.
Overpaid: Belfort. Anybody else sort of surprised that he’s one of the highest-paid fighters in the organization? He didn’t exactly earn it on Saturday. And hey, kudos to Paul Kelly for clearing almost a hundred grand, considering that his biggest contribution to that fight was a botched cheap-shot.