(High-fEYEve! Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)
In the weeks leading up to his battle with Alan Belcher at UFC 159, we noticed that Michael Bisping appeared to be even more irked than usual – which is saying something when you’re talking about a guy whose rage often exceeds the physical limitations of his human vessel – and hypothesized that “The Count” might just be the kind of fighter who needs anger as a motivator. Bisping has admitted it himself and famed hacker Jerry Rips has since passed along audio proof.
But after taking a gander over the UFC 159 salaries, which were released by The New Jersey State Athletic Commission (via MMA-Manifesto) over the weekend, one begins to wonder just what the hell Bisping is so angry at these days. Either the “grudge match” angle is the only one he knows how to play or the $275,000 to show/$150,000 to win rate he is currently receiving is being stolen out from under him, because with that payday, you think he’d be all smiles.
Bisping’s $425k is just one of many head-scratchers that the UFC 159 salary list has to offer, so join us after the jump for a full rundown of the payout and a few totally unbiased observations.
Michael Bisping: $425,000 ($275,000 to show, $150,000 win bonus)
Jon Jones: $400,000
Pat Healy: $152,500 ($17,500 to show, $5,000 win bonus, $65,000 Fight of the Night bonus, $65,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
Roy Nelson: $113,000 ($24,000 to show, $24,000 win bonus, $65,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Jim Miller: $106,000 ($41,000 to show, $65,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
Cheick Kongo: $70,000
Phil Davis: $60,000 ($30,000 to show, $30,000 win bonus)
Chael Sonnen: $50,000
Alan Belcher: $37,000
Ovince St. Preux: $34,000 ($17,000 to show, $17,000 win bonus)
Cody McKenzie: $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 win bonus)
Leonard Garcia: $20,000
Rustam Khabilov: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 win bonus)
Bryan Caraway: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 win bonus)
Steven Siler: $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 win bonus)
Sara McMann: $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 win bonus)
Gian Villante: $12,000
Vinny Magalhaes: $8,000
Johnny Bedford: $8,000
Yancy Medeiros: $6,000
Sheila Gaff: $6,000
Kurt Holobaugh: $6,000
As always, these figures are absent of any locker room bonuses or undisclosed payments/fees the fighters may have received.
Overpaid: Where do we begin? Oh yeah, we already started with Bisping. But rather than attempt to somehow invalidate Bisping’s current pay rate with a series of faux facts and personal attacks (which is, oddly enough, the name of the glam metal band I was in back in the 80′s. Your town wasn’t even on the map if FF&PA hadn’t rocked your local strip mall.), we’d like to try and justify it. So here we go:
-Bisping also happens to be a large draw in the UK market, which isn’t exactly quantifiable, but hey, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Then again, he hasn’t fought in his native country in nearly three years, so that kind of makes you wonder how much of an impact he’s been having on the British MMA scene nowadays.
-Following a three-fight win streak, Bisping signed an eight-fight extension at the end of 2011. In the time since, he has gone 3-2, with wins over Jason Miller, Brian Stann, and Belcher. None of those fights earned him an end-of-the-night bonus.
-Taking all of those factors into account (foreign draw, top 5 ranking, 3-2 in his last five); the closest fighter you could compare Bisping to would be Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the 5th-ranked LHW who has received near deity-status from the Brazilian people along with his big bro. Lil’ Nog currently makes $174,000 to show, so with the outlier being Bisping’s coaching/fighting gigs on TUF, do you think the Brit has earned his pay rate?
Underpaid: By the UFC’s current standards, no one really. We all know that Chael Sonnen has made more money in pay-per-view percentages than George Foreman has in grill sales, so let’s just take his figure with a massive grain of salt. While Roy Nelson can chalk up his low show rate to the woes of being a TUF alum (and being a thorn in Dana White’s ass), it’s hard to call a guy who continuously picks up fifty to sixty thousand dollar KOTN bonuses “underpaid.” Swing away, Roy, for your livelihood depends on it.