In February of 2006, former UFC fighter Lee Murray orchestrated the now-infamous London Securitas heist and (temporarily) made off with nearly $90 million dollars. It was not only considered the biggest robbery in MMA History, but the largest cash robbery in the history of the UK.
Last weekend at Fight Night 42, Diego Sanchez accomplished a similar, albeit more modest feat, successfully robbing Ross Pearson of a hard-earned decision victory and the UFC of an event-high $140,000. And in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, no less. While the New Mexico Athletic Commission’s involvement in the brilliantly executed heist remains under investigation, Sanchez appears to be in the clear. For now, at least.
Ben Henderson, on the other hand, must have renegotiated his contract at gunpoint…
Benson Henderson: $90,000 (includes $45,000 win bonus)
Rustam Khabilov: $17,000
Diego Sanchez: $140,000 (includes $70,000 win bonus)
Ross Pearson: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)
John Dodson: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
John Moraga: $19,000
Rafael dos Anjos: $64,000 (includes $32,000 win bonus)
Jason High: $19,000
Piotr Hallmann: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Yves Edwards: $24,000
Bryan Caraway: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Erik Perez: $21,000
Sergio Pettis: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Yaotzin Meza: $14,000
Lance Benoist: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)
Bobby Voelker: $12,000
Scott Jorgensen: $52,000 (includes $26,000 win bonus)
Danny Martinez: $8,000
Jon Tuck: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
Jake Lindsey: $8,000
Patrick Cummins: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus)
Roger Narvaez: $8,000
Underpaid: Ben Henderson, a former champion who was making six figures just to show in his fights with Gil Melendez and Anthony Pettis, is now making just $45,000 to show. Diego Sanchez, who has dropped two out of his past three fights, never won a title, and hasn’t finished an opponent since 2008, is making $70,000 to show. You feel like taking this one, Kobe?
There it is.
Meanwhile, guys like John Dodson and John Moraga continue to receive peanuts for pay by virtue of being little flyweights that no one cares about alone. Even Bryan Caraway, who despite being a fish-hooking asshole now holds an impressive 4-1 UFC record (with 4 submission wins*), is making chump change. Further muddling the waters of the UFC pay structure is the fact Caraway’s opponent, Erik Perez, is somehow making double the TUF alum’s show rate despite holding the exact same UFC record as Caraway did heading into their fight last weekend. And Dana White wonders why not even the fighters competing on the reality show give a shit anymore.
To end the the exercise in depression that are these salary recaps on a high note, however, you should know that Dana White did in fact give Ross Pearson his win bonus, a.k.a the Cecil People’s “Decision of the Night” award, so perhaps Diego’s robbery was a victimless crime. Ehhhverybody hap-peh!!
*Following Caraway’s win, the UFC displayed a graphic stating that Caraway had tied Urijah Faber for the most submission wins in bantamweight history. At Four. I’m just sayin’, when a number that small is the record to beat, maybe it’s not a stat worth mentioning.