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UFC fighter salaries lack rhyme, reason

Big ups to the guys at, who were able to obtain official fight salaries for UFC 77 from the Ohio Athletic Commission. Below are the amounts that each fighter in the main card took home that night. (Keep in mind that the winners’ totals reflect a doubling of their base salary.)

Anderson Silva ($120,000) def. Rich Franklin ($45,000)

Tim Sylvia ($200,000) def. Brandon Vera ($100,000)

Alvin Robinson ($6,000) def. Jorge Gurgel ($7,000)

Stephan Bonnar ($44,000) def. Eric Schafer ($6,000)

Alan Belcher ($22,000) def. Kalib Starnes ($7,000)

So, lots to discuss here. First of all, Jorge Gurgel earned about 35 cents for every time he was punched in the face, which seems a little low. (I don’t get out of bed for less than 50 cents per face-punch.) His opponent Alvin Robinson came in with a $3,000 base salary — shockingly low for someone on the main card of a UFC pay-per-view event.

Dana White insists that Stephan Bonnar is one-half of the greatest UFC fight of all time, yet pays him a base salary of only $22,000, equal to that of Alan “Huh?” Belcher. This is the part where the average MMA fan would start up with the “Dana White has no loyalty” rant, railing at how poorly White treats fighters who temporarily fall out of favor (see also: Franklin’s surprisingly-low $45k take). But Tim Sylvia was never popular, and he makes a guaranteed hundred-thou per fight. But then again, so does Brandon Vera, and Vera was never champion.

Come to think of it, that Vera figure can’t be right. How does an up-and-coming heavyweight contender have a base salary that’s $40,000 more than the middleweight champion’s? It’s like Vera’s manager is Don Corleone, and Anderson Silva’s manager is this guy:

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rokabee- May 13, 2009 at 11:30 am
Lol, im first again..