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WEC 42 Payouts: The Little Man Recession Drags On

(Miguel’s show money might have been better, but amateur financial planner Brian Bowles gave him some compounding interest all upside his head. Photo courtesy of Fight Magazine.)

Disclosed salary numbers are out for last night’s WEC event in Las Vegas, and though it should come as no surprise at this point, the little fellas are still just barely getting by in these lean economic times.  Here’s what the official reported payouts looked like:

Brian Bowles — $18,000 ($9,000, $9,000 to win)
Miguel Torres — $25,000
Dominick Cruz — $14,000 ($7,000 to show, $7,000 to win)
Joseph Benavidez — $12,500
Danny Castillo — $14,000 ($7,000 to show, $7,000 to win)
Ricardo Lamas — $4,000
Takeya Mizugaki — $12,000 ($6,000 to show, $6,000 to win)
Jeff Curran — $8,000
Leonard Garcia — $24,000 ($12,000 to show, $12,000 to win)
Jameel Massouh — $3,000
Cole Province — $6,000 ($3,000 to show, $3,000 to win)
Fredson Paixao — $2,000
Shane Roller — $20,000 ($10,000 to show, $10,000 to win)
Marcus Hicks — $8,000
Ed Ratcliff — $14,000 ($7,000 to show, $7,000 to win)
Phil Cardella — $3,000
Diego Nunes — $8,000 ($4,000 to show, $4,000 to win)
Rafael Dias — $4,000
Rani Yahya — $16,000 ($8,000 to show, $8,000 to win)
John Hosman — $3,000
LC Davis — $10,000 ($5,000 to show, $5,000 to win)
Javier Vasquez — $6,000

Some thoughts…

- Not included above are the $10,000 bonuses for Fight of the Night, which went to Cruz and Benavidez, the $10,000 bonus for Knockout of the Night, which went to Bowles, and the $10,000 bonus for Submission of the Night, which went to Rani Yahya.

- With his bonus factored in, Bowles was the big money-maker on the night, pocketing a disclosed $28,000 for pulling off a huge upset to claim the WEC bantamweight title.  He still made only two grand more than Yahya, who was waaay down there on the card, and only four grand more than Leonard Garcia, who didn’t get any end-of-the-night bonus at all.

Underpaid: Aside from pretty much everyone, you could make a case that Miguel Torres, one of the WEC’s biggest draws, especially among the coveted Hispanic market, should be making more than twenty-five grand to show.  Other than that, it’s sad to see guys making three or even two grand in a Zuffa event.  That’s not a wage befitting professionals, even in the WEC.

Overpaid: Not that anyone is raking in the big money in the WEC, but how does 6-2 Shane Roller, who was coming off a loss going into WEC 42, pull down ten grand to show when Bowles, who has more fights in the WEC and was competing in the night’s main event, only get nine?  Might be time for Bowles to do a little renegotiating.


Cagepotato Comments

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AussieJosh- August 12, 2009 at 2:42 am
when the hell is dana going to just make the wec and ufc one!? there is room for it! That would nearly promis us a tital fight at every event!
LoneWolf- August 11, 2009 at 6:50 am
man this is about a BS pay day for everyone on the card. I feel bad for these guys....its not like they work less for much less figures....
caffn8d- August 11, 2009 at 6:27 am
UFC: large live attendence, large ticket price, PPV purchases in the 100's of thousands.

WEC: smaller arena, smaller ticket price, no PPV income... just negotiated TV contract/advert dollars.

In short, each WEC show makes considerably less. It's been hinted that the WEC "treats it's fighters well" outside of the salaries as well, even by Torres. What that really means? No idea.
Art Gibs- August 11, 2009 at 6:04 am
Yeah, the low payouts reflect the low level of fan interest in these fights. But with better promotion and marketing, maybe that could change.

In light of the new TV deals that the UFC is making abroad, and the wads of cash those deals are undoubtedly bringing in with little extra expense, it will be interesting to see if UFC fighters start demanding more. They're not getting paid much more than they were a few years ago, but the fighters' worldwide exposure has increased tremendously, as have the UFC's revenue streams.
OpShut- August 11, 2009 at 5:44 am
@budsellers - Dana further clarified that statement in the post-event Press Conference. He indicated that the merger was merely something that "they thought about", but really gave the impression that it was not likely to happen anytime soon (if ever).

Disappointing news for the guys making $2K/$2K, for sure....
Tobias Borg- August 11, 2009 at 3:41 am
Anybody got the UFC 101 Payouts?
budsellers- August 11, 2009 at 1:56 am
i agree that these wages, as reported, are peanuts, but the fighters do also get paid from other sources, such as sponsors and those numbers add up to a lot.

for those who did not watch it on, dana answered a question from a ufc fight club member on friday by confirming that zuffa is considering merging the brands. let's all hope this can happen and that it might lead to a new fight nights show on network tv and higher payouts for all zuffa fighters.
Horror Fighter- August 11, 2009 at 1:22 am
Look, I know it's sad that Forrest's $60K "Fight of the Night" bonus (which he earned by getting crushed by Silva) is more than the purses of Torres and Bowles combined -- even when you throw in Bowles' "Fight of the Night" bonus.

But let's not forget that UFC fights are televised on PPV from huge arenas. WEC comes to us live and free on Versus from small venues. So we're talking apples and oranges here, and the payouts reflect that.

Remember when the topic of WEC moving to PPV came up as a topic on CP? The consensus from posters: We won't pay for WEC.

I'm not saying that it's our fault that WEC fighters don't make as much as their bigger brothers in the UFC. I'm just pointing out that UFC makes a whole lot more money for Zuffa. So UFC fighers get more, WEC fighters get less.
dude- August 10, 2009 at 10:17 pm
Forgive my ignorance, but do fighters get paid by their sponsors too?
KillDozer- August 10, 2009 at 10:15 pm
Fedor was right. Zuffa does treat their fighters like 1 dollar hookers in third workd country.
ccarter- August 10, 2009 at 9:59 pm
Yeah, BackBaconBilly

Not dana white's dept buddy. He doesn't do a damn thing in the WEC. Thats entirely out of his hands.

He's only the president of the UFC and part owner of the UFC. He has absolutely no control over the rest of Zuffa's investments.
BackbaconBilly- August 10, 2009 at 8:09 pm
I second that!
TrouserSnout- August 10, 2009 at 7:12 pm
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Spacebump- August 10, 2009 at 6:35 pm
Little kid clothes are cheaper than man clothes. They eat less. They don't need as big of house as the big guys. All those kid admission movie tickets add up. I'm trying to nail down the logic behind the little guys getting raped, financially.
Just A Wrestler- August 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm
wheres the one with the ufc 101 pay?
Warcraft- August 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm
These numbers are all fairly low but still you would think being on TV even VS you could at least make 5-10k around per fighter and 20k+ for the bigger names. But then again this isn't PPV so I guess that don't make anywhere near a UFC draw for one of there cards.

Hope the little guys will start getting there dues cause the WEC so far as always puts on a good show and they are helping to bring in more fans for our beloved MMA.
BackbaconBilly- August 10, 2009 at 5:05 pm
The UFC owns the WEC correct?

Dana should be fuckin ashamed of how they pay the WEC fighters, he'll go and waste 120k on silva and forrest for fight of the night but pay torres and bowles a total of 43k WTF is that shit about?
Beldar- August 10, 2009 at 5:00 pm
Those are some horrible figures right there.