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WEC 44 Payouts: Something’s Gotta Give

("God damn you, Jose, don’t you ever leave me again!" Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

The WEC doled out a meager $276,500 in official salaries and bonuses for their "Brown vs. Aldo" event on Wednesday night, proving once again that short people are paid far less than their taller counterparts. Mike Brown earned just $15,000 for his failed title defense, and only five fighters broke the $20,000 mark. The numbers are below. Keep in mind that they don’t include income from sponsorships and "locker room bonuses" — which in the WEC probably amount to a No Fear energy drink and cab fare back to the hotel — or deductions for taxes, insurance, licensing fees, athletic commission fines, and alimony.

Jose Aldo: $36,000 (includes $13,000 win bonus, $10,000 Knockout of the Night bonus)
Mike Brown: $15,000

Manny Gamburyan: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)
Leonard Garcia: $14,000

Karen Darabedyan: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Rob McCullough: $20,000

Shane Roller: $34,000 (includes $12,000 win bonus, $10,000 Submission of the Night bonus)
Danny Castillo: $9,500

Kamal Shalorus: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Will Kerr: $2,000

L.C. Davis: $14,000 (includes $7,000 win bonus)
Diego Nunes: $5,000

Cub Swanson: $28,000 (includes $9,000 win bonus, $10,000 Fight of the Night bonus)
John Franchi: $14,000 (includes $10,000 Fight of the Night bonus)

Antonio Banuelos: $12,000 (includes $6,000 win bonus)
Kenji Osawa: $6,000

Ricardo Lamas: $8,000 (includes $4,000 win bonus)
James Krause: $2,000

Frank Gomez: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Seth Dikun: $3,000

Underpaid: Unless you can do like Jose Aldo and win four fights in a calendar year while picking up a couple KO bonuses along the way, you’re underpaid in the WEC. That being said…

Overpaid: Manny Gamburyan. Is 18k/18k a lot of money for a professional fighter? Not really. Does the Anvil deserve more guaranteed cash than Aldo and Brown? Votch, bro.

Cagepotato Comments

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agentsmith- November 20, 2009 at 11:16 am
No wonder the WEC's top guys fight more often than the UFC's... they have to just to pay the rent.

And please shut up with the "but they get paid sponsor money" argument... what they make on the side from sponsors is unknown and irrelevant, the point is they deserve bigger fight purses. You can't presume that the sponsor money is going to make up for it. It's like you own a bar and you pay your waitresses only $2/hr, and when anyone complains you just say, "Hey, they make tips too ya know."

But that being said, that doesn't necessarily mean they're being ripped off relative to what the promotion earns. Keep in mind that yes the WEC is owned by Zuffa, but it's operated as a completely separate company from the UFC, and has to sink or swim on its own. They're stuck on an obscure free cable channel and playing small casino venues, while the UFC is on PPV and fills arenas. The money just isn't there to be had like it is in the UFC. Which is exactly why the UFC should absorb them.
Endocat- November 20, 2009 at 11:02 am
Maybe manny should have helped his cousin out with some coin so he could go to rehab
Richard Fitzentite- November 20, 2009 at 9:08 am
I think that we all forget that they get paid sponsor moeny as well.
superflat- November 20, 2009 at 8:28 am
Gamburyan probably wasn't overpaid... I assure you that for some, he was the only recognizable face on that card.
PhilDZnutts- November 20, 2009 at 7:50 am
The fighter salaries for the WEC are ridiculous. They should at least put some of these guys on the next UFC PPV so they can get paid.

Fighting for 3 and 3 in a Zuffa-owned promotion smells a lot like horse shit to me.
I Know Nothing- November 20, 2009 at 7:14 am
Karen Darabedyan: $6,000 (includes $3,000 win bonus)
Rob McCullough: $20,000

Wait................Rob McCullough got beat by a woman????
GEE-yuh-TEEN- November 20, 2009 at 7:04 am
'Fighters Union!', 'underpaid!'

Look... what these guys get paid is between them and the WEC. If they're worth more, other organizations would poach them away with bigger paychecks.

Do I think fighting for a couple grand is worth it... hell no, but that's the path these guys chose.

I'd love to see these guys make more money, but they're on free TV on a channel that nobody watches...
TylerDyrden- November 20, 2009 at 6:57 am
the WEC is the minor leagues of UFC man....The smaller, under-appreciated, under-paid minor leagues...that's how it works. WEC does not generate NEARLY the kind of interest/ratings/money as the UFC, therefore it's only natural that the WEC fighters will continue to get paid this way until either

A. They get much higher ratings due to more interested fight fans
B. They are able to charge a pay-per-view fee for the fights

Neither of which I see happening for some time...So keep on bitching about it, but understand the underlying problem so that you are informed people. This is a business... you can't just pay people a ton of money that you DO NOT HAVE just because you think they DESERVE it....when's the last time your boss did that for you? You did a great job this year, but we just dont have enough money for bonuses right now....But HE got a new car that year somehow....

accept it, working for the man sucks
KJGould- November 20, 2009 at 6:52 am
WEC fighters want to fight in the UFC. Fans want to see more title fights in the UFC. The little guys are p4p the most exiciting in combat sports (look at Pacquiao).

WEC is worthless. Either UFC absorbs WEC fighters (while cutting dead weight) and introduces the UFC FW and BW titles, or zuffa can expect a mass exodus to Japan where they often have more money then sense.
Swedish- November 20, 2009 at 6:42 am
Here come the Obama lemmings thinking everything is a 'right' and high payouts are a given.

I bet skeletor / dude doesn't like their minimum wage jobs right???

Well what do you do about it? Ask for Obama handouts or get educated thus making more money. See how that works? Fighting is the same. So please STFU with the Zuffa hate, they've made more fighters into millionaires than any other promotion.
skeletor- November 20, 2009 at 6:22 am
Why are people continually surprised about this shit? Zuffa is a money hungry greed machine. Dana White = Don King, just a different sport but it's nly a matter of time until he's seen in the same light.
dude- November 20, 2009 at 6:21 am
Wow. This sucks. Fighters are practically getting paid to fight for free. Someone needs to start a FIGHTER'S UNION!!!!!
mmmiles9000- November 20, 2009 at 6:09 am
I'm confus. You're missing Aldo/Brown Gamburyan/Garcia.