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WEC Payouts Help Nudge Jens Pulver to a More Comfortable Retirement, Mike Brown Not So Much

(That punch alone has got to be worth $500, easy.)

After a great night of fights in Sacramento, the WEC continues to be the place where even the stars get paid like inner-city high school teachers for absorbing only slightly more physical damage.  Jens Pulver, of all people, topped the disclosed WEC 41 payout list, taking home $31,253 for his thirty-three seconds of work in a losing effort against Josh Grispi.  Guess it pays to be a legend.  The rest of the fighter salaries from last night, not including the $10,000 bonuses given to Faber, Brown, Aldo, and Dikun, look like this:

Mike Brown — $25, 256 (includes $13,000 win bonus)
Urijah Faber — $25,790
Jose Aldo — $17,625 (includes $11,000 win bonus)
Cub Swanson — $8,940
Donald Cerrone — $17,682.54 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
James Krause — $1,692
Josh Grispi — $17,381 (includes $9,000 win bonus)
Jens Pulver — $31,253
Manny Gamburyan — $26,960 (includes $14,000 win bonus)
John Franchi — $3,108
Rafael Rebello $3,650 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
Kyle Dietz — $1,840
Anthony Pettis — $3,302.10 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
Mike Campbell — $2,950
Antonio Banuelos $9,840 (includes $5,000 win bonus)
Scott Jorgensen — $5,530
Frank Gomez — $3,962.41 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
Noah Thomas — $2,350
Seth Dikun — $3,940 (includes $2,000 win bonus)
Rolando Perez — $2,890

So who got screwed and who did the screwing?

- Underpaid: Mike Brown.  Not only did the WEC featherweight champ make slightly less than the guy he beat even after his win bonus is factored in, he also made less than Jens Pulver and Manny Gamburyan.  In fact, Manny’s even getting a grand more than Brown in win bonus money.  How is this possible?  You take away the $13,000 win bonus and Brown got $12,256 in guaranteed cash to step in the cage and defend his title.  Yeah, he got an extra $10,000 for Fight of the Night, as did Faber, but still, that ain’t right.  

- Overpaid:
Jens Pulver.  It pains us to say it, because we know he’s getting this kind of payday because of the name he built back when there was almost no money in it, and if anyone deserves a little something extra these days it’s Pulver.  But considering the value he brings to a fight card these days, he’s still not worth that kind of money, at least not while the top guy in the division is getting less than half the guaranteed money he is.  Sorry, but it’s the truth, though Gamburyan also deserves to be mentioned here.  While Pulver might have helped sell some tickets, no one came out specifically to see old Manvel.

- Worth Noting: The $10,000 end of the night bonuses might seem trivial when compared with the bonuses the UFC gives out, but think about the impact for a guy like Seth Dikun, who took home the Submission of the Night check.  He went from making just under four grand to just under fourteen.  After taxes and management, that’s the difference between driving home in a Ford Festiva and driving home in a used Toyota 4Runner.  In other words, it could very well be the difference between getting sad and getting laid.

Cagepotato Comments

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vinsullo- June 10, 2009 at 6:47 pm
I can't believe these payouts. Is this underground fighting? Wow. Ok so as far as the Brown/Faber fight is concerned and Brown being lucky that Faber's hand was broken goes, the things is this. If Faber's hand had not been broken, he's have been less likely to scramble as much and more apt to engage with Browon which wouldv'e resulted in Faber getting KTFO! The broken hand prevented him from being KO'd. Faber was plenty good enough to implement elbows and run away. Borken hand or not there is a lot of fighters that have that style without a broken hand. He survived because of it. There will be Brown/Faber 3 and Faber WILL get KTFO!
C.B.- June 9, 2009 at 9:21 am
I ran the numbers to argue Rodney's point, but he is absolutlely right. Live gate was $818,415 and figter pay way $215,941.05. Assuming sponsorer money paid to run the show (i'm not really qulified to even assume that, but...), Zuffa pulled in roughly 602K. That's barely worth the effort. I know that Zuffa does that to get people into MMA on the assumption, as a fan, those people will plunk down $45 for UFC PPV's. So by that standard they got paid 602K to advertise, which is a nice set up. All that said, the fighters HAVE to get paid more, especially the champs. And, AND, the figters have to to put together a fucking Fighters Association or something to get fair wage and medical. It's completely assinine that they havn't already. I know UFC blocks that shit, but c'mon, hold a secret meeting for christ sakes.
Canadian Chronic- June 9, 2009 at 6:44 am
shit, i thought fighting was the hard part of this game. I guess living like an unwed pregnant teenage girl residing in a cardboard box outside a run down trailer park is the true challenge of the fight game.

The WEC should be embarassed.
MMAMoneyLine- June 9, 2009 at 6:40 am
They need to have a base salary for champions. At least pay the guys who hold the belts A MINIMUM of $30k to show.

Faber is grossly underpaid, considering he is the guy that the WEC has built its brand off of for the past few years.

By the way...Jose Aldo would have made $6,000 if he didn't win. How does that make you feel?
Rodney- June 9, 2009 at 5:31 am
To play "devil's advocate"- the show did have a small gate compared to UFC events, plus no PPV income. Now factor in Zuffa's expenses and WEC probably doesn't make much money after fighter payouts and bills.

Face it, WEC is the Minor leagues right now and until more people watch or they have PPV, the payouts will remain low.
Clue-by-Four- June 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm
"So who got screwed and who did the screwing?"

They all got screwed and the Zuffa is the one driving that meat train. A title fight at 145 will earn the fighters 6 figures while one at 135 means you still need to keep your day job. That sucks.
Peppermint Nightmare- June 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm
Uh...Gamburyan is BY FAR the most overpaid person on this card. I'm literally fucking offended that you typed a wordy rant about Pulver being overpaid and then barely mention Gamburyan as an afterthought.
At least Pulver has a name and has paid his dues. What the fuck has Gamburyan done? Seriously? Does anybody even like that irritating little shit? You could probably fit his entire fan base in the non-smoking section of an average Denny's.
IronClad- June 8, 2009 at 9:16 pm
Manny gets more money than anyone else? WTF, i had no idea he was even on the card. That is bull shit
My Fight Wiffa Cheeto- June 8, 2009 at 9:14 pm
Juice Says:
Mon, 06/08/2009 - 18:10
"I will make the broken hand excuse so y'all don't have to. Nobody should be able to land that many elbows -- especially when the opponent knows they are coming. I expect Brown/Faber III by the end of the year"

Juice... you're an idiot. Broken hand or not, Fabie wasn't winning that fight. He broke his hand on Mike's fucking head with his best shot and it didn't even phase him. Those elbows, DIDN'T PHASE HIM. Faber lacks the stopping power to put away Brown. Case closed. It's doesn't mean he can't catch him in a lucky sub, but as for KOing him. Ain't gonna happen.

Also, if you expect Brown vs. Faber III by the end of the year, again, sorry for being redundant but, you're an idiot. Have you seen the X-rays of Urijah's hand? He's out of action for a lonnnnnng time. Not to mention Aldo or Fabiano are now ahead of him in the rankings.
JiMMA- June 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm
Wow these guys make shit, all because they are smaller? Dammmnn....
AussieJosh- June 8, 2009 at 5:08 pm
WEC Pay Packets Are BULLSHIT!!! these weight classes should be incorperated in to the UFC!
jetzzz- June 8, 2009 at 4:36 pm
Seriously who signs up to fight Cerrone for $1700; death wish or really bad debts.
Aenarion- June 8, 2009 at 4:07 pm
And Mike Brown doesn't even half half of the snazzy marketing deals that Faber has. Fighting and training like he does for scraps... what a beast. The true definition of a fighter.
Cookie Monster- June 8, 2009 at 3:40 pm
who the hell thought that manvel is worth that much more than anyone else on that card? i probably dont understand contract stipulations and specific paydays but someone screwed up when they signed him. fuck a manvel
Chinstroker- June 8, 2009 at 3:38 pm
Man, that's a disgrace. Weighing 10lbs less than the guys in 155 doesn't justify missing out on a decent share of the company turnover. Liddel and Pulver should start a fighters' union and continue to be a credit to the sport.
Marcer- June 8, 2009 at 3:21 pm
Man, if Urijah complains about his paycheck, Mike Brown should be leading an armed rebellion or something.
Juice- June 8, 2009 at 3:10 pm
I will make the broken hand excuse so y'all don't have to. Nobody should be able to land that many elbows -- especially when the opponent knows they are coming. I expect Brown/Faber III by the end of the year.