The debate about UFC fighter pay has been going for a while now, with the common theme being that fighters like Tim Kennedy, Mark Hunt and many other known names being unhappy with Zuffa’s payscale.
In a job like MMA, where you put your body and career on the line on a regular basis, fighters feel like they should be better compensated. Although, Joe Lauzon is not one of those fighters. Check out what Lauzon had to say on The Metro South Morning Show regarding fighter pay:
“We’re paid fighters, so getting in to the UFC doesn’t mean you’re gonna have this cushy job. You get paid based on how your performance goes. I’ve been very fortunate where I have had some great fights and I’ve been rewarded with some bonuses. I couldn’t be happier with the pay structure. It all comes down to people wanting to see you fight.”
Now considering that Lauzon is the recipient of 12 fight night bonuses, and his pay of 27k to show is higher than the average fighters, he may have it a little better than most fighters. But that is because he is better and more exciting than most fighters. He is living proof that putting in work, and wexciting shows will get you rewarded in the long run.
Guys like Tim Kennedy shoot themselves in the foot when they complain about fighter’s pay, and then put on an absolute snoozefest in their next fight. How could you justify paying someone 50k + for winning like he did against Roger Gracie at UFC 162?
Where I think fighers do have a point is when you consider the lower tier fighters. If you have three FOTN worthy performances on the undercard, and only one receives a bonus, then you have four guys that put on great fights and may only get 2-10k compensation. Probably not enough to cover travel fees for foreign fighters.
So should there be a change in the bonus pay scale? Undercard fighters, or non-main card fighters should probably have their own set of bonuses in my opinion. It would add to the insentive to put on a great fight, even more so if they had three separate bonuses from the main card fights. With the growth and sales of the UFC’s brand, it wouldn’t be a huge stretch for the company to put money back in to it’s fighters.
A revamp of the bonus pay would essentially be an investment in the lesser experienced, or less known, UFC fighters. An investment that could potentially be very enticing. Any thoughts?