UFC on Fox 7 Salaries: Benson Henderson takes home $200,000

UFC on Fox 7 Salaries: Benson Henderson takes home $200,000


UFC on Fox 7 came at us live from the HP Pavilion in San Jose on Saturday and delivered an action-packed card that tied the record for most knockouts at a single UFC with 8.  The preliminary card boasted a litany of talented fighters looking to burst through into main-event status, and the finishes showed it.

The UFC on Fox 7 salaries have been released courtesy of MMA Weekly, and to no surprise, Benson Henderson and Gilbert Melendez were the top earners. Henderson netted $200,000 with the win while Melendez took home $175,000 in his UFC debut. The two lightweight warriors fought to a controversial split decision that ultimately saw Henderson retain the gold.

Here’s a complete rundown of Saturday night’s salaries:

Total Disclosed Payroll: $1,318,000

Benson Henderson: $200,000 (includes $100,000 win bonus) ?def. Gilbert Melendez: $175,000

Daniel Cormier: $126,000 (includes $63,000 win bonus)? def. Frank Mir: $200,000

Josh Thomson: $95,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)? def. Nate Diaz: $15,000

Matt Brown: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)? def. Jordan Mein: $16,000

Chad Mendes: $56,000 (includes $28,000 win bonus) ?def. Darren Elkins: $24,000

Francis Carmont: $38,000 (includes $19,000 win bonus) ?def. Lorenz Larkin: $23,000

Myles Jury: $16,000 (includes $8,000 win bonus) ?def. Ramsey Nijem: $14,000

Joseph Benavidez: $66,000 (includes $33,000 win bonus)? def. Darren Uyenoyama: $12,000

Jorge Masvidal: $60,000 (includes $30,000 win bonus)? def. Tim Means: $10,000

T.J. Dillashaw: $28,000 (includes $14,000 win bonus) ?def Hugo Viana: $8,000

Anthony Njokuani: $36,000 (includes $18,000 win bonus)? def. Roger Bowling: $12,000

Yoel Romero: $20,000 (includes $10,000 win bonus)? def. Clifford Starks: $8,000


A huge fan of the sport since 1995, I love writing all aspects of the fight game. As Chief Editor of LowKick MMA, I strive to stay on the cutting edge of all things MMA related.
  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Rory%20Kernaghan Rory Kernaghan

    there's no way nate only earned 15k. He is on the run from the IRS

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Bryan%20Fontez Bryan Fontez

      I agree… How the hell is Nate Diaz earning less than Anthony Njokuani?? How does THAT make sense?

      I still think fighters don't make enough. I mean I'm sure this isn't all they're making but even still this isn't big enough of a purse.

      1.3 Million for the entire card? That's weak, the UFC could afford to be paying them way more. The way I see it, any fighter in the UFC should make $25,000 to $50,000 per fight minimum.

      But wtf do I know.

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/enjoylife321 enjoylife321

        $15,000 is what a part time McDonalds employee earns a year who is still at college. This sport is hit and miss with salaries. Unless you make it to the top, you are just getting a paycheque and a lifetime worth of injuries.

        Everytime i see an exciting matchup, i can't help but feel sorry for the guys who get handed a small cheque when the crowd are going wild. This is probably the shortest professional career out there considering the damage these guys take.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Mike%20Drahota Mike Drahota

    Yeah, I mean it is kind of strange having a $1,318,000 total payroll for arguably one of the biggest cards of the year while fighters like Pacquaio and Mayweather are earning up to $50 million or more for one fight.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Evan%20Holober Evan Holober

      Even if the payroll was 2 mill after back room payouts, the fighters got underpaid for a card that is going to attract over 3 million viewers.

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/HunterB HunterB

        Until a Union and or strike happens, involving a majority of top fighters, nothing will change. Sup Evan, been busy, hope all is well .

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Evan%20Holober Evan Holober

          Miss ya buddy. How's the health man?

          You are exactly right about the Union thing. I don't even know if it'll take more than 2 or 3. If GSP and Jones said tomorrow that they want to form a union the UFC would have to oblige. They are the two biggest moneymakers right now.

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/rabble rabble

    On that note, why was Benavidez on the undercard?

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/NateDogg NateDogg

    Its not strange, its ********ridiculous and embarrassing…

    I meen Pacquaio and Mayweather payrolls are ridiculous too, but in the other extreme.
    How is it possible, that guys who fight many years for the UFC, get such a poor paycheck?

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/N.C. N.C.

    The UFC pay scales have been talked about to death. Thats the reported amounts. Thats what the state and fed legal knows they made. Thats the base pay, they get paid in private again after the ppv's and gate is in.

    Serra, Forrest, etc all have said, they recieved $200,000 bonuses even when they lost and the pay out on paper is a fraction of what they really get paid to keep from disclosing their income to the public.

    Like Nick Diaz got paid a crazy sum to just show up for interviews. That never get reported.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Evan%20Holober Evan Holober

      Forrest and Serra got those big payouts after being main event fights on PPV making a basepay of something ridiculous like15-20 grand.

      The UFC hands out back room bonuses because its a way to circumvent the management of the fighters, and to make them think they are taken care of (when in fact the guys at the top of PPV/Fox broadcasted cards are making less than there market value even with the back room bonuses).

      The UFC does take care of a lot of fighters well. However, there's also a reason why the money is so much better in boxing.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/highkick12 highkick12

      ya but people dont want to hear that, they just want to call dana names and ignore how many ufc fights are rich

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/N.C. N.C.

    Not Dana openly explained the reason why UFC doesn't disclose peoples salaries. How would you like to make $200,000 in one fight and have everybody in the world know you got paid that and most likely 3 times a year. You need to watch that documentary "Broke." Or look at how everybody treats GSP like a piggy bank asking for title shots the moment it got out he makes $5 million per fight. When to the public he only gets a fraction of that.

    Also thats a lie. Boxing does NOT pays better then MMA. check Mayweathers events pay. HE GETS EVERYTHING! Anything below the 3rd fight and the get paid $1500 a fight! Boxing main events pull in 90% of the purse and 16-20 other fighters make chump change. Don't believe me? Look it up! Under card guys sometimes get paid a couple hundred!

    The average pay is better in MMA is better then Boxing. The exception is the guys at the top.

    And NO, those guys weren't main eventing those cards.

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/KeithFarrell KeithFarrell

      The average pay in boxing is so much higher than MMA it is not eve funny.

      The avergae pay in boxing against only the UFC, not the whole of MMA, now we have an arguement.

      Most guys in MMA around the world make literally nothing, most main event fighters will make a couple thousand a best, outside the top 7 or so promotions in the world.

      Boxers can get much more than MMA fighters potentially but the lowest UFC (not entire MMA) fighter will make more than most boxers at that level.

      That being said, how many guys are still at the level of pay? Ian McCall is still around the $15000 mark even though he is one of the top fighters in the sport.

      Guys like Chad Mendes and Joe B who are both top 25 P4P MMA athletes in the entire world made about $110000 put together last night, I bet any top 25 boxer makes that himself easy.

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/KeithFarrell KeithFarrell

        Austin Trout made $240000 when he beat Cotto and Trout would be lucky to be ranked top 50 by anyone at that point.

        What I'm saying is, it's true lowest level of boxing gets paid more than lowest level of UFC but even being a unknown in the UFC< you are still recruited and being pooled within the most elite MMA fighters in the world, these bottom boxers are not.

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Evan%20Holober Evan Holober

          I see what you're getting at Keith, but Trout was pretty high ranked.

          Another thing to note about that fight is it was on premium cable, and not PPV (and he still got a quarter mil in the supporting fight).

    • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Evan%20Holober Evan Holober

      Keith did a decent job, but I'll still fix your assessment.

      "How would you like to make $200,000 in one fight and have everybody in the world know you got paid that and most likely 3 times a year."

      Newsflash: Anybody with half a brain understands that Georges St. Pierre and Anderson don't make 250k to fight. Same goes for Nate Diaz making 15k. Dana White saying that to the media is nothing more than a ruse to play to people who wanna believe everything he says.

      "You need to watch that documentary "Broke." Or look at how everybody treats GSP like a piggy bank asking for title shots the moment it got out he makes $5 million per fight. When to the public he only gets a fraction of that."

      Trust me, I've seen my fair share of documentaries. From the entourage's of NFL players to Mike Tyson getting screwed by Don King I've seen pretty much every movie relating athletes and their money. Its no excuse. There's a reason why NBA, NFL, MLB, and top boxers have their salaries as common knowledge. It creates a level negotiating field. The UFC keeping things in the "backroom"
      forces all the power in to their hands.

      "Also thats a lie. Boxing does NOT pays better then MMA. check Mayweathers events pay. HE GETS EVERYTHING! Anything below the 3rd fight and the get paid $1500 a fight! Boxing main events pull in 90% of the purse and 16-20 other fighters make chump change. Don't believe me? Look it up! Under card guys sometimes get paid a couple hundred!"

      I don't know if you've been coming around here for long, but I wrote for a few boxing websites before starting in MMA (even thought I was always a bigger fan of MMA, but that's a story for another day). What you just said is partially inaccurate, but relating it as a whole to boxing promoters like GBP or TOP Rank is false. Boxers down the line on a PPV card get anywhere from 10-50,000 dollars depending on if their fight is broadcasted or not. It is set up differently from MMA, as the UFC has guys at the bottom of the prelims that could make a main card within two or three fights and boxing's prelims are filled with squash matches. So yes, the UFC (as Keith pointed out just them, not all of MMA) pays their undercard fighters/some main eventers a bit better than boxing. However, once boxers get to the level of main eventing shows the price isn't even close.

      Because of the Ali act, boxer's take up to 80% or the profit from shows. Whether its Floyd, Manny, or Giovanni Segura; they are paid the majority of money made off of a show. In MMA, that is not the case. The UFC routinely keeps 50+% off of each show they promote. Just looking at that scenario its impossible for Mixed martial artists to stay even with their combat counter parts.

      "And NO, those guys weren't main eventing those cards."

      Forrest and Matt have talked about getting six figure checks after their fights with GSP, and TIto Ortiz. Forrest'sight with Tito was a co-main event (in the scenario he spoke on) and Matt's was with GSP (which was a main event in Texas).

      Each have also spoken about getting other bonuses, but the six figure bonuses they spoke on had to do with being high on the main card (in PPV events).

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/KeithFarrell KeithFarrell

        Thanks Evan some good info there, your obviously well versed on how fighters are payed

      • http://lowkickmma.com/author/N.C. N.C.

        wow… sorry to interrupt this bromance, but in this article.

        "So I called the Nevada Athletic Commission and got the payment verification sheets for the last two major boxing shows (Bernard Hopkins-Joe Calzaghe on April 19 and Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez on March 15) as well as for the last major UFC show in the state, UFC 81 on Feb. 2.

        According to state records, Hopkins and Calzaghe were each paid $3 million for their work. The next highest-paid fighter on that card was Audley Harrison, who made $20,000. There were nine fighters who made $5,000 or less, including two men, Marcos Mendias and Jermell Charlo, who made but $1,500."

        My point is proven. So where are your facts?

        $1500?! damn!

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Evan%20Holober Evan Holober

          Your point is proven?

          How the **** is your point proven? A guy got 2500 dollars less that the lowest paid UFC fighters in the first fight on a mediocre selling PPV card, and your point is proven? You don't list any of the money paid to either from PPV or Calzaghe from his deal with Setanta sports 1, and your point is proven? **** me man.

          This is why I end up acting like an ******* here. Guys come back with completely irrelevant information, that doesn't even make sense.

          Here's a Floyd Mayweather event for you, against Miguel Cotto (that he supposedly took "90% from"):

          Floyd-upwards of 40 mil
          Cotto-over 9 mil
          Canelo-over 1 mil
          Mosley- 800k
          Vargas and Forbes- over 20k
          Quintana and Latimore- over 20k

          I already said that undercard fighters make a little bit more with the UFC. However, in boxing the fighters make upwards of 80% of the profit from each card their on. There was also 10-15 other cards just that night with fighters from around the globe making anywhere from 15-50k (and sometimes more in the case of John) to fight on smaller shows. Names like Rafael Marquez, Chris John, Demetrius Andrade, and Paul McCloskey all would be the equivalent of "UFC Level" in the boxing world. However, because they get paid the majority of the profit from each show they work they all don't have to fight on the same card.

        • http://lowkickmma.com/author/Evan%20Holober Evan Holober


          Or how bout this one that's coming up? No fighter on the entire main card making less than 25 gs, and FLoyd is raking in 32 million.

          Yea, MMA must be better than boxing…

  • http://lowkickmma.com/author/DonDada DonDada

    Lorenz Larkin won his fight. Only round that I think u could have gave Carmont was the first. He was lookin up at the clock for the last 2 rounds wishin the fight was over. How does he deserve the win? It's especially f*cked up cause Larkin should still be technically undefeated.